This study aimed to investigate the effects of treatment with haloperidol, olanzapine and risperidone on cardiovascular variability in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia by means of spectral analysis. Unmedicated patients (n = 18) had a higher mean heart rate and a tendency for a lower high-frequency power of heart rate variability than healthy control subjects (n = 57), indicating a decreased cardiac vagal control in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia. Patients treated with haloperidol (n = 10) showed significantly lower low-frequency power of heart rate and systolic blood pressure variability compared with olanzapine-treated patients, suggesting that haloperidol attenuated sympathetic functioning. On the contrary, olanzapine-treated patients (n = 10) showed the highest power in the low-frequency range of heart rate and systolic blood pressure variability, suggesting an increased sympathetic cardiac functioning. No significant effects of risperidone (n = 13) were found. None of the antipsychotic agents differed in their parasympathetic cardiovascular effects. We conclude that young, unmedicated patients with schizophrenia differed from controls in their parasympathetic functioning, but the antipsychotic agents haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine induced only minor cardiovascular side effects

Additional Metadata
Keywords Adult, Antipsychotic Agents/*adverse effects/therapeutic use, Benzodiazepines/*adverse effects/therapeutic use, Blood Pressure/drug effects, Electrocardiography/drug effects, Female, Haloperidol/*adverse effects/therapeutic use, Heart Rate/drug effects, Hemodynamics/*drug effects, Humans, Male, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risperidone/*adverse effects/therapeutic use, Schizophrenia/drug therapy/*physiopathology, Sex Characteristics, Smoking/psychology, Young Adult
Persistent URL,
Journal Journal of Psychopharmacology
Hempel, R.J, Tulen, J.H.M, van Beveren, N.J.M, Röder, C.H, & Hengeveld, M.W. (2009). Cardiovascular variability during treatment with haloperidol, olanzapine or risperidone in recent-onset schizophrenia. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 23(6), 697–707. doi:10.1177/0269881108091254