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Chlorpromazine versus reserpine for schizophrenia

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (75th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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6 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Wikipedia page


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19 Mendeley
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Chlorpromazine versus reserpine for schizophrenia
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012122.pub2
Pubmed ID

Selin Nur, Clive E Adams


In the 1940s reserpine, refined from a plant extract that had been used for centuries, began to be used as a treatment for people with mental disorders and was one of the very first antipsychotic drugs. Its irreversible pharmacological potency and adverse effects meant that it has been withdrawn in the UK and its role has been superceded by 'newer' compounds. The effects of reserpine are of historical interest although there are some reports of it still being used in highly specialist situations in psychiatry. Chlorpromazine is also an old drug but it is still used for treatment of people with schizophrenia. To investigate the effects of two old medications (reserpine and chlorpromazine) for people with schizophrenia. Reserpine is now rarely used while chlorpromazine remains on the essential list of drugs of the World Health Organization (WHO). We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Study-Based Register of Trials (24 March 2016). We included randomised clinical trials focusing on chlorpromazine versus reserpine for schizophrenia that presented useable data. We extracted data independently. For binary outcomes, we calculated risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI), on an intention-to-treat basis. We employed a fixed-effect model for analyses. We assessed risk of bias for included studies and created a 'Summary of findings' table using GRADE. The review currently includes nine studies with an average 60 participants per study. All of these studies are now over 60 years old, conducted between 1955 and 1962. When chlorpromazine was compared with reserpine for people with schizophrenia, improvement in global state was better at short term for those receiving chlorpromazine (n = 781, 6 RCTs, RR 'not improved' 0.75 95% CI 0.62 to 0.92, low-quality evidence). Short-term improvement in paranoid distortion was measured using the Multidimensional Scale for Rating Psychiatric Patients (MSRPP). Data showed no clear difference between treatment groups (n = 19, 1 RCT, RR 1.33 95% CI 0.62 to 2.89, very low-quality evidence). There was no difference in functioning: occupational adjustment, medium term (n = 40, 1 RCT, RR 0.83 95% CI 0.47 to 1.47, moderate-quality evidence) and general behaviour (n = 98, 1 RCT, RR 0.79 CI 0.41 to 1.53, moderate-quality evidence). Adverse events were poorly reported. For 'toxic reaction' there was, again, no obvious difference between the two compounds (n = 210, 3 RCTs, RR 1.68 95% CI 0.43 to 6.54, moderate-quality evidence), and this also applied to leaving the study early (n = 229, 4 RCTs, RR 1.16 95% CI 0.94 to 1.42, moderate-quality evidence). Judged by standards of today, the evidence is largely of limited quality. However, some of these 1950s studies are remarkable in their foresight and clarity. Reserpine did have some effect on global state - but chlorpromazine did seem to perform better. Important issues regarding adverse effects were not really addressed by these trials. Chlorpromazine remains on the WHO list of essential drugs. Reserpine is now almost obsolete, although, probably as a result of evidence other than that reported in the pioneering trials used in this review.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 19 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 19 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 7 37%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 21%
Unspecified 3 16%
Researcher 2 11%
Librarian 1 5%
Other 2 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 5 26%
Unspecified 5 26%
Nursing and Health Professions 4 21%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 11%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 1 5%
Other 2 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 6. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 December 2018.
All research outputs
of 12,433,943 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 8,603 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 267,761 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 145 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,433,943 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 78th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,603 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.4. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 267,761 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 145 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 43rd percentile – i.e., 43% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.