Why was Clozapine chosen as the comparison medication for the efficacy pathway?Tweet
Choosing Clozapine for Treating Schizophrenia
Clozapine is a type of antipsychotic medication. This is rather the only medicine that showed promise to be more effective than any other antipsychotics in controlling psychotic symptoms. Although it has best set of results among Schizophrenics, unfortunately, clozapine is associated with serious side effects as well. The typical side effects includes life-threatening blood and heart complications such as agranulocytosis (decreased white blood cell count) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).
Due to the existing severe side effects, people who are prescribed Clozapine should be monitored very closely specially for heart related ailments. They should be taken through blood tests regularly.
One of my distant uncle started to show the symptoms of Schizophrenia in his early 60's and the symptoms started getting worse in about 1 year. After that he developed psychotic symptoms and was recommended to take Clozapine. It contributed towards some good days, but my uncle soon started developing heart disease related symptoms. He in his 63rd year got a myocardial infarction and was urgently recommended surgery. In his case the side effects of Clozapine were high and they enhanced due to the age factor.
Care while giving Clozapine
Due to the mentioned safety concerns, current psychology practice guidelines limit the use of clozapine for treating people with schizophrenia who have not gotten better on other antipsychotic medications. However, many doctors and patients find clozapine's potential side effects and monitoring requirements too burdensome and are reluctant to consider using clozapine even where it might be helpful.