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A 1-year Open-label Trial Of Olanzapine In School-age Children With Schizophrenia.

R. Ross, D. Novins, G. Farley, L. Adler
Published 2003 · Psychology, Medicine

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OBJECTIVE To determine the response of children with childhood-onset schizophrenia to a 1-year prospective, open-label trial of olanzapine. METHODS Twenty children (age range 6-15 years) with childhood-onset Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition) schizophrenia participated. The treating clinician was free to vary or discontinue dosing and use additional medications. Symptoms were assessed by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Child version (BPRS-C), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms, and Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms. Extrapyramidal symptoms, akathisia, temperature, and weight were monitored. RESULTS BPRS-C subscales of thought disturbance and psychomotor excitation, and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms demonstrated significant decreases by 6 weeks of treatment; BPRS-C anxiety and the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) showed significant improvement after 1 year of treatment. Seventy-four percent of subjects were considered treatment responders, with a greater than 20% reduction in total BPRS-C score and overall impairment of mild or better. Weight gain (body mass index) was above that expected for normal development in every child. No child developed neuroleptic-related dyskinesias. Seventy-four percent (n = 14) of patients completed this 1-year, open-label trial. Of the 5 subjects who discontinued, weight gain was noted as the reason for 4 subjects. CONCLUSIONS Olanzapine appears useful in the treatment of childhood-onset schizophrenia, although there may be a delayed onset of benefit for anxiety and negative symptoms. Weight gain is problematic, but the emergence of dyskinesias may be rare. Additional controlled trials are indicated.
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