A clinical evaluation of risperidone in the treatment of schizophrenia: a 10-week, open-label, multicenter trial. ARCS Study Group. Assessment of Risperdal in a Clinical Setting.
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The efficacy and safety of risperidone have previously been demonstrated in controlled clinical trials in hospitalized chronic schizophrenia patients who met strict research criteria. The present study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of risperidone in a heterogeneous patient population. Patients were enrolled in the study if they had a diagnosis of schizophrenia (DSM-III-R) with or without acute exacerbation. Of the 945 patients from 158 psychiatric centers who entered this phase IV study, 558 completed the 10-week trial. During week 1, the dose of risperidone was titrated to 6 mg/day, maintained there for 1 week, and then adjusted over a 4-week period as clinically necessary; the dose was then fixed for the final 4-week period. The mean dose of risperidone at endpoint was 5.9 mg/day. Patients were evaluated at baseline and at weeks 2, 6, and 10, using Clinical Global Impression scale, Psychotic Symptoms Assessment scale, and Global Assessment of Functioning scale. Significant improvement in mean scores was found on each of these measures at endpoint. Comparable results were obtained at week 10 in treatment-resistant and non-treatment-resistant patients. Risperidone was generally well tolerated and the severity of extrapyramidal symptoms was significantly reduced at endpoint.