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Chapter 29. Olanzapine

Jacob S. Ballon, M.D.; Donna A. Wirshing, M.D.; S. Charles Schulz, M.D.
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585623860.418555

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Excerpt

The story of specific antipsychotic medications for patients with schizophrenia and other severe psychiatric illnesses began in the early 1950s, when chlorpromazine was first given to psychotic patients in France (Delay and Bernitzer 1952). The antipsychotic qualities of this compound, as well as its "tranquilizing" effect, were dramatic and substantial. Studies performed around the world during the 1950s showed the usefulness of this new compound and the others that followed. As is well known, multicenter trials of antipsychotic medications found that the approved medications were substantially and significantly better than placebo (Cole et al. 1964). Furthermore, despite the range of chemical structures, the clinical effects were similar. In addition, the need to investigate the new medications for psychiatric illness led to improved clinical trial methodology for the field. During the 1960s, randomized and placebo-controlled trials became the standard for assessing the new medications for schizophrenia. These trials led to the neuroleptic medications becoming the standard somatic treatment for schizophrenia.

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FIGURE 29–1. Chemical structure of olanzapine.
Table Reference Number
TABLE 29–1. Shortcomings of traditional antipsychotic medications

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