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The long-term efficacy and safety of risperidone were evaluated in patients with chronic schizophrenia in an open-label study. Thirty-two patients received risperidone for 1 year and 19 of the 32 received risperidone for 2 years. The mean dose of risperidone was 9.4 mg/d in the 1-year follow-up and 8 mg/d in the 2-year follow-up. At the end of 1 and 2 years, improvements were found in total scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), on four PANSS factors (positive, negative, excited, and cognitive), and the Clinical Global Impression scale. Severity of extrapyramidal symptoms (based on scores on the Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale) was also reduced. Clinical improvement (defined as a 20% or more reduction in total PANSS scores) was shown by 54% of the patients at end point. Social functioning (as assessed by using the modified Straus/Carpenter scale) was significantly improved after 2 years. Number of days spent in hospitals was significantly reduced during the 2 years of treatment, and the number of days in treatment (group) homes significantly increased. It is concluded that treatment with risperidone for 1 and 2 years is associated with significant reductions in symptoms of schizophrenia, improved social functioning, and reduction in days spent in the hospital.
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© 1995 Published by Elsevier Inc.