Efficacy of accelerated dose titration of olanzapine with adjunctive lorazepam to treat acute agitation in schizophrenia


      We conducted a prospective double-blind study of accelerated dose titration of olanzapine in the treatment of newly admitted acutely agitated patients with schizophrenia. Patients were randomized to either oral olanzapine (10 mg per day) or oral haloperidol (10 mg per day), plus lorazepam as needed (up to 12 mg per day). Antipsychotic dosage was increased to 20 mg per day as early as day 3. Patients were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Agitation subscale during the first 24 hours of treatment, daily for the first week, then weekly until study completion. Significant within-group improvement was demonstrated in PANSS Agitation scores for both groups as early as 1 hour after initiating therapy (−5.79 ± 6.30 for olanzapine and −4.89 ± 6.05 for haloperidol, P <.001). This study demonstrated that accelerated dose titration of oral olanzapine is as efficacious as oral haloperidol in reducing acute agitation in patients with schizophrenia.


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