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Haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine are similarly effective for first-episode non-affective psychosis but have differing side effects

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Q Are first and second generation antipsychotics equally effective and safe for people with first-episode non-affective psychosis?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:


Embedded ImageFollow-up period:

Six weeks (treatment period only).

Embedded ImageSetting:

One outpatient and one inpatient clinic at a university hospital, Cantabria, Spain; enrolment February 2001 to February 2005.

Embedded ImagePatients:

182 adults (15–60 years old; 93% antipsychotic naive) with non-affective psychotic disorder (DSM-IV) and psychotic symptoms of moderate severity or greater (Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms). Exclusions: DSM-IV mental retardation, DSM-IV drug dependence, or ⩾6 weeks’ total lifetime adequate antipsychotic treatment.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Haloperidol (3–9 mg/day; mean modal dose 5.4 mg/day) risperidone (3–6 mg/day; mean modal dose 4 mg/day), …

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  • For correspondence: Benedicto Crespo-Facoro MD, PhD, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Department of Psychiatry, Planta 2, Edificio 2 de Noviembre, Avda Valdecilla s/m, 39008, Santander, Spain; bcfacorro{at}

  • Sources of funding: The Mental Health Services of Cantabria and Instituto de Salud Carlos III, SENY Fundatió Research Grant, Fundación Marqués de Valdecilla.


  • Competing interests: None.