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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 153–156 | Cite as

Prophylactic effect of neuroleptics in symptom-free schizophrenics: A comparative dose-response study of haloperidol and propericiazine

  • Tadashi Nishikawa
  • Akira Tsuda
  • Masatoshi Tanaka
  • Yoshio Hoaki
  • Itsuyuki Koga
  • Yasunori Uchida
Original Investigations

Abstract

Remitted schizophrenic outpatients were treated in order to prevent relapse with three doses of haloperidol or propericiazine for 1 year in a double-blind controlled study employing a randomized design. The drug's ability to prevent relapse was evaluated by counting the number of symptom-free days for each patient before any sign of relapse or over-dose appeared. Patients were randomly assinged to the following drugs orally administered once per day at night: placebo; haloperidol 1 mg, 3 mg, and 6 mg; propericiazine 10 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg. Serum prolactin levels in each patient were estimated by radioimmunoassay. All patients treated with placebo relapsed within 1 year and the relapse rate with placebo was significantly higher than with any dose of the two neuroleptics. Haloperidol increased the number of symptom-free days in a dose-dependent manner. Propericiazine at 10 mg and 30 mg also increased the number of symptom-free days dose-dependently but at 60 mg, the number decreased. It appears that propericiazine shows an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve. Prolactin levels were elevated dose-dependently by both drugs but failed to show a significant correlation with the number of symptom-free days. The present results indicate that haloperidol is superior to propericiazine from the viewpoint of the wider “therapeutic window” in maintenance treatment and antidopaminergic properties of neuroleptics, wherein it is important to prevent relapse even in remitted schizophrenics.

Key words

Schizophrenics in remission Prophylactic effect Haloperidol Propericiazine Prolactin 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadashi Nishikawa
    • 1
  • Akira Tsuda
    • 1
  • Masatoshi Tanaka
    • 1
  • Yoshio Hoaki
    • 1
  • Itsuyuki Koga
    • 2
  • Yasunori Uchida
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan
  2. 2.Seiwakai Nishikawa HospitalHamadaJapan

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