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Lovastatin for the adjunctive treatment of schizophrenia: a preliminary randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Author(s): Ghanizadeh A(1), Rezaee Z(2), Dehbozorgi S(2), Berk M(3), Akhondzadeh S(4).

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Research Center for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran; Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran; Department of Neuroscience, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address: ghanizad@sina.tums.ac.ir. (2)Research Center for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran; Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran. (3)IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia. (4)Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, South Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran.

Publication date & source: 2014, Psychiatry Res. , 219(3):431-5

While statins target many of the pathways to neuroprogression in schizophrenia, the safety and efficacy of statins for treating schizophrenia has never been examined. This is an 8-week randomized double blind controlled clinical trial examining the efficacy and safety of adjunctive lovastatin (20 mg/day) treatment or placebo for people with schizophrenia. The baseline characteristics of the two groups were not different. Endpoint changes in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total and subscale scores did not differ between the two groups. However there was a significant difference between the doses of risperidone used in the two groups. The mean dose in the lovastatin and placebo groups were 4.8(1.8) and 3.4(1.4) mg/day, respectively (P<.03). No serious adverse events were reported. Slowness of movements, muscle rigidity, increased appetite, and decreased energy were the most common adverse effects, and these rates did not differ between the two groups. This study failed to demonstrate a benefit of lovastatin on symptoms of schizophrenia. This combination was well tolerated. However, a higher dosage of risperidone was used for treating the disorder in those taking concomitant lovastatin compared to placebo.

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