Best Strategy to Prevent Schizophrenia Relapse Identified?

A large meta-analysis sheds light on the best antipsychotic maintenance strategy to prevent relapse in clinically-stable schizophrenia — with some unexpected results that have potential implications for changes to current guidelines. Consistent with the researchers’ hypothesis, continuing antipsychotic treatment at the standard dose, switching to another antipsychotic, and reducing the dose were all significantly more … Read more

FDA Panel Rejects Pimavanserin for Alzheimer’s Psychosis

A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has rejected the atypical antipsychotic pimavanserin (Nuplazid, Acadia Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease psychosis (ADP). In a 9-3 vote, the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee (PDAC) found that the drug’s manufacturer failed to offer convincing evidence of its efficacy in patients with ADP. Today’s rejection … Read more

Lower-Dose Antipsychotics Benefit Patients with Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS — Patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia in a long-term forensic facility showed significant stability following reduced doses of long-acting injectable antipsychotics, a study revealed. Dr Mujeeb Shad “There is an argument by some experts in the field that state hospital populations represent a different set of patients who require higher antipsychotic dosages, with no … Read more

High-Dose Antipsychotics Effective in Refractory Schizophrenia

NEW ORLEANS – Patients with severe schizophrenia who fail to respond to treatment with standard doses of second-generation antipsychotics show significant improvement with – and tolerance of – higher maintenance doses of the drugs, new research shows. Dr Juan Jose Fernandez-Miranda The use of [higher doses of] long-acting injectable second-generation antipsychotics shows improvement not only … Read more

Antipsychotic Tied to Weight Gain, Higher Cholesterol

Increases in use of the antipsychotic risperidone (Risperdal) are associated with small dose-related increases in both weight and blood cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed 1-year data for more than 400 patients who were taking risperidone and/or its metabolite paliperidone (Invega). Results showed increments of 1 mg of risperidone-equivalent doses were associated with an … Read more

Early Metformin Minimizes Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina ― Psychiatrists should prescribe metformin early to patients who experience rapid weight gain after they begin taking antipsychotic drugs, according to a new evidence-based Irish guideline for the management of this common complication in adults with psychoses who are taking medications. The document was discussed during one of the sessions of … Read more

Quick Pivot Upheld Schizophrenia Care During COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health clinics in the United States successfully upheld the standard of care for patients with schizophrenia using telepsychiatry and long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAIs), a new survey data show. “Mental health centers rose to the challenge and did what they needed to do for their patients,” study investigator Dawn Velligan, PhD, … Read more

Antipsychotic Safe, Effective for Resistant Depression

Cariprazine (Vraylar) is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have an inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy, new results from a phase 3 study show. Already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults with schizophrenia and manic, mixed, or depressive episodes of bipolar … Read more

Lithium May Lower Osteoporosis Risk in Bipolar Disorder

NEW ORLEANS — People with bipolar disorder – particularly men – show a significantly increased risk of osteoporosis, compared with the general population, but treatment with lithium appears to offer a significant protective effect against the bone disease, according to results from the largest study of its kind. Dr Soren Ostergaard “Our findings emphasize that … Read more

Clozapine and Cancer Risk: New Data

Dr. Jari Tiihonen Long-term treatment with clozapine is associated with a small, but significant, risk of hematological malignancies in individuals with schizophrenia, new research shows. Investigators found long-term clozapine use of more than 5 years was linked to a 2.7-fold increased risk of hematological malignancies in a dose-dependent manner compared with other antipsychotics. “Our results … Read more