Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 45 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Feb-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 15-Feb-2004
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New data suggests Seroquel improves quality of life in first episode schizophrenia

New data presented at the sixth scientific meeting of the European First Episode Schizophrenia Network, show that patients suffering their first episode of psychosis benefit from significant symptom improvement and enhancement of overall quality of life, when treated with the atypical antipsychotic, Seroquel (quetiapine).

Interim one year follow-up results of the two year Southwark First Onset Psychosis Team (F1RST) study in London, UK, demonstrate that patients treated with quetiapine presented statistically significant improvements across positive, negative and depressive symptoms after six weeks of treatment, and that these improvements were sustained over one year. Improvements were also noted in quality of life and reported side effects were negligible.

Dr Lyn Pilowsky, lead investigator of the (F1RST) study, based at the Institute of Psychiatry, London commented, "The onset of first episode psychosis is a critical period where patients can be highly responsive to therapy, but may also have greater sensitivity to treatment side effects, particularly extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS).

Treatments need to manage the symptoms effectively, and not cause the debilitating side effects that can be associated with some medications. Our study demonstrates that quetiapine achieves these requirements well."

Dr Pilowsky concluded, "Clinicians should recognise that these findings support the use of quetiapine in the early treatment of first-episode schizophrenia. Feedback also tells us that patients in our study responded well to the (F1RST) team's unique and positive approach."

The F1RST study is a detailed evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of quetiapine in a cohort of 33 patients experiencing first-episode psychosis. Measures used to rate efficacy in terms of symptom severity included the PANSS, the CDS, and the CGI scales. Overall function was rated with the GAS. Subjective qualify of life was rated with the SQLS, and health service use with the Client Service Receipt Inventory. Attitude to medication was rated with the DAI.

PANSS: Positive and Negative Symptom Scale
CDS: Calgary Depression Scale
CGI: Clinical Global Impression
GAS: Global Assessment Scale
SQLS: Self-report Quality of Life Measure for People with Schizophrenia
DAI: Drug Attitude Inventory


1 Pilowsky L, et al. Quetiapine treatment of first episode psychosis: the Southwark First Onset Psychosis Service (F1RST): a follow-up study of quetiapine. Presented at European First Episode Schizophrenia Network Meeting, February 2004, Davos, Switzerland.

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