Naturalistic study of olanzapine in treatment-resistaant schizophrenia and acute mania, depression and obsessional disorder
Background: Whereas the Fiji government provides all aspects of mental health care services free of charge to its citizens, many schizophrenics have failed to respond to classical antipsychotic drugs.
Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of olanzapine among various patients with severe psychiatric disorders.
Setting: Naturalistic setting.
Design: Descriptive study.
Measurements: Outcome was based on reduction of symptoms on the PANSS (³ 40%) and CGI shift to 1-3.
Subjects: The were 64 patients (30 males) aged 17-77 years. Thirty six (56.3%) had schizophrenia, eight mania, ten severe depression, four obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), one each had schizo-affective and delusional disorders, while the remaining had chronic brain diseases.
Results: At weeks 3, 8,12, the proportion of subjects with 40% improvement was 60.6%, 79.9%, and 76.8%, respectively. Positive and negative symptoms improved. Thirteen (48.1%) of the 27 long-stay treatment - resistant schizophrenics achieved clinical recovery at eight weeks. All with primary diagnosis of severe depression and mania achieved full clinical recovery (mostly within two weeks). Two OCD cases achieved clinical recovery at week eight.
Conclusion: Olanzapine was safe for all categories of patients. There was not a single case of extrapyramidal reaction among subjects who did not have it pre-treatment; and the drug was safe in a suicidal overdose of 205mg. Most patients experienced weight gain; two
adolescent girls had temporary amenorrhoea and one subject had transient rise in liver transaminases which normalised without discountinuing the drug.