Amelioration of Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia by Escitalopram: A Double-Blind, PlaceboControlled Clinical TrialAuthor(s): Saeed Shoja Shafti
Objective: The negative symptoms of schizophrenia remain a major clinical challenge. Escitalopram is the most selective SSRI with minimal effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal uptake. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of escitalopram on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Method: This study was an eight-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of escitalopram versus placebo as an adjunctive to haloperidol (5 mg) in the treatment of 50 patients using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--4th Edition--Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for schizophrenia. Results: The primary finding of the trial was a significant diminution in the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) in the escitalopram group compared to placebo at the end of eight weeks. In this regard, most of the subscales of SANS demonstrated significant improvements. Conclusions: This study suggests a potential role for escitalopram in the amelioration of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.