Immediate versus gradual suspension of previous treatments during switch to aripiprazole: results of a randomized, open label study.
ABSTRACT The aim of the present work was to investigate possible differences in terms of efficacy and tolerability between different switching options to aripiprazole. 77 subjects were randomly assigned to (1) administration of aripiprazole (10 mg) with simultaneous discontinuation of current antipsychotic; (2) administration of aripiprazole (10 mg) and tapering off current antipsychotic over 4 weeks with half dose after the first 2 weeks; (3) administration of aripiprazole (10 mg) and tapering off current antipsychotic over 6 weeks with half dose after the first 2 weeks. Efficacy assessments included CGI-S, CGI-I, BPRS and SANS. Safety assessments included SAS, BAS and AIMS. Severity of symptoms significantly decreased from baseline over the 12 weeks of treatment. Patients switched to aripiprazole with immediate discontinuation of the previous antipsychotic showed an increase of symptoms' severity at week 1. However, severity of side effects did not overall change significantly during the 12-weeks follow-up. Previous treatment's tapering off strategy for switching patients to aripiprazole could be preferable as compared to abrupt discontinuation, in order to prevent early worsening of symptoms and premature discontinuation of treatment, though this results has to be considered with caution given the limitations of the study.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this review is to analyse and summarise the literature data about the incidence of weight gain in patients exposed to atypical antipsychotics during long-term (>or=1 year) treatment regimens. Despite the clinical relevance of the topic, the vast majority of reviewed studies showed methodological limitations. Some trials had retrospective analysis, and concomitant medications also associated with an increased risk of weight gain, such as antidepressants and mood stabilisers, were often prescribed. Results were obtained from clinical trials conducted using flexible dosages; thus, the relationship between dosage and weight change was not explored adequately. Also, in a large number of studies, the average antipsychotic daily dose was lower than the usual dosage in clinical practice. Moreover, weight gain was evaluated by different measures, such as mean weight gain in the enrolled population, percentage of patients who gained >7% of basal weight or body mass index (BMI) variations from baseline. In short-term studies, a definite rank order of weight-gain potential among atypical antipsychotics has been demonstrated: clozapine is related to the highest risk of weight gain, followed in decreasing order of magnitude by olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, amisulpride, aripiprazole and ziprasidone. However, in long-term studies, except for clozapine at one end of the scale and ziprasidone at the other, the differences in weight-gain liability showed by the other atypical antipsychotics became less intense. Differences between short-term and long-term treatment could be due to a complex overlapping of different factors, both drug-specific (relative receptorial affinity; timing of weight change plateau; and drug-specific/dose-dependent weight gain), and patient-specific (genetic vulnerability; sex; age; BMI; weight before starting antipsychotic treatment; type of psychiatric disorder; and individual lifestyle). There is an urgent need for well designed, randomised controlled trials to assess firmly both the differential effects of atypical antipsychotics on weight and the role of other factors in contributing to iatrogenic unwanted weight changes. Meanwhile, the well known benefits shown by some atypical antipsychotics in reducing akathisia and other extrapyramidal adverse effects and improving cognition should be carefully balanced with the problems of weight gain, other metabolic complications and higher health care costs.Drug Safety 01/2006; 29(4):303-19. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic recently introduced for clinical use, may worsen psychotic symptoms, even at low dose. In other cases, aripiprazole may exercise an antipsychotic action and induce extrapyramidal side-effects, even at low dose. There are no clear-cut criteria to differentiate the patients whose psychotic symptoms will or will not respond to aripiprazole favourably. Conversely, the effectiveness on negative symptoms seem consistent both in patients with or without antipsychotic response. A low dose may be indicated at the beginning of treatment to assess the kind of response.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2007; 10(1):107-10. · 5.64 Impact Factor
- Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. Supplementum 02/1970; 212:11-9.