Background: In controlled studies of patients with schizophrenia, the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine has been shown to be more effective in the treatment of positive and negative symptoms compared with haloperidol at doses of 10 mg/day. However, little is known about the efficacy of olanzapine in patients with psychotic mood disorders. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of olanzapine in the treatment of these psychotic mood disorders in comparison with nonaffective psychotic disorders and to identify clinical factors associated with olanzapine response.
Method: In a naturalistic setting, by reviewing medical records, we assessed response to olanzapine and factors associated with response to olanzapine in 150 consecutive patients newly treated with the drug at a nonprofit academic psychiatric hospital.
Results: Patients displaying a moderate-to-marked response to olanzapine were more likely to be younger; be female; receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder; and have a shorter duration of illness, shorter length of stay prior to olanzapine, and longer duration of trial.
Conclusion: Olanzapine may be a useful alternative or adjunctive treatment for patients with bipolar disorder.