Meta-analysis of clozapine and insomnia in schizophrenia

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INTRODUCTION: Insomnia commonly occurs in schizophrenia, and insomnia is associated with suicide risk. Clozapine has anti-suicidal properties and beneficial effects on sleep. We performed a meta-analysis of insomnia in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of patients with schizophrenia treated with clozapine. We hypothesized that compared to clozapine there is an increased odds of insomnia in patients treated with other antipsychotics.

METHODS: We systematically searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases. We included RCTs, in English, with data on insomnia in patients with schizophrenia treated with clozapine versus other antipsychotics. Data were pooled using a random effects model.

RESULTS: Eight RCTs (1952 patients: 922 on clozapine and 1030 on other antipsychotics) met inclusion criteria. Patients treated with other antipsychotics versus clozapine had a significant increased odds of insomnia (22.3 % versus 12.4 %, OR = 2.20, 95 % CI = 1.64-2.94, p < 0.01). Olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone were each associated with significant increased odds of insomnia compared to clozapine. In meta-regression analyses, clozapine dose, publication year, sex, trial duration, and study quality score were unrelated to the association; however, there was a significant association with age. The observed ORs for insomnia from RCTs were almost perfectly correlated with reported ORs from pharmacovigilance data.

CONCLUSION: Clozapine is associated with significantly less insomnia compared to other antipsychotics. Findings provide additional evidence for improvement in sleep as a potential pathway underlying clozapine's anti-suicidal properties. A greater mechanistic understanding of this association is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online dateJan 18 2023
StatePublished - Jan 18 2023


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