Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Clozapine reduces violence but with side effects

Clozapine is an antipsychotic drug which can often be effective in treating schizophrenia where other drugs have failed. A UK study of patients admitted to a low-secure psychiatric unit compared their levels of violence before and after they were prescribed clozapine. The researchers found that the number of violent incidents per month was reduced by 75%. Before their drug treatment there was an average of 1.22 violent incidents per patient per month whereas after treatment this had fallen to 0.26 incidents. However great care needs to be taken in monitoring patients who are prescribed the drug as it has been known to cause a fatal reduction in white blood cells and heart problems.

Beer, M. Dominic, Khan, Al Aditya and Ratnajothy, Kalaanithi - The effect of clozapine on adverse incidents in a low-secure challenging behaviour unit Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care December 2006, 2(2), 65-70

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