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Sodium benzoate augments clozapine for schizophrenia

10 Feb 2018
The second generation injection may cost up to HK$5000 per month.

Sodium benzoate appears to augment the effects of clozapine, according to a recent study, which shows that the combination therapy results in significant improvements in symptomatology in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia patients.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 60 schizophrenia patients stabilized with clozapine who were randomized to receive one of three add-on treatments: 1 g/day of sodium benzoate (n=20), 2 g/day of sodium benzoate (n=20) or placebo (n=20). Add-on treatment was administered for an additional 60 days.

Both doses of sodium benzoate yielded significantly greater changes from baseline in the Scales for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS-20) scores relative to placebo at 6 weeks (p=0.029 for 1 g; p=0.031 for 2 g).

In comparison, only the 2-g sodium benzoate treatment resulted in significant 6-week improvements in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores compared with placebo (p=0.006).

Scores in the quality of life scale were also significantly better in the 2-g sodium benzoate vs placebo group at 6 weeks (p=0.009). No such effect was observed with 1 g of the add-on treatment.

In terms of secondary outcomes, neither 1 g or 2 g of add-on sodium benzoate resulted in significant 6-week improvements in depression, as per the Hamilton rating scale for depression (p=0.729 and p=0.114, respectively), and endpoint improvements in cognitive function (p=0.185 and p=0.930, respectively).

Minimal extrapyramidal syndrome was reported in all three groups both at baseline and at the conclusion of the study.

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Most Read Articles
4 days ago
Routinely used for treating cardiovascular diseases, statins have been shown to benefit other conditions, and new evidence suggests that using the drug at high intensity reduces the risk of hip or knee replacement, an effect that may be specific to rheumatoid arthritis.
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Following vegan and vegetarian diets, which offer plenty of what is good for health, has been reported to have a downside: an increased risk of depression and anxiety, especially for younger adults.
Pearl Toh, 29 Jun 2020
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