Ask the Doctor: Clozapine and Schizophrenia

May. 30, 2014

Dr. Don Goff talks about the history of clozapine and the advantages and disadvantages about using clozapine as an antipsychotic. There is a little debate, but most agree that clozapine is the most effective antipsychotic to help with delusions, mitigating anger and reducing suicidality. Many people find it easier to reduce substance abuse if using clozapine compared to other medications. One major benefit is that clozapine doesn’t cause the same movement disorders that other medications cause, which is one reason why many people prefer using it.

There are also disadvantages including a small risk of loss of white blood cells which make it hard to fight infections and inflammation in the heart muscle. Both of these are very rare and can be prevented with frequent monitoring by a doctor. Clozapine does generally increase weight gain. However, Dr. Goff believes that clozapine can, for some people, be transformative in overcoming psychotic symptoms.  

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