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Open Access Research article

The Sertindole Safety Survey: A retrospective analysis under a named patient use programme in Europe

Christophe Lançon1, Mondher Toumi2, Christophe Sapin3 and Karina Hansen3*

Author Affiliations

1 Département de Psychiatrie, CHU Sainte Marguerite, Marseilles, France

2 Université de Lyon I, Lyon, France

3 H. Lundbeck A/S, Paris, France

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BMC Psychiatry 2008, 8:57  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-8-57

Published: 18 July 2008



After sertindole's suspension, health authorities established a specific named-patient use (NPU) programme in order to supply sertindole to patients who did not respond to or did not tolerate alternative treatments. This programme provided the possibility of prospectively following an exhaustive cohort of patients treated with sertindole after its suspension. A survey was performed to assess sertindole's modalities of prescription, assess and document any serious adverse events (SAEs), and assess the mortality rate within the NPU cohort.


The study comprised a survey of sertindole-treated patients in eleven European countries. All patients treated with sertindole within the NPU programme were eligible for the study.


1,432 patients were included in the study. The reason for sertindole prescription was lack of efficacy (approximately 50%) or adverse events (approximately 20%) of other antipsychotic treatments. The mean sertindole dose was 13.4 mg daily. Lack of efficacy and adverse events were reported as reasons for sertindole discontinuation.

A total of 97 SAEs were recorded, including ten fatal outcomes, which occurred during the study period or within thirty days after sertindole discontinuation. The all-cause mortality rate was 0.51 per 100 Person-Years of Exposure (95% Poisson confidence interval: 0.23–0.97). QTc prolongation was reported in 15 patients (1.05% of total patients), being a rate of 0.85 per 100 Person-Years of Exposure [95% CI: 0.48–1.41].


Although prescribing and supplying sertindole were subject to administrative constraints, a significant number of patients were treated with sertindole, thus supporting the need for sertindole in specific cases.

Trial registration number

Not applicable.