The intramuscular (i.m.) formulation of ziprasidone offers promise as an alternative to conventional i.m. agents for the short-term management of agitated patients with psychosis. This 7-day, randomized, open-label study evaluated the tolerability of ziprasidone i.m. and haloperidol i.m. in hospitalized patients with a psychotic disorder and moderate psychopathology. Patients received three fixed doses of ziprasidone i.m. 5 mg qid (n = 69), 10 mg qid (currently maximum recommended daily dose in USA; n = 71), 20 mg qid (n = 66), or flexible-dose/ flexible-schedule haloperidol i.m. up to 10 mg bid-qid (n = 100) for 3 days. This was followed by oral treatment with the same medication for 4 days. Ziprasidone i.m. was associated with a notably lower burden of movement disorders than haloperidol i.m. (mean 11 mg/day). No bradycardia, sinus pauses, disinhibition, confusion, excessive sedation or respiratory depression was observed with ziprasidone. No safety issues were identified with the coadministration of lorazepam with the i.m. formulations of either agent. All three ziprasidone i.m. doses and haloperidol i.m. maintained control of symptoms and, following the transition to oral treatment, symptoms remained controlled. Ziprasidone i.m. 5,10, and 20 mg qid, given for 3 days were well tolerated. The transition from i.m. to oral ziprasidone was well tolerated with continuing maintenance of symptom control.
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