In order to examine the effect of neuroleptic medication on the factor structure of schizophrenic symptomatology, 517 DSM-III-R schizophrenic in-patients enrolled in a multicenter phase II drug study were evaluated on their pre-existing neuroleptic at screening on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and after a one-week drug-free period. Separate principal components analyses of the PANSS were done at each time point. PANSS total and component scores were assessed for differences utilizing paired t-tests. Both factor analyses confirmed the five factor model (negative, positive, cognitive, excitement and depression components) explaining 51.7 and 56.2% of the variances at each time point. After medication wash-out psychopathology significantly worsened as measured by total PANSS score and by each of the components. The overall worsening of component scores appeared global and uniform, as evidenced by the fact that at washout, the proportion of individual component scores to total psychopathology remained constant for most components. The lack of change of most components in proportion to the psychopathology total is evidence for the stability of these individual psychopathological dimensions of patients while on and off neuroleptics. The results further support the validity of the five-factor model of schizophrenic psychopathology as measured by the PANSS.