Efficacy and safety of aripiprazole in the acute treatment of schizophrenia in Chinese patients with risperidone as an active control: a randomized trial

Hung-Yu Chan, Wei-Wen Lin, Shih-Ku Lin, Tzung-Jeng Hwang, Tung-Ping T Su, Shu-Chuan Chiang, Hai-Gwo Hwu
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2007, 68 (1): 29-36

OBJECTIVE: Asian populations may differ from other races in response to antipsychotics. Studies of aripiprazole in Asian populations are scarce. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of aripiprazole in Chinese patients with acute schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

METHOD: This 4-week, double-blind, randomized, parallel study was conducted in 5 medical centers in Taiwan between March 2004 and January 2005. A total of 83 patients with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were randomly assigned (with a randomization ratio of 3:2) to 15 mg/day of aripiprazole (N = 49) or 6 mg/day of risperidone (N = 34). Efficacy measures included the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total, positive, and negative scores and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) and -Improvement scale scores. Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), weight gain, serum prolactin level, QTc interval, and self-reported adverse events were assessed as measures of safety and tolerability.

RESULTS: Both the aripiprazole and risperidone groups showed statistical improvement from baseline in PANSS total, PANSS positive, PANSS negative, and CGI-S scores at study endpoint (all p < .001). Significant improvement was noted in the first week of treatment for both treatment groups. There were no significant differences in efficacy measures between treatment groups. Aripiprazole showed significantly less EPS liability as assessed by the Simpson-Angus Scale (p < .005) and less serum prolactin level elevation (p < .001) than risperidone. Both groups showed mild weight gain. No patients showed clinically significant QTc interval prolongation in this study.

CONCLUSION: Compared with risperidone 6 mg/day, aripiprazole 15 mg/day has comparable efficacy and favorable safety and tolerability profiles in the short-term treatment of Chinese patients with acute schizophrenia. In this group of Chinese patients, the overall response to aripiprazole did not differ from that of white patients.


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