Post hoc analyses of a trial of the long-acting antipsychotic drug paliperidone, given by injection, appears to decrease the likelihood of recurrence in schizophrenic patients, according to researchers here at the 162nd Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Larry Alphs, MD, PhD, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, Titusville, New Jersey, noted on May 20 that evidence exists to support limiting recurrences in schizophrenia, because brain mass is seen to decrease over time in patients with the disorder.
"The brain deteriorates with each progressive relapse," said Dr. Alphs.
Of the 681 patients tested in the double-blind, open-label trial, 408 were included in the recurrence-prevention phase.
Patients were given a month-long treatment with paliperidone palmitate injection or placebo. Recurrence rates were lower for patients diagnosed <=5 years before the study compared with placebo (20% vs 44%, P = .0025). For those who were diagnosed >5 years before the study, the difference in recurrence was similarly significantly lower with the drug (13% vs 48%, P < .0001).
Paliperidone use was also associated with a longer time to recurrence than placebo for both diagnosis time cohorts (P = .0011 and P < .0001, respectively).
Although what a comparator active antipsychotic drug would have shown in such a study is unknown, Dr. Alphs said that "most [antipsychotic drugs] would do similar things."
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