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Continuing clozapine treatment after a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy

  • F. Williams (a1), F. Lenihan (a2) and A. Rowe (a3)

A patient in a medium secure psychiatric unit with a 19-year history of treatment-resistant schizophrenia and violence whose mental illness only responded to clozapine, was noted to have a sustained tachycardia. Echocardiography revealed mild biventricular cardiomyopathy. The patient was not significantly affected by this. Initial recommendation from Cardiology was to consider discontinuation of clozapine. It was decided, however, that the risk of worsening psychosis and resultant violence outweighed the risk of the patient’s relatively mild cardiomyopathy. The patient was commenced on ramipril, and later bisoprolol. The patient no longer requires treatment in a medium secure unit and has remained on clozapine with follow-up from cardiology.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr F. Williams, NHS Fife, Learning Disability Service, Lynebank Hospital, Dunfermline, Halbeath, Fife KY8 4NZ, UK. (Email:
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Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
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