Background: Atypical antipsychotics effectively reduce maladaptive behavior in individuals with mental retardation, yet bring significant weight gain and metabolic anomalies. Ziprasidone, a weight-neutral antipsychotic in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, has not been studied in a population with mental retardation and maladaptive behaviors.
Method: Forty patients with mental retardation and maladaptive behaviors who had gained excessive weight or were inadequately responsive to other agents were switched to ziprasidone. Weight, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and frequency of maladaptive behavior were recorded at baseline and after 6 months of ziprasidone treatment.
Results: Ziprasidone treatment was associated with a significant weight loss of 8.1 lb (3.6 kg) as well as a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides (p < or =.05). The monthly frequency of the maladaptive behavior remained unchanged or improved in 72% (18/25) of the patients in whom maladaptive behavior was assessed.
Conclusion: Ziprasidone effectively reduces the frequency of maladaptive behavior in a patient group with mental retardation without causing weight gain or metabolic disturbances.