Risperidone versus placebo for schizophrenia

Ranganath D. Rattehalli, Sai Zhao, Bao Guo Li, Mahesh B. Jayaram, Jun Xia, Stephanie Sampson

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Risperidone is the first new-generation antipsychotic drug made available in the market in its generic form. Objectives: To determine the clinical effects, safety and cost-effectiveness of risperidone compared with placebo for treating schizophrenia. Search methods: On 19th October 2015, we searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register, which is based on regular searches of CINAHL, BIOSIS, AMED, EMBASE, PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and registries of clinical trials. We checked the references of all included studies and contacted industry and authors of included studies for relevant studies and data. Selection criteria: Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) comparing oral risperidone with placebo treatments for people with schizophrenia and/or schizophrenia-like psychoses. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently screened studies, assessed the risk of bias of included studies and extracted data. For dichotomous data, we calculated the risk ratio (RR), and the 95% confidence interval (CI) on an intention-to-treat basis. For continuous data, we calculated mean differences (MD) and the 95% CI. We created a 'Summary of findings table' using GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation). Main results: The review includes 15 studies (N = 2428). Risk of selection bias is unclear in most of the studies, especially concerning allocation concealment. Other areas of risk such as missing data and selective reporting also caused some concern, although not affected on the direction of effect of our primary outcome, as demonstrated by sensitivity analysis. Many of the included trials have industry sponsorship of involvement. Nonetheless, generally people in the risperidone group are more likely to achieve a significant clinical improvement in mental state (6 RCTs, N = 864, RR 0.64, CI 0.52 to 0.78, very low-quality evidence). The effect withstood, even when three studies with >50% attrition rate were removed from the analysis (3 RCTs, N = 589, RR 0.77, CI 0.67 to 0.88). Participants receiving placebo were less likely to have a clinically significant improvement on Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI) than those receiving risperidone (4 RCTs, N = 594, RR 0.69, CI 0.57 to 0.83, very low-quality evidence). Overall, the risperidone group was 31% less likely to leave early compared to placebo group (12 RCTs, N = 2261, RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.78, low-quality evidence), but Incidence of significant extrapyramidal side effect was more likely to occur in the risperidone group (7 RCTs, N = 1511, RR 1.56, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.15, very low-quality evidence). When risperidone and placebo were augmented with clozapine, there is no significant differences between groups for clinical response as defined by a less than 20% reduction in PANSS/BPRS scores (2 RCTs, N = 98, RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.42, low-quality evidence) and attrition (leaving the study early for any reason) (3 RCTs, N = 167, RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.42, low quality evidence). One study measured clinically significant responses using the CGI, no effect was evident (1 RCT, N = 68, RR 1.12 95% CI 0.87 to 1.44, low quality evidence). No data were available for extrapyramidal adverse effects. Authors' conclusions: Based on low quality evidence, risperidone appears to be benefitial in improving mental state compared with placebo, but it also causes more adverse events. Eight out of the 15 included trials were funded by pharmaceutical companies. The currently available evidence isvery low to low quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD006918
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Risperidone versus placebo for schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this