Depot bromperidol decanoate for schizophrenia.

S. Quraishi, A. David, C. E. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Anti-psychotic drugs are the mainstay treatment for schizophrenia. Long-acting depot injections of drugs such as bromperidol decanoate are extensively used as a means of long-term maintenance treatment. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of depot bromperidol versus placebo, oral anti-psychotics and other depot antipsychotic preparations for people with schizophrenia in terms of clinical, social and economic outcomes. SEARCH STRATEGY: Relevant trials were identified by searching Biological Abstracts (1982-1999), Cochrane Library (Issue 2, 1999), Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Register (May 1999), EMBASE (1980-1999), MEDLINE (1966-1999) and PsycLIT (1974-1999). References of all identified trials were inspected and Janssen Cilag contacted in order to identify more trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised trials focusing on people with schizophrenia where depots bromperidol, oral anti-psychotics or other depot preparations were sought. Primary outcomes were death, clinically significant change in global function, mental state, relapse, hospital admission, adverse effects and acceptability of treatment. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Studies were reliably selected, quality rated and data extracted. For dichotomous data Peto odds ratios (OR) with the 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated. The number needed to treat statistic (NNT) was to have been calculated. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. MAIN RESULTS: Four controlled clinical trials were found (total n=117). Smeraldi 1990 (n=20) compared bromperidol decanoate to placebo and found that more people in the latter group left the study by six months duration (50% versus 20%, OR 0.3 CI 0.05-7). There were no clear differences between bromperidol decanoate and placebo for a list of side effects. Ratings of global impression, mental state and needing additional antipsychotic medication all tended to favour the control depots (fluphenazine decanoate and haloperidol decanoate) and people consistently left the bromperidol decanoate group more frequently than those allocated other depots (n=97, OR 2.6 CI 0.8-9). There was no clear pattern in the occurrence of adverse effects. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Currently, extrapolating from minimal trial data suggests that bromperidol decanoate may be better than a placebo injection but less valuable than fluphenazine or haloperidol decanoate. If bromperidol decanoate is available to the clinician it may be a viable choice, especially when there are reasons not to use fluphenazine or haloperidol decanoate. Well-conducted and reported randomised trials are urgently needed to inform practice in Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)CD001719
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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