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Intramuscular aripiprazole or haloperidol and transition to oral therapy in patients with agitation associated with schizophrenia: sub-analysis of a double-blind study.

Author(s): Andrezina R, Marcus RN, Oren DA, Manos G, Stock E, Carson WH, McQuade RD

Affiliation(s): Riga Mental Health Care Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Tvaika Street 2, Riga, LV-1005, Latvia. lpa@latnet.lv

Publication date & source: 2006-11, Curr Med Res Opin., 22(11):2209-19.

OBJECTIVE: A sub-population analysis of 325 patients with agitation (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale Excited Component [PEC] score > or = 15 and < or = 32; score of > or = 4 on > or = 2 items) associated with schizophrenia in a randomized, double-blind study investigating the efficacy and tolerability of intramuscular (IM) aripiprazole 9.75 mg, IM haloperidol 6.5 mg, or IM placebo and the transition to oral therapy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Over 24 h, patients could receive up to three IM injections; the second and third administered > or = 2 and > or = 4 h, respectively, after the first, if deemed clinically necessary. Following IM treatment, oral aripiprazole or haloperidol was administered for 4 days. The primary efficacy measure was the mean change in PEC score from baseline at 2 h. RESULTS: At 2 h, mean improvements in PEC scores with IM aripiprazole (-8.0) were significantly greater versus IM placebo (-5.7; p < or = 0.01), and similar versus IM haloperidol (-8.3). Secondary efficacy measures also significantly improved with active IM treatment versus IM placebo. Continuation with oral treatment provided continued efficacy with both active treatments. The safety profiles of IM and oral aripiprazole were similar. The incidence of extrapyramidal symptom-related adverse events was 0% with IM aripiprazole, 1.6% with IM placebo and 16.5% with IM haloperidol. CONCLUSION: Intramuscular aripiprazole is effective in patients with acute agitation associated with schizophrenia, comparable to IM haloperidol, and enables convenient transfer to oral aripiprazole therapy.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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