PLoS ONE (Jan 2014)

An eight-year clinic experience with clozapine use in a Parkinson's disease clinic setting.

  • Nawaz Hack,
  • Sarah M Fayad,
  • Erin H Monari,
  • Umer Akbar,
  • Angela Hardwick,
  • Ramon L Rodriguez,
  • Irene A Malaty,
  • Janet Romrell,
  • Aparna A Wagle Shukla,
  • Nikolaus McFarland,
  • Herbert E Ward,
  • Michael S Okun

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 3
p. e91545


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BackgroundTo examine our eight year clinic-based experience in a Parkinson's disease expert clinical care center using clozapine as a treatment for refractory psychosis in Parkinson's disease (PD).MethodsThe study was a retrospective chart review which covered eight years of clozapine registry use. Statistical T-tests, chi-square, correlations and regression analysis were used to analyze treatment response for potential associations of age, disease duration, and Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) score, and degree of response to clozapine therapy.ResultsThere were 36 participants included in the analysis (32 PD, 4 parkinsonism-plus). The characteristics included 30.6% female, age 45-87 years (mean 68.3±10.15), disease duration of 17-240 months (mean 108.14±51.13) and H&Y score of 2 to 4 (mean 2.51±0.51). The overall retention rate on clozapine was 41% and the most common reasons for discontinuation were frequent blood testing (28%), nursing home (NH) placement (11%) and leucopenia (8%). Responses to clozapine across the cohort were: complete (33%), partial (33%), absent (16%), and unknown (16%). Age (r = -0.36, p0.05).ConclusionsThis single-center experience highlights the challenges associated with clozapine therapy in PD psychosis. Frequent blood testing remains a significant barrier for clozapine, even in patients with therapeutic benefit. Surprisingly, all patients admitted to a NH discontinued clozapine due to logistical issues of administration and monitoring within that setting. Consideration of the barriers to clozapine therapy will be important to its use and to its continued success in an outpatient setting.