Objective: To describe the psychiatric symptoms manifested by persons diagnosed for the first time as having ecstasy-induced psychotic disorder and to explore the evolution of their symptoms over a 6-month period. Design: Observational study with a 6-month follow-up. Method: The subjects studied were 32 ecstasy consumers who were treated at two drug-dependency outpatient centers for hallucinatory-delusive manifestations and who were diagnosed as having ecstasy-induced psychotic disorder according to DSM-IV criteria. For the assessment of the intensity of the syndrome and its follow-up, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) were used at the outset and after 1, 3 and 6 months. All subjects received treatment with olanzapine. Results: The treatment program was completed by 96.9% of the patients. At the baseline assessment, a high incidence of symptoms of a severe psychiatric disorder was observed. From the first month the psychotic symptoms (BPRS) were considerably reduced with treatment, with the most severe positive symptoms remitting in the first 3 months. The three assessment indicators (BPRS, HDRS and CGI) showed a statistically significant clinical reduction over the 6 months of the assessment period. Furthermore, no relevant side effects were noted. Conclusions: In its initial manifestations, a drug-induced psychotic syndrome includes marked symptoms meeting the criteria of a severe psychotic disorder, with the presence of considerable positive and negative symptoms. Olanzapine has been shown to be very effective in these situations and its use is suggested as first-choice therapy.

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