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New Seroquel data show significant improvement in compliance and cognition in schizophrenia


Patients with schizophrenia who are treated with the atypical antipsychotic SEROQUEL (Quetiapine) show significantly superior rates of treatment compliance compared to patients treated with other atypical and typical antipsychotics, according to new data presented today at the American Psychiatry Association (APA) meeting in Atlanta, USA. Additional data presented today also showed improved cognitive functioning for patients with schizophrenia who are treated with SEROQUEL.

The compliance study is one of the few to compare both atypical antipsychotics with each other as well as with typical antipsychotics in schizophrenia. The findings show SEROQUEL to have the highest compliance rate of both typicals and atypicals, which was significantly (P<0.05) greater than that of risperidone (6% greater) and olanzapine (4% greater). These are welcome results in a patient environment where up to 50% of patients fail to comply with their prescribed medication, leading to an increased risk of relapse. This can result in the need for rehospitalisation and potential for high socioeconomic costs.

"Compliance with medication is fundamental to a successful treatment outcome in schizophrenia. However, all too often patients have to struggle with medications that cause distressing side effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), increased prolactin levels leading to galactorroeha and sexual dysfunction, which makes complying with treatment a challenge many patients find too difficult to overcome" commented Dr Michael Riedel from the Munich University Hospital, Germany. "It is critical therefore that medications are not only effective in treating symptoms but are also well tolerated, which is where atypicals such as SEROQUEL are able to offer patients an improved outcome."

Cognitive Function

Two other studies presented at this year’s APA meeting compared the cognitive benefits of SEROQUEL and risperidone in patients with schizophrenia, demonstrating improvements in cognitive function among Seroquel-treated patients:

  • In a randomized, double-blind study of 44 patients, both SEROQUEL and risperidone improved cognition in patients with schizophrenia over a 6-week period. However, SEROQUEL (at a mean dose of 566.7 mg/day) produced significantly greater improvements in working and verbal memory than risperidone (p<0.01 and p<0.05 vs risperidone, respectively), with a significantly lower incidence of EPS, a highly distressing treatment-induced side effect
  • In an 8-week, double-blind, flexible-dose, parallel study randomizing 673 patients with schizophrenia, cognitive benefits of SEROQUEL (mean modal dose of 530 mg/day) and risperidone were compared. Both medications were associated with overall improvements in cognitive functioning (p<0.01) versus baseline.

"It is encouraging to see that SEROQUEL appears to be at least as effective as risperidone in improving cognitive function while also demonstrating a superior side effect profile in terms of extrapyramidal symptoms" continued Dr. Riedel. "Cognitive impairment is a serious symptom but one which is sometimes perceived as less important than some other symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. However, recent studies have found that cognitive function is directly related to many areas of social interaction, and can limit an individual from being able to benefit fully from rehabilitation programmes. That is why treating these symptoms effectively is so important."

SEROQUEL has been licensed for the treatment of schizophrenia since 1997 and is available in 82 countries for the treatment of this condition. Results of recent studies show that 600mg/day is an efficacious SEROQUEL dose in patients with schizophrenia. SEROQUEL is also licensed in 63 countries for the treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder, including the US, Canada and several European countries. To date, over 8 million people have been treated with SEROQUEL worldwide.

Sarah Fraser | EurekAlert!
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