Effectiveness of sulpiride in adult patients with schizophrenia

Schizophr Bull. 2013 May;39(3):673-83. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs002. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness among sulpiride, risperidone, olanzapine, and haloperidol by evaluating the persistence of drug use. A retrospective cohort study was conducted by analyzing the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Patients with schizophrenia aged 18-65 years and newly prescribed with a single oral antipsychotic medication between years 2003 and 2008 were included. The primary outcome was the persistence of antipsychotic agents by calculating the treatment duration till treatment changed. All defined treatment changes were also analyzed separately, including discontinuation, switching, augmentation, and hospitalization. A total of 1324 eligible patients were included, with an average age of 36 years old and approximately 45% of them were female. The most prevalent antipsychotic use was risperidone (42.1%), followed by sulpiride (36.0%), haloperidol (14.2%), and olanzapine (7.7%). After adjusting for patient demographics, mental illness characteristics, and propensity score, the Cox regression models found that the risk of nonpersistence was significantly higher in patients receiving risperidone (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.40), haloperidol (HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.63-2.40), and olanzapine (HR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.07-1.68), as compared with sulpiride, suggesting the effectiveness of sulpiride was better than the other 3 antipsychotics. Therefore, this study would provide strong grounds for a properly conducted randomized controlled trial of the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of sulpiride vs atypical antipsychotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Haloperidol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olanzapine
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risperidone / therapeutic use*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Sulpiride / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sulpiride
  • Haloperidol
  • Risperidone
  • Olanzapine