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A clinical trial was undertaken to determine the role of dopaminergic and noradrenergic blockers in the maintenance treatment of remitted schizophrenics. One hundred and six remitted schizophrenic outpatients were treated with one of nine treatments, viz., thioridazine 25 mg or 75 mg, pimozide 2 mg or 6 mg, and their respective combinations, for 1 year in a double-blind controlled study employing a randomized design. The data from a previous study were utilized as a retrospective placebo group. Pimozide prolonged the number of symptom-free days in a dose-dependent manner and did so more markedly than thioridazine. Combined administration of pimozide and thioridazine prolonged the number of symptom-free days to a greater extent than their single administration. However, an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve was obtained with the combined administration of these agents. These data suggest that both the dopaminergic and noradrenergic blocking action of neuroleptics are important in preventing relapse in remitted schizophrenics.
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Received in revised form: June 12, 1985
Received: February 27, 1985
© 1985 Published by Elsevier Inc.