Author(s): Devinsky O, Honigfeld G, Patin J
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Abstract Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic drug with minimal extrapyramidal toxicity recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for hard-to-treat schizophrenic patients. We reviewed information on 1,418 patients treated with clozapine in the United States between 1972 and 1988. Forty-one of 1,418 (2.8\%) patients had generalized tonic-clonic seizures during treatment with clozapine. Life-table analysis predicts a cumulative 10\% risk of seizures after 3.8 years of treatment. Clozapine-related seizures appear to be dose-related. High-dose therapy (greater than or equal to 600 mg/day) was associated with a greater risk of seizures (4.4\%) than medium (300 to 600 mg/day; 2.7\%) or low doses (less than 300 mg/day; 1.0\%). Also, rapid upward titration may increase seizure risk. Thirty-one of 41 patients were successfully continued on clozapine despite seizure occurrence, either with reduction of dose or addition of an antiepileptic medication. Recognition and treatment of clozapine-related seizures will become increasingly important as its use grows in the 1990s.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy