Drug withdrawal in chronic schizophrenic patients: In search of neuroleptic-induced supersensitivity psychosis

Daniel R. Weinberger, Llewellyn B. Bigelow, Susan T. Klein, Richard Jed Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As a test of the hypothesis that neuroleptics can induce a psychosis secondary to dopamine receptor supersensitivity, we examined the behavioral ratings of 20 symptomatic chronic schizophrenic patients who were withdrawn from neuroleptic drugs and maintained drug free for 4 wk. We hypothesized that, if supersensitivity existed, it might be reflected in a drug-free course characterized by an initial phase of exacerbation followed by improvement (a “hump”). Four patients had such a course. No patient had the inverse of this hypothesized course (improvement followed by relapse). The implications of this finding and problems inherent in testing the supersensitivity psychosis hypothesis are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-123
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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