The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Brief Report

Donepezil effects on mood in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder

S. Craig Risch a1c1, Michael D. Horner a2, Susan R. McGurk a3, Simmy Palecko a1, John S. Markowitz a2, Ziad Nahas a2 and C. Lindsay DeVane a2
a1 University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
a2 Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
a3 Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA

Article author query
risch sc   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
horner md   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mcgurk sr   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
palecko s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
markowitz js   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nahas z   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
devane cl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Donepezil, 5 mg/d for 6 wk then 10 mg/d for 6 wk, and placebo daily for 12 wk in a double-blind cross-over paradigm, was added to the therapeutic regimen of 13 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders, clinically stable on atypical antipsychotic medications. Patients had varying degrees of depressive symptoms, ranging from no depression to clinically significant depression. There was no worsening or induction of depression in individual patients or the group as a whole. In addition there was a statistically significant antidepressant effect in the group as a whole during the donepezil condition and a clinically significant antidepressant effect in the patients with clinically significant depressive symptoms, although there were not enough depressed patients in the group to conclude that donepezil may have antidepressant effects. Thus, in this study, donepezil did not induce or worsen depressive symptoms in schizophrenic and schizoaffective disorder patients.

(Received April 14 2005)
(Reviewed June 13 2005)
(Revised July 22 2005)
(Accepted July 27 2005)
(Published Online October 4 2005)

Key Words: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors; depression; donepezil; schizophrenia; schizoaffective disorder.

c1 UCSF Department of Psychiatry, 401 Parnassus Avenue Box F-0984, San Francisco, CA 94143-0984, USA. Tel.: (415) 476-7710 Fax: (415) 476-7320 E-mail: