Acute effects of neuroleptics on unmedicated schizophrenic patients and controls

Alexander L. Miller, James W. Maas, Salvador Contreras, Ermias Seleshi, Janet E. True, Charles L Bowden, Joseph Castiglioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Acute administration of haloperidol (0.2 mg/kg) produced many more side effects in normal controls than in unmedicated schizophrenic patients. Prior to the neuroleptic challenge, both groups were on the peripheral monoamine oxidase inhibitor, debrisoquin, for at least 1 week, in order to enhance the relative contribution of CNS catecholamine metabolites to those measured in both plasma and urine. The patient group had higher plasma levels of methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) and homovanillic acid (HVA) and higher urinary MHPG output than controls, but there were no effects of haloperidol challenge, compared to placebo challenge. In both groups there were significant declines in plasma HVA levels from 8:30 am to 12 noon. These declines were unaffected by the haloperidol challenge. Explanations for the marked differences in behavioral effects of haloperidol on patients and controls include the possibility that dopamine receptor numbers were increased in the brains of the schizophrenic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1993


  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol
  • debrisoquin
  • haloperidol challenge
  • homovanillic acid
  • neuroleptic
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute effects of neuroleptics on unmedicated schizophrenic patients and controls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this