Adequate high doses of haloperidol have been administered to 24 chronic, refractory to standard antipsychotic treatment, schizophrenics (16 male, 8 female, mean age 32.9 years) to investigate the possibility of mobilizing and releasing these patients from the hospital. Treatment was started with 20 mg haloperidol and optimal doses were determined for each patient. The median daily optimal dose at the end of the trial was 100 mg. All patients were followed up for 16 weeks. Evaluating criteria were the BPRS, the Discharge Readiness Questionnaire, a side-effect rating scale, a CGI scale and the number of patients able to leave the hospital. 3 patients were evaluated as able to leave the hospital. 87.4% of the patients were subjectively evaluated as improved. High doses of haloperidol did not correlate with a higher incidence of unwanted effects. On the contrary antiparkinson treatment was discontinued or decreased in 14 patients. It is concluded that nonresponsive chronic schizophrenics can profit from adequate high doses of haloperidol.
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