Reintroduction of clozapine after perforation of the large intestine-A case report and review of the literature

Saeko Ikai, Takefumi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Uchida, Masaru Mimura, Yasuo Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To report on a patient who was successfully rechallenged with cloza - pine after perforation of the large intestine and pulmonary embolism post opera - tively, and provide a literature review on clozapine rechallenge. CASE SUMMARY: A 46-year-old Japanese man with treatment-resistant schizo - phrenia developed constipation and slight abdominal discomfort while taking clozapine 275 mg/day. He developed appendicitis, leading to perforation of the large intestine. During the postsurgery period, a partial embolism of the pulmonary artery was revealed. The patient's constipation was relieved when clozapine was discontinued, but other antipsychotics failed to control his delusions well. After thorough discussion, it was decided to rechallenge with clozapine. The low dose of clozapine 200 mg/day was tolerable for his delusion, and his constipation was managed with laxatives and exercises until 8 months after the accident. DISCUSSION: Clozapine is a gold standard medication in treatment-resistant schizophrenia but is associated with various adverse effects, some of which are life-threatening. Reintroduction of clozapine after severe adverse drug effects when other medications are not effective almost always poses a clinical dilemma for mental health professionals. A PubMed search (to January 25, 2013) using the key words clozapine and rechallenge found 50 articles. There were only sporadic positive case reports regarding the rechallenge after clozapine-related serious gastrointestinal problems. CONCLUSIONS: From the currently available evidence, most psychiatrists appear to avoid reintroduction of clozapine. However, the evidence is too weak to draw a definitive conclusion about reintroduction of this drug. Reintroduction of clozapine after initial adverse effects in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia may warrant case-by-case judgment, but needs to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e31
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Volume47
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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