Clozapine use in a forensic population in a New South Wales prison hospital

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Feb;42(2):141-6. doi: 10.1080/00048670701787529.


Objective: To document and measure various parameters and outcomes in patients prescribed clozapine in a forensic psychiatric setting.

Method: A retrospective file review was conducted on patients prescribed clozapine. Parameters and outcomes were recorded and compared against a group prescribed other antipsychotics, matched for sex and diagnosis.

Results: Patients prescribed clozapine had higher rates of substance misuse syndromes and comorbidity when compared to patients prescribed other antipsychotics. Clozapine was found to be effective in treatment of psychosis. High rates of adverse effects were noted. Discontinuation of clozapine for a variety of reasons was common.

Conclusion: Patients identified as treatment resistant who are prescribed clozapine are often more complex in the pattern of illness and subsequent needs. Clozapine is effective in the treatment of psychosis in this forensic service. Its benefits need to be balanced against the potential for adverse effects and problems ensuring adherence. Regular, objective monitoring of clinical and adverse effects would aid patient safety, clinical decision-making and future research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clozapine / adverse effects
  • Clozapine / therapeutic use*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Drug Resistance
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Health Status
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Clozapine