Estradiol as add-on to Antipsychotics
A Randomized Trial Administering Estradiol Patch vs. Placebo Patch as add-on to Antipsychotics in Female Patients Above the Age of 38 With Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective or Schizophreniform Disorder
  • Phase

    Phase 2/Phase 3
  • Study Type

  • Status

    Unknown status
  • Intervention/Treatment

    Estradiol ...
  • Study Participants

The objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of Estradiol patch compared to placebo, as add-on to anti-psychotics in the treatment of women 38 and older with schizophrenia, schizoaffective or schizophreniform disorder.
Several lines of evidence suggest that estrogen affects the course of schizophrenia. The onset of schizophrenia is 2-4 years later in women than in men, and women have a lower incidence of schizophrenia until menopause, after which women have an increased incidence, so that the lifetime prevalence is similar in both genders. Women are more likely to have their first schizophrenic episode during an estradiol trough in the menstrual cycle. These gender differences in the natural course of schizophrenia are well replicated and provide a major lead to understanding and treating the illness, and have led to several randomized controlled trials administering oral estradiol to patients with schizophrenia. Studies on transdermal estradiol have been more encouraging, and four RCTs, have shown that estradiol patches are efficacious in treating schizophrenia The most recent study was performed our group and showed that overall estradiol patches were efficacious with an effect size of 0.41 for total PANSS, with significant improvements in PANSS positive, negative and general-psychopathology scores. Post hoc analyses showed that the improvements in symptoms were found almost exclusively in women who were 38 and older, in whom the effect of estrogen patches vs placebo reached an effect size of 0.58 for PANSS total.

The currently proposed study is based on the post-hoc finding of improvement in participants aged 38 and above, and we will a-priori recruit women with schizophrenia 38 and above, in order to test the efficacy of 200 µg estradiol patches vs placebo in these woman.
Study Started
Dec 02
Primary Completion
Oct 15
Study Completion
Nov 01
Last Update
May 26

Drug Estradiol

2 transdermal patches to be changed twice a week for the duration of 16 weeks

  • Other names: trans dermal patches

Drug Placebo

2 transdermal patches to be changed twice a week for the duration of 16 weeks

  • Other names: trans dermal patches

Active Comparator Active Comparator

Estradiol 200µg

Placebo Comparator Placebo Comparator



Inclusion Criteria:

Female above 38, up to 45 years of age, inclusive
Willing and able to provide informed consent, after the nature of the study has been fully explained
Current DSM-V diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective or schizophreniform disorder as confirmed by modified SCID.
Total PANSS score > 70 and (PANSS positive subscale >15 and/or PANSS negative subscale >15)
Must be on a stable dose of any antipsychotic drug, for at least 2 weeks prior to the baseline visit, at doses within the PORT criteria, whenever possible. Patients receiving higher doses will have their records reviewed to ensure that their dose is required and, if possible, will be stabilized on a lower dose prior to study entry.
Patients who are physically and endocrinologically healthy,
Not menopausal as assessed by asking patients if they are menstruating
Inpatients or outpatients. Inpatients will be randomized 3 days or more after admission

Exclusion Criteria:

Unwilling or unable, in the opinion of the Investigator, to comply with study instructions
Pregnant or breast-feeding
Women who are menopausal.
Patients treated with oral estrogen preparations containing estradiol greater than 30 mcg.
Women who have known severe abnormalities in the hypothalamo-pituitary gonadal axis, thyroid disorders, severe medical conditions and disorders that would contraindicate estrogen use (breast cancer, migraine with aura or stroke)
History of endometrial cancer or breast cancer, history of breast or uterine cancer, no history of 1st and 2nd grade family with breast or uterine cancer, vaginal bleeding between periods.
Likely allergy or sensitivity to estradiol.
Schizoaffective disorder in the manic phase.
At significant risk of committing suicide, or in the opinion of the Investigator, currently at imminent risk of suicide or harming others.
Patients with a current DSM-V substance or alcohol abuse. Patients with a history of and/or current recreational use of cannabinoids or alcohol, and/or patients who smoke cigarettes can be included.
Concurrent delirium, mental retardation, drug-induced psychosis, or history of clinically significant brain trauma documented by CT or MRI.
Patients receiving phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine, efavirenz, ritonavir and nelfinavir,or Hypericum perforatum.
No Results Posted