Patients in the early phases of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders effectively treated with risperidone long-acting injectable

E Parellada, R Andrezina, V Milanova, P Glue, M Masiak, M St John Turner, R Medori, W Gaebel
Journal of Psychopharmacology 2005, 19 (5): 5-14
The efficacy and safety of risperidone long-acting injectable (RLAI) was investigated in patients in the early phases of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders (< or = 3 years). Patients who required a treatment change received RLAI (2-weekly gluteal injections of 25, 37.5 or 50 mg, per clinical judgement), without an oral risperidone run-in phase.A total of 382 patients were included in this 6-month open-label study; 73% of patients completed the study. A total of 84% had schizophrenia with a median duration of 1.0 year since diagnosis. Previous medications were mainly atypical antipsychotics (70%) and depot neuroleptics (24%). The main reasons for treatment change were non-compliance (42%) and insufficient efficacy (31%) of previous medication. The total Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and all its subscale scores improved significantly (p < or = 0.0001), with 40% of patients showing a 20% improvement on total PANSS. Global Assessment of Functioning, quality of life, patient satisfaction and movement disorders also improved significantly. Tolerability of RLAI was generally good and no unexpected adverse events were reported. The ensured delivery of medication with RLAI resulted in significant symptom improvement in this patient population. Direct initiation of RLAI is well accepted by patients. RLAI might represent a novel option for patients in the early phases of psychosis.

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