Intervention Review

Sulpiride for schizophrenia

  1. Bernardo GO Soares1,*,
  2. Mark Fenton2,
  3. Pierre Chue3

Editorial Group: Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Published Online: 25 JAN 1999

Assessed as up-to-date: 24 NOV 1998

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001162

How to Cite

Soares BGO, Fenton M, Chue P. Sulpiride for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1999, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001162. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001162.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazilian Cochrane Centre, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

  2. 2

    National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs), Manchester, UK

  3. 3

    University of Alberta, Department of Psychiatry, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

*Bernardo GO Soares, Brazilian Cochrane Centre, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Pedro de Toledo 598, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04039-001, Brazil.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 25 JAN 1999




  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary


The antipsychotic drug sulpiride was formulated over 20 years ago and was marked as having a low incidence of adverse effects and an effect on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. This relatively inexpensive antipsychotic drug has a similar neuropharmacological profile to several novel atypical drugs.


To estimate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of sulpiride.

Search methods

Electronic searches of Biological Abstracts (1982-1997), CINAHL (1982-1998), Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Register (March 1998), Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 1998), EMBASE (1980-1998), MEDLINE (1966-1998), PsycLIT (1974-1997), SIGLE (1994-1998), and Sociofile (1974-1997) were supplemented by reference searching, contacting authors and the manufacturers of sulpiride.

Selection criteria

All randomised or quasi-randomised clinical trials focusing on the use of different doses of sulpiride or comparing sulpiride to (i) placebo; (ii) typical antipsychotic drugs; or (iii) atypical antipsychotic drugs, for those with schizophrenia or serious mental illness were selected.

Data collection and analysis

Trials were reliably selected and quality rated. Data were independently extracted, by two reviewers (BGOS, MF), and analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. It was assumed that people who did not complete the follow up had no improvement. Authors of trials were contacted for additional and missing data. Relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of dichotomous data were calculated with the random effects model and weighted mean difference (WMD) was calculated for continuous data.

Main results

The review currently includes 18 studies (30 citations). Studies are generally small and of poor quality. Limited evidence suggests that there is little difference between sulpiride and other drugs although the incidence of side effects may be less for sulpiride. There are no clear findings relating to negative symptoms.

Authors' conclusions

Sulpiride may be an effective antipsychotic drug but evidence is limited and data relating to claims for its value against negative symptoms is not trial-based.


Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary

Sulpiride for schizophrenia

Synopsis pending.