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Keywords:

  • depressive symptom;
  • schizophrenia;
  • switch;
  • ziprasidone

Aims

The goal of this study was to examine the efficacy and safety of ziprasidone to treat depressive symptoms in Korean patients with schizophrenia who showed stable symptoms.

Methods

In this 8-week, open-label, prospective, non-randomized, multicenter study, 34 patients with schizophrenia who showed a stable response to previous medications, maintained a stable dose, and who had depressive symptoms, were recruited. Ziprasidone was the only antipsychotic agent allowed for 8 weeks after a 2–7-week washout period.

Results

Steady decreases were observed on the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale, the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale scores. The Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale score was 20.26 ± 4.77 at baseline and 12.21 ± 7.94 at the end-point (P < 0.01). The Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia score was 9.76 ± 4.11 at baseline and 5.00 ± 3.94 at the end-point (P < 0.01). The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score was 75.24 ± 22.63 at baseline and 66.53 ± 24.28 at the end-point (P < 0.01). The Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale score was 3.44 ± 0.66 at baseline and 3.15 ± 0.86 at the end-point (P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for total scores on the Simpson and Angus Rating Scale, the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale, or the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale between the baseline and end-point.

Conclusions

Ziprasidone was effective for improving depressive symptom scores and was well tolerated. Switching to ziprasidone is a good strategy in patients with schizophrenia who are experiencing depressive symptoms.