Suicide attempts in a prospective cohort of patients with schizophrenia treated with sertindole or risperidone
The incidence of suicide attempts (fatal and non-fatal) was analysed in a prospective cohort of patients with schizophrenia randomly assigned to sertindole (4905 patients) or risperidone (4904 patients) in a parallel-group open-label study with blinded classification of outcomes (the sertindole cohort prospective study - SCoP). The total exposure was 6978 and 7975 patient-years in the sertindole and risperidone groups, respectively. Suicide mortality in the study was low (0.21 and 0.28 per 100 patients per year with sertindole and risperidone, respectively). The majority (84%) of suicide attempts occurred within the first year of treatment. Cox's proportional hazards model analysis of the time to the first suicide attempt, reported by treating psychiatrists and blindly reviewed by an independent expert group according to the Columbia Classification Algorithm of Suicide Assessment (both defining suicide attempts by association of suicidal act and intent to die), showed a lower risk of suicide attempt for sertindole-treated patients than for risperidone-treated patients. The effect was statistically significant with both evaluation methods during the first year of randomized treatment (hazard ratios [95% CI]: 0.5 [0.31-0.82], p=0.006; and 0.57 [0.35-0.92], p=0.02, respectively). With classification by an independent safety committee using a broader definition including all incidences of intentional self-harm, also those without clear suicidal intent, the results were not significant. A history of previous suicide attempts was significantly associated with attempted suicides in both treatment groups.