A randomized controlled trial of allopurinol vs. placebo added on to antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
Adenosine agonists produce behavioral effects similar to dopamine antagonists, hence increasing adenosine levels might improve symptoms of schizophrenia. This hypothesis is supported by three single-site studies indicating that allopurinol, which increases adenosine levels, improved symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. We performed a multi-center, 8-week RCT of allopurinol vs. placebo added to anti-psychotic medications in 248 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Both groups showed improvement in the PANSS (effect size 1.13) and in clinical and cognitive measures. No difference was observed between groups in primary (t=0.01, p=0.992) or secondary outcome measures. These findings do not support allopurinol as a treatment for schizophrenia.
Weiser, M; Gershon, AA; Rubinstein, K; Petcu, C; Ladea, M; Sima, D; Podea, D; Keefe, RSE; Davis, JM
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