Dialog Box

An RCT of Cannabidiol for Clozapine Refractory Schizophrenia (CanCloz).

Collaborative Team: Prof D Siskind, Dr N Warren, A/Prof S Suetani, Prof S Kisely, Dr V De Monte, Prof I Macgregor, M Shine.

More than 30 per cent of people with schizophrenia will not respond to first line antipsychotic treatments and will still have debilitating psychotic symptoms as result.

Of these patients around 40 per cent will have a positive response to clozapine, with the remaining 60 per cent having what is known as clozapine refractory schizophrenia and a project led by PA Hospital’s Professor Dan Siskind will explore whether a compound found in cannabis when combined with clozapine can reduce psychotic symptoms in the 1 in 100 schizophrenia patients whose condition is clozapine refractory.

The project made possible by funding from the PA Research Foundation and the Lambert initiative at the University of Sydney will explore whether cannabidiol when combined with clozapine can reduce symptoms which can include auditory hallucinations, paranoia, lack of motivation and issues with cognition.

Several smaller studies have showed cannabidiol to have promising results in schizophrenia patients however none of these studies have explored whether it can help people whose schizophrenia does not respond to antipsychotic medications. 

PA Research Foundation funding will allow Professor Siskind to conduct a randomised control trial, the first of its kind in the world, at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, with the aim of determining whether cannabidiol is a potential safe and accessible add on medication for the one per cent of the global population with schizophrenia.

03 June 2021
Category: Research projects