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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2012 September;53(3):197-215

language: English

Clozapine, an overview of clinical pharmacology, efficacy and safety

Scheltema Beduin A. A. 1, Baken B. C. M. 2, Van Os S. 2, De Haan L. 1

1 Department of Early Psychosis, Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;
2 Synthon BV, Nijmegen, the Netherlands


Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic compound which has an unique place in the treatment of schizophrenia. In addition clozapine has been reported to be efficacious in the treatment of psychotic symptoms in Parkinson’s disease, mood disorders, tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia, Huntington’s disease and patients with head injury. Some studies suggest clozapine could be of benefit in the treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Due to its risk of producing agranulocytosis its use is limited to therapy-resistant cases and patients who do not tolerate conventional antipsychotics. For safe use the dose should be increased gradually and weekly monitoring of white blood cell count is needed during the first 18 weeks of treatment. Other side-effects associated with clozapine are seizures, exacerbations of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, cardiovascular disorders, diabetic ketoacidosis, gastro-intestinal hypomotility, hypersalivation and weight gain.

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