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Loxapine for schizophrenia

Chakrabarti A, Bagnall A-M, Chue P, Fenton M, Palaniswamy V, Wong W, Xia J
Published Online: 
15 February 2012

Schizophrenia is a chronic and relapsing serious mental illness with a lifetime prevalence of about 1% worldwide.

Typical and atypical antipsychotics provide a treatment for people with schizophrenia, with either a reduction in the episodes of psychosis or a reduction in the severity of the symptoms. However, a proportion of people still do not respond adequately to antipsychotic medication. Typical and atypical antipsychotics are associated with serious adverse effects which are not only uncomfortable for patients, but can also be associated with subsequent reduced compliance with treatment and therefore relapse in the illness.

Loxapine is an antipsychotic drug available in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the USA. We systematically evaluated the effects of this antipsychotic and were able to include 41 randomised trials following the updates in 2005 and 2007.

Loxapine may be effective for the treatment of schizophrenia but does not differ greatly from the older typical antipsychotics (chlorpromazine, trifluperazine, perphenazine) or other atypicals (risperidone, quetipine) in respect of treatment efficacy. Loxapine, however, may cause more extrapyramidal adverse effects compared with atypical drugs.