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Molindone for schizophrenia and severe mental illness.

Author(s): Bagnall A, Fenton M, Lewis R, Leitner ML, Kleijnen J

Affiliation(s): NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, North Yorkshire, UK, YO10 5DD. amb13@york.ac.uk

Publication date & source: 2000, Cochrane Database Syst Rev., (2):CD002083.

Publication type: Review

BACKGROUND: Typical antipsychotic drugs are widely used as the first line treatment for people with schizophrenia. However, the atypical class of antipsychotic drugs is making important inroads into this approach. 'Atypical' is a term widely used to describe some antipsychotics which have a low propensity to produce movement disorders, sedation and raised serum prolactin. There is some suggestion that the different adverse effect profiles of the atypical antipsychotic group make them more acceptable to people with schizophrenia. Molindone has a similar profile to quetiapine (a novel atypical antipsychotic), with very low binding to all receptors. Some authors have suggested that molindone is safer than other 'typical' antipsychotics in that extrapyramidal adverse effects are not usually seen at clinically effective antipsychotic doses and that it should therefore be classed as an atypical antipsychotic. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of molindone compared with placebo, typical and other atypical antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia and related psychoses. SEARCH STRATEGY: Electronic searches of Biological Abstracts (1980-1999), The Cochrane Library CENTRAL (Issue 1, 1999), The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Register (January 1999), CINAHL (1982-1999), EMBASE (1980-1999), MEDLINE (1966-1999), LILACS (1982-1999), PSYNDEX (1977-1999), and PsycLIT (1974-1999) were undertaken. In addition, pharmaceutical databases on the Dialog Corporation Datastar and Dialog services were searched. References of all identified studies were searched for further trials. The manufacturer of molindone and authors of trials were contacted. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised controlled trials that compared molindone to other treatments for schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychoses were included by independent assessment. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Citations and, where possible, abstracts were independently inspected by reviewers, papers ordered, re-inspected and quality assessed. Data were independently extracted. Data were excluded if loss to follow up was greater than 50%. For homogeneous dichotomous data the risk ratio (RR), 95% confidence interval (CI) and, where appropriate, the number needed to treat (NNT) were calculated on an intention-to-treat basis. For continuous data, weighted mean differences (WMD) were calculated. All data were inspected for heterogeneity. MAIN RESULTS: Thirteen studies were included in the review. Data for this compound range from very short (10 day) studies of the intramuscular preparation to trials lasting over three months. For measures of global state available data do not justify any conclusions on the comparative efficacy of molindone and placebo. When compared to other typical antipsychotics no difference in effectiveness was evidenced (doctors' RR 1.13, CI 0.69 to 1.86; nurses' RR 1.23, CI 0.82 to 1.86). It is no more or less likely than typical drugs to cause movement disorders, but causes significantly more weight loss (RR 2.78, CI 1.10 to 6.99). REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: The strength of the evidence relating to this compound is limited, owing to small sample size, poor study design, limited outcomes and incomplete reporting. Molindone may be an effective antipsychotic; however, its adverse effect profile does not differ significantly from that of typical antipsychotics, apart from the event of weight loss. At present there is no evidence to suggest that it may have an atypical profile.

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