Few clinical trials have ever generated as much buzz as the series of trials known as CATIE. CATIE stands for “Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness,” and is the only set of trials ever done comparing the major second-generation antipsychotics. And because CATIE is funded entirely by NIMH, its results are thought to be quite trustworthy (NEJM 2005;353:1209-1223).
Those of us who completed residency anytime during the last 10 years were indoctrinated against the use of conventional neuroleptics because of their array of side effects, particularly extrapyramidal syndromes (EPS) and tardive dyskinesia (TD).
Following the introduction of the first neuroleptics in the 1950s, pharmaceutical companies continued screening compounds for psychoactive properties. In 1959, at Wander Laboratories (ultimately purchased by Sandoz), researchers were surprised to discover a chemical similar to tricyclic antidepressants that had antipsychotic properties. They named it clozapine.
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.