Risperidone is a new benzisoxazole derivative displaying a very potent serotonin antagonism and a potent dopamine antagonism in pharmacological studies. These properties suggest the hypothesis that risperidone may exert antipsychotic effects and be superior to classic neuroleptics in its beneficial effects on negative and affective symptoms and its low extrapyramidal side-effect propensity. In an open pilot study 13 patients suffering from acute schizophrenic psychosis were treated with risperidone within an individually adapted dose range from 1 to 10 mg per day. A good antipsychotic efficacy could be demonstrated in 6 of the 8 patients who completed the trial. Risperidone was very well tolerated. The substance possesses a low EPS-inducing profile. Future research has to test the suggested advantage of risperidone over other neuroleptic drugs and its performance in the treatment of chronic schizophrenic patients.
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