Quetiapine: balancing efficacy and tolerability in schizophrenia

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The introduction of atypical antipsychotic agents, such as clozapine and risperidone, marked a significant advance in the management of patients with schizophrenia. Quetiapine [‘Seroquel’; Zeneca] is a novel atypical antipsychotic that has recently been introduced into clinical practice in the US and UK. Importantly, quetiapine is effective against both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The issue of tolerability is becoming a point of differentiation among the newer atypical antipsychotics; quetiapine has an excellent tolerability profile. The incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) is comparable for placebo and quetiapine 150-750 mg/day in patients with psychosis. Results from the clinical development programme for quetiapine and the most recent studies with this agent were presented at an IBC conference on Schizophrenia: Clinical Aspects and New Therapeutic Targets [London, UK; February 1998].

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