Treatment with clozapine

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7067.1262 (Published 16 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1262

Black patients' low white cell counts currently mean that they cannot be treated

  1. Nigel Fisher,
  2. Barbara Baigent
  1. Consultant psychiatrist Senior pharmacist (clinical services) Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Service, Springfield Hospital, London SW17 7DJ

    EDITOR,—Clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic drug, has been proved to be effective in the pharmacological management of schizophrenia that is resistant to treatment. Up to 30% of people with schizophrenia may benefit from receiving this drug because of non-response to or intolerance of typical antipsychotics (J Kane et al, American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting, 1995).

    A major side effect of treatment with clozapine is a potentially fatal agranulocytosis. As a result, patients' white cell counts have to be monitored before and during treatment. Patients can start the drug and …

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