Intramuscular Ziprasidone Versus Haloperidol for Managing Agitation in Chinese Patients With Schizophrenia

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Intramuscular (IM) antipsychotics are preferred for efficient control of agitation symptoms. Previous studies have demonstrated that IM ziprasidone is efficacious and safe for treatment of agitation in schizophrenia. However, clinicians now recognize that racial differences may contribute to altered therapeutic response and tolerability. This study compared the efficacy and tolerability of IM ziprasidone versus IM haloperidol for the management of agitation in Chinese subjects with schizophrenia. Subjects with acute schizophrenia were randomized to either ziprasidone (n = 189, 10 to 20 mg as required up to a maximum of 40 mg/d) or haloperidol (n = 187, 5 mg every 4 to 8 hours to a maximum of 20 mg/d) for 3 days. Psychiatric assessments and adverse events were assessed at baseline, 2, 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours. In the ziprasidone group, 2.1% of subjects discontinued versus 3.7% in the haloperidol group. The least squares mean change (SE) from baseline to 72 hours in Brief Psychiatry Rating Scale total score was −17.32 (0.7) for ziprasidone (n = 167) and −18.44 (0.7) for haloperidol (n = 152), with a 95% confidence interval treatment difference of −0.7 to 2.9. Fewer subjects experienced adverse events after ziprasidone (n = 54, 28.6%) than haloperidol (n = 116, 62.0%), with a notably higher incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms in the haloperidol group (n = 69, 36.9%) compared to the ziprasidone group (n = 4, 2.1%). For controlling agitation in schizophrenia in this Chinese study, ziprasidone had a favorable tolerability profile and comparable efficacy and safety compared to haloperidol.

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