Risperidone decreases craving and relapses in individuals with schizophrenia and cocaine dependence

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Veterans Affairs



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Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Antipsychotic Agents; Cocaine-Related Disorders; Comorbidity; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Motivation; Pilot Projects; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Recurrence; Risperidone; Schizophrenia; *Schizophrenic Psychology; Substance Withdrawal Syndrome




OBJECTIVE: To examine the efficacy of atypical neuroleptics for decreasing craving and drug relapses during protracted withdrawal in individuals dually diagnosed with schizophrenia and cocaine dependence.

METHOD: We conducted a 6-week, open-label pilot study comparing risperidone with typical neuroleptics in a sample of withdrawn cocaine-dependent schizophrenia patients.

RESULTS: Preliminary results suggest that individuals treated with risperidone had significantly less cue-elicited craving and substance abuse relapses at study completion. Further, they showed a trend toward a greater reduction in negative and global symptoms of schizophrenia.

CONCLUSION: Atypical neuroleptics may help reduce craving and relapses in this population. Future research should include more rigorous double-blind placebo-controlled studies with this class of medications.

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Citation: Can J Psychiatry. 2002 Sep;47(7):671-5.

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