Comparative effectiveness of second-generation antipsychotic medications in early-onset schizophrenia

Mark Olfson, Tobias Gerhard, Cecilia Huang, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, William V. Bobo, Stephen Crystal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Scant information exists to guide pharmacological treatment of early-onset schizophrenia. We examine variation across commonly prescribed second-generation antipsychotic medications in medication discontinuation and psychiatric hospital admission among children and adolescents clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia. A 45-state Medicaid claims file (2001-2005) was analyzed focusing on outpatients, aged 6-17 years, diagnosed with schizophrenia or a related disorder prior to starting a new episode of antipsychotic monotherapy with risperidone (n = 805), olanzapine (n = 382), quetiapine (n = 260), aripiprazole (n = 173), or ziprasidone (n = 125). Cox proportional hazard regressions estimated adjusted hazard ratios of 180-day antipsychotic medication discontinuation and 180-day psychiatric hospitalization for patients treated with each medication. During the first 180 days following antipsychotic initiation, most youth treated with quetiapine (70.7%), ziprasidone (73.3%), olanzapine (73.7%), risperidone (74.7%), and aripirazole (76.5%) discontinued their medication (χ2 = 1.69, df = 4, P =. 79). Compared with risperidone, the adjusted hazards of antipsychotic discontinuation did not significantly differ for any of the 4-comparator medications. The percentages of youth receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment while receiving their initial antipsychotic medication ranged from 7.19% (aripiprazole) to 9.89% (quetiapine) (χ2 = 0.79, df = 4, P =. 94). As compared with risperidone, the adjusted hazard ratio of psychiatric hospital admission was 0.96 (95% CI: 0.57-1.61) for olanzapine, 1.03 (95% CI: 0.59-1.81) for quetiapine, 0.85 (95% CI: 0.43-1.70) for aripiprazole, and 1.22 (95% CI: 0.60-2.51) for ziprasidone. The results suggest that rapid antipsychotic medication discontinuation and psychiatric hospital admission are common in the community treatment of early-onset schizophrenia. No significant differences were detected in risk of either adverse outcome across 5 commonly prescribed second-generation antipsychotic medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • antipsychotics
  • child psychiatry
  • comparative effectiveness
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative effectiveness of second-generation antipsychotic medications in early-onset schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this