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Antipsychotics no better when paired

February 06, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Schizophrenics who took two antipsychotic drugs showed no more improvement than those on a single drug, raising doubts about the benefit of using multiple medicines to treat the disease, researchers have found.

The study, published in the Feb. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, tested 68 patients who responded poorly to clozapine, the generic version of Novartis AG's Clozaril.

Half the group took clozapine along with Johnson & Johnson's antipsychotic Risperdal. The other half were given clozapine with a placebo. Both groups showed the same degree of improvement during the 26-week trial, but there was a slight deterioration in memory among the ones taking Risperdal.

William Honer, chief author of the study, said the results offer no support for the idea of prescribing multiple drugs, at least from the same class, especially to people who got little help from clozapine.

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