Antipsychotics - clozapine

It is beginning to strike me that the market for psycho-active prescription medicines is broader in NL than in UK. Having covered clozapine this weekend in this comparison, I am surprised by the difference in monitoring requirements. Clozapine (Clozaril in UK and Leponex in NL) can cause serious abnormalities in blood cell counts (agranulocytosis), which is known to be fatal in certain cases. Clozapine is an important substance, as it can be used when other anti-psychotics fail or are not tolerated. One of the main side-effects of many anti-psychotics are extra-piramidal effects (Parkinson-like symptoms, such as tremors). Clozapine does not have this side-effect, but the risk of fatal agranulocytosis makes it impossible for this compound to be first choice.

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