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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Raja M., Azzoni A.
Background. Sertindole belongs to a novel (atypical) class of antipsychotics and is a potent antagonist of D2 and 5-HT2A receptors. There is evidence that sertindole, as other atypical antipsychotics, is significantly superior to typical neuroleptics in controlling psychotic symptoms (in particular negative symptoms).
Methods. We examined the clinical efficacy and side effects of sertindole in the treatment of patients who presented an exacerbation of their schizophrenic or schizoaffective disorder. The study was performed in a 12-bed psychiatric intensive care unit of a public general hospital to examine the effectiveness of sertindole in the treatment of patients admitted to an intensive psychiatric care unit.
Results. Eighteen patients with a severe overall psychopathology entered the study. Sertindole strongly improved clinical symptoms, particularly positive psychotic symptoms, anxiety-depressive symptoms and patients' global functioning. Extrapyramidal side effects were absent or minimal. Patients' compliance with treatment was excellent. Abnormalities of ejaculation, weight gain, and ventricular arrhythmia were the most serious side effects.
Conclusions. Second generation antipsychotic compounds, including sertindole, are probably more efficacious and are better tolerated than typical neuroleptics, for their safer neurological side effects profile. However, some of their side effects constitute major disadvantages for patients who need long term antipsychotic treatment.