Journal of psychiatric research

Granisetron as an add-on to risperidone for treatment of negative symptoms in patients with stable schizophrenia: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study.

PMID 23375406


Some 5-HT3 antagonists such as ondansetron have shown beneficial effects on negative symptoms of patients with schizophrenia. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of granisetron (another 5-HT3 antagonist) add-on therapy in the treatment of negative symptoms of patients with stable schizophrenia. In a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study, forty stable patients with schizophrenia (DSM-IV-TR), were randomized to either granisetron (1 mg twice daily) or placebo (twice daily) in addition to risperidone up to 6 mg/day for eight weeks. The patients were assessed using positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) and extrapyramidal symptom rating scale (ESRS) at baseline, week 4 and 8. Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS) was used to assess depression at baseline and week 8. Thirty-eight patients completed the trial. Granisetron group showed a significantly greater improvement on negative subscale than the placebo group at endpoint [t(38) = 6.046, mean difference (±95% CI) = 3.2(1.8-3.7), P < 0.001]. The same effect was observed for total score [t(38) = 4.168, mean difference (95% CI) = 3.2(1.6-4.7), P < 0.001]. However the placebo and granisetron groups did not differ in their reduction of positive and general psychopathology symptoms scores. HDRS scores and its changes did not differ between the two groups. The ESRS score at week 4 was significantly lower in the granisetron than the placebo group while the two groups showed similar ESRS score at week 8. Frequency of other side effects was similar between the two groups. In summary, granisetron add-on can safely and effectively reduce the primary negative symptoms of patients with schizophrenia.

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