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Add-On Therapy to Clozapine Improves Schizophrenia Symptoms

February 07, 2018

Sodium benzoate as an add-on therapy to clozapine is associated with symptom improvement in patients with clozapine-resistant schizophrenia, a recent study found.

For their study, the researchers assessed 60 patients with schizophrenia that had been stabilized with clozapine. Patients were randomly assigned to add-on treatment with either 1 g/day sodium benzoate, 2 g/day sodium benzoate, or placebo.

Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score, Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, Quality of Life Scale, and Global Assessment of Functioning scores were measured, as well as side effects and cognitive function.

Results showed that both doses of sodium benzoate were associated with greater improvement vs placebo in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms. Additionally, the 2 g/day dose of sodium benzoate improved symptoms better than placebo in the PANSS-total score, PANSS-positive score, and Quality of Life Scale.

The researchers noted that sodium benzoate was well tolerated without evident side effects.

“Sodium benzoate adjuvant therapy improved symptomatology of patients with clozapine-resistant schizophrenia,” the researchers concluded. “Further studies are warranted to elucidate the optimal dose and treatment duration as well as the mechanisms of sodium benzoate for clozapine-resistant schizophrenia.”

—Christina Vogt

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