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July 1978

Long-Acting Oral vs Injectable Antipsychotic Drugs in Schizophrenics: A One-Year Double-Blind Comparison in Multiple Episode Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

From New York State Psychiatric Institute and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York (Drs Quitkin, Rifkin, and Klein), and Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center, Glen Oaks, NY (Drs Kane and Ramos-Lorenzi).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(7):889-892. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770310095007

• Sixty patients meeting the criteria established for schizophrenia who attained a clinical plateau following hospital discharge were randomized to receive for one year either penfluridol, 20 to 160 mg orally once each week, or fluphenazine decanoate, 0.5 to 4 ml every two weeks.

The relapse rate for both treatments was low and equal. The rate of recurrence of psychosis for patients receiving penfluridol was 7% and for those receiving fluphenazine decanoate 10%. A retrospective comparison of the penfluridol group was made to a similar group of patients assigned to placebo in an earlier study. Placebo-treated patients had a relapse rate of 68%. Penfluridol patients had statistically fewer psychotic relapses.

Questions about the possible carcinogenicity of penfluridol in animals will have to be resolved before it can be widely used. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using an oral, longacting antipsychotic agent. It would be a useful psychopharmacologic addition in the treatment of outpatient schizophrenics.

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