To further reduce medication non-adherence among schizophrenic patients, a new formulation of paliperidone palmitate given every 3 months (PP-3M) was recently approved.1 A review on the safety and efficacy of PP-3M found that only 9% of patients relapsed while receiving the 3-month injection compared to 29% of patients in the placebo group. In addition, after 36 weeks of the study, 92% of patients receiving PP-3M were still in remission compared to 58.3% of patients receiving placebo. Not only is PP-3M effective at reducing the rate of relapses and increasing remission time, it also provides a simpler therapeutic regimen option for schizophrenic patients who are reluctant to receive treatment or those who may have limited access to healthcare.

Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease in which relapse and acute exacerbations are common.5 Periods of relapse often lead to detrimental effects for patients as well as caregivers, therefore it is important to prevent relapse and increase remission time as much as possible. A fundamental aspect of a schizophrenic patient’s treatment plan for preventing relapse is increasing medication adherence. Since this can be quite challenging in this patient population, long-acting injectable formulations of antipsychotic medications have become a valuable option for many patients. Several recent studies published found that use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics not only decrease the rates of relapse in schizophrenic patients, but also help to increase the time to relapse as well. Another major benefit seen in the use of LAI is the increased patient-physician and patient-caregiver contact, which helps to ensure effective medication use and provide any additional support that a patient may need.


Continue Reading

References

1.      Carpiniello B, Pinna F. Critical appraisal of 3-monthly paliperidone depot injections in the treatment of schizophrenia. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016; 10: 1731-1742.

2.      Karson C, Duffy RA, Eramo A, Nylander A, Offord SJ. Long-term outcomes of antipsychotic treatment in patients with first-episode schizophrenia: a systematic review. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016; 12: 57-67.

3.      Buckley PF, Schooler NR, Goff DC, et al. Comparison of Injectable and Oral Antipsychotics in Relapse Rates in a Pragmatic 30-Month Schizophrenia Relapse Prevention Study. Psychiatr Serv. 2016 Aug 1; DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500466.

4.      Subotnik KL, Casaus LR, Ventura J, et al. Long-Acting Injectable Risperidone for Relapse Prevention and Control of Breakthrough Symptoms After a Recent First Episode of Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Aug; 72(8): 822-829.

5.      Schreiner A, Aadamsoo K, Altamura AC, et al. Paliperidone palmitate versus oral antipsychotics in recently diagnosed schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2015 Feb 24; 169: 393-399.