Diminished suicidal and aggressive behavior, high plasma norepinephrine levels, and serum triglyceride levels in chronic neuroleptic-resistant schizophrenic patients maintained on clozapine

Clin Neuropharmacol. 1998 Jul-Aug;21(4):245-50.


Impulsiveness and aggressiveness may be the most common behavioral correlates of central serotonergic dysfunction. The aim of this study was to determine whether clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic agent with a potent serotonergic antagonistic activity, affects impulsiveness and aggression. Its effects on serum lipids, platelet-poor plasma serotonin (5-HT), and norepinephrine (NE) levels were also studied. Thirty neuroleptic-resistant chronic schizophrenic patients, maintained on clozapine for 1 year, were evaluated for aggressiveness, impulsiveness, and suicidality in comparison with 30 chronic schizophrenic patients maintained on classical antipsychotic agents for the same period of time. Clozapine treatment was associated with less impulsiveness (p < 0.05), aggressiveness (p < 0.01) and fewer suicidal attempts (p < 0.05). Serum triglycerides and plasma NE levels were significantly higher (p < 0.01 and p < 0.0001, respectively) in the patients treated with clozapine, as compared with patients treated with classical neuroleptic drugs. The authors conclude that long-term clozapine treatment may be effective in controlling aggressive, impulsive, and suicidal behavior in neuroleptic-resistant chronic schizophrenic patients. The elevated plasma NE levels in patients treated with clozapine as compared to those treated with classical neuroleptic drugs may be relevant for the anti-aggressive/antisuicidal activity of clozapine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clozapine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Schizophrenia / blood*
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Serotonin / blood
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Serotonin
  • Clozapine
  • Norepinephrine