Article

Asenapine monotherapy in the acute treatment of both schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder

Pharmacy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, UK.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (Impact Factor: 2.15). 10/2009; 5(1):483-90. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S5742
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Asenapine is a new atypical antipsychotic agent currently under development for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It has high affinity for various receptors including antagonism at 5HT(2A), 5HT(2B), 5HT(2C), 5HT(6) and 5HT(7) serotonergic receptor subtypes, alpha(1A), alpha(2A), alpha(2B) and alpha(2C) adrenergic and D(3) and D(4) dopaminergic receptors. As with other atypicals, asenapine exhibits a high 5HT(2A):D(2) affinity ratio. Although similar to clozapine in its multi-target profile, it shows no appreciable affinity for muscarinic receptors. Asenapine has shown efficacy in alleviating both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia compared with placebo. Although promising, further studies are required in order to determine whether it has advantages over placebo and other antipsychotics in alleviating cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. It has also shown long-term efficacy comparable with olanzapine in bipolar I disorder. Asenapine is generally well tolerated and appears to be metabolically neutral. It has low propensity to cause weight gain and prolactin elevation. There were no concerns in the studies about its effects on the cardiovascular system and QTc prolongation. The incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms with asenapine however has been found to be higher than that with olanzapine. It may be a useful alternative to aripiprazole in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in patients who are at high risk of metabolic abnormalities.

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Available from: David M Taylor, Aug 18, 2015
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    • "A review of clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of asenapine in bipolar disorder has been published in several articles [Bishara and Taylor, 2009; Chwieduk and Scott, 2011; Citrome, 2009; Gonzalez et al. 2011; Henry and Fuller, 2011; McIntyre, 2011; McIntyre and Wong, 2012; Pompili et al. 2011; Samalin et al. 2012; Stoner and Pace, 2012]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Asenapine is a new second-generation antipsychotic approved in September 2010 by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of bipolar disorder. It demonstrated significant efficacy compared with placebo in acute mania or mixed episodes as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy to mood stabilizers (lithium or valproate). Early improvement was noted at day 2 and was strongly associated with response and remission at week 3. Asenapine also appeared effective in treating acute mania in older patients with bipolar disorder. Post hoc analyses of asenapine showed efficacy in treating depressive symptoms during manic or mixed episodes compared with placebo. The efficacy of asenapine in patients with acute mania appeared to remain constant during maintenance treatment. Asenapine was reasonably well tolerated, especially with regard to metabolic effects. There were minimal signs of glucose elevation or lipid changes and the risk of weight gain appeared limited. The prolactin elevation was smaller than other antipsychotic comparators. Only oral hypoesthesia occurred as a new adverse event compared with other second-generation antipsychotics. Asenapine presents several advantages over other second-generation antipsychotics, such as sublingual formulation, early efficacy and good metabolic tolerability. This tolerability profile confirms the heterogeneity of the second-generation antipsychotic class and supports the view of some authors for the need to re-evaluate the boundaries of this group.
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    • "Treatment with risperidone showed moderate changes in body weight (average body weight gain 1.0 kg/month), where ziprasidone seemed to induce only slight body weight changes (0.8 kg/month). Asenapine causes up to 0.9 kg weight gain in the first three weeks of treatment [11] and its FDA Package Insert discusses a 52-week regulatory trial causing negligible weight gain over time, suggesting it may also be less metabolically problematic [12]. Nineteen percent of patients treated with asenapine have weight gain as compared to 31% who were treated with olanzapine [13]. "
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