Combination of Estrogen and Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Women with Chronic Schizophrenia: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical TrialAuthor(s): Emel Ghafari , Mohammad Fararouie , Hamidreza Ghafarian Shirazi , Arazm Farhangfar , Fateme Ghaderi , Ali Mohammadi
Introduction: Gender differences in schizophrenia include the age of onset, better treatment response, a better outcome, and the peak of the disease in postmenopausal women. Some evidence indicates that these variations are due to estrogen’s effect. The intention of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of estrogen as an adjuvant agent in the treatment of women with chronic schizophrenia. Methods: Study participants were 32 women of childbearing age with chronic schizophrenia. These patients were hospitalized in an institute for the chronically mentally ill. Participants were randomized into two groups: the first group (16 cases) received conjugated estrogens 0.625 mg/day 4 weeks with their previous antipsychotic treatment, while the second group (16 cases) received placebo booster and antipsychotics. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used as a measurement tool for assessing psychopathology. Results: The combination of conjugated estrogens with antipsychotic treatment showed a significant decrease in positive (p=0.003), negative (p<0.001), general (p<0.001) and total (p<0.001) PANSS scores over 4 weeks. Conclusions: Estrogen may be an effective adjuvant agent in the treatment of women with chronic schizophrenia.