Nearly every child who receives an antipsychotic medicine is first prescribed one of the second-generation, or “atypical” drugs, such as olanzapine and risperidone. However, there has never been evidence that these drugs are more effective than the older, first-generation medications. Now a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests that molindone, a first-generation drug, is as effective as the newer ones and should be used as a first line of therapy in some children with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
“People thought the second-generation drugs were superior because they had no side effects. We found that molindone works as well as newer drugs, and in some cases it’s safer,” said Lin Sikich, MD, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at UNC and lead author of the study, titled the treatment of early-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders (TEOSS) study.
“The guidelines are going to have to be rewritten because of this study,” Sikich said. A report of the study is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Co-author Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, led the earlier CATIE (clinical antipsychotic trials in intervention effectiveness) trial at UNC, a landmark study that compared antipsychotic medications in adults. Lieberman is now at Columbia University Medical Center.
Release date: September 15, 2008
Source: University of North Carolina School of Medicine