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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of 12 weeks of clozapine treatment on levels of cholesterol and related lipids in patients with schizophrenia. DESIGN: Prospective study. SETTING: University department associated with a teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Eight patients (6 women and 2 men) with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia consistent with DSM-IV criteria. The patients were classified as treatment-resistant and had not responded to treatment with at least 2 conventional antipsychotics. INTERVENTIONS: Current antipsychotic medications were tapered and treatment with clozapine was initiated. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cholesterol and serum lipid levels, as well as Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores were measured before and after 12 weeks of treatment with clozapine. RESULTS: Clozapine treatment significantly improved the BPRS scores but did not significantly alter serum lipid levels, except triglyceride levels, which increased. CONCLUSION: The previously reported lower levels of cholesterol in treatment-resistant patients with schizophrenia cannot be attributed to the effects of clozapine administration. Further research is required to support and clarify the effects of antipsychotic drugs on lipid levels.