Efficacy and Safety of Levosulpiride Versus Haloperidol Injection in Patients With Acute Psychosis: A Randomized Double-Blind Study

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Abstract

Background

Injectable antipsychotics are frequently required for controlling agitation and aggression in acute psychosis. No study has examined the use of injectable levosulpiride for this indication.

Objective

To compare the efficacy and safety of injectable levosulpiride and haloperidol in patients with acute psychosis.

Methods

This was a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study in which 60 drug-naive patients having acute psychosis were randomly assigned to receive either intramuscular haloperidol (10–20 mg/d) or levosulpiride (25–50 mg/d) for 5 days. All patients were rated on Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Overt Agitation Severity Scale (OASS), Overt Aggression Scale–Modified (OAS-M) scores, Simpson Angus Scale (SAS), and Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale (BARS).

Results

Repeated-measures ANOVA for BPRS scores showed significant effect of time (P < 0.001) and a trend toward greater reduction in scores in haloperidol group as shown by group × time interaction (P = 0.076). Repeated-measures ANOVA for OASS showed significant effect of time (P < 0.001) but no group × time interaction. Repeated-measures ANOVA for OAS-M scores showed significant effect of time (P < 0.001) and greater reduction in scores in haloperidol group as shown by group × time interaction (P = 0.032). Lorazepam requirement was much lower in haloperidol group as compared with those receiving levosulpiride (P = 0.022). Higher rates of akathisia and extrapyramidal symptoms were noted in the haloperidol group.

Conclusions

Haloperidol was more effective than levosulpiride injection for psychotic symptoms, aggression, and severity of agitation in acute psychosis, but extrapyramidal adverse effects were less frequent with levosulpiride as compared with those receiving haloperidol.

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