Effectiveness, Safety, and Tolerability of Risperidone in Adolescents with Schizophrenia: An Open-Label Study

Gil Zalsman*, Einat Carmon, Andrés Martin, Daniela Bensason, Abraham Weizman, Samuel Tyano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Data on risperidone's efficacy and tolerability in adolescents with schizophrenia are scarce. We found only one prospective, open-label study in this population. The aim of this open-label, prospective study was to estimate the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of risperidone treatment in adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia. Subjects were adolescent inpatients diagnosed with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition) first-episode schizophrenia by the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present Episode version. Most of the patients (10/11) were drug naïve. Improvement was assessed during the first 6 weeks of treatment using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale. Side effects were monitored using the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale, the Simpson-Angus Scale, the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale, and the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser Side Effect Rating Scale. Eleven adolescents between 15.5 and 20 years of age (mean = 17.27, SD =1.27 years) were included in this study. Risperidone in an average dose of 3.14 mg/day (SD = 1.60 mg/day) produced a significant improvement on the total PANSS score (28%, p < 0.01), BPRS score (30.11%, p < 0.01), and CGI-Severity score (31.36%, p < 0.01). Risperidone was ineffective in the treatment of negative signs as assessed by the PANSS. The major side effects were extrapyramidal side effects, somnolence, depression, and weight gain. In conclusion risperidone appears to be a safe, acceptably tolerated, and effective antipsychotic medication for the treatment of adolescent-onset schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


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