Pharmacogenic Depression among Outpatient Schizophrenic Patients: A Failure to Substantiate

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Impaired affect in recovering schizophrenic patients has been viewed as either an integral part of the disease, a postpsychotic depression, or, increasingly, as a pharmacogenically determined effect secondary to the use of antipsychotics. Two months following hospital discharge, operationally defined groups of “depressed” and “not depressed” drug-treated and nonrelapsed schizophrenic patients were randomly assigned to chlorpromazine or placebo and followed for 4 months. Among depressed schizophrenic patients, there was no evidence that drug either contributes to the depression or that depressive signs are primarily extrapyramidal symptom phenomena (akinesia). Equal numbers of nondepressed patients on drug and placebo manifested a subsequent postpsychotic depression.

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