Number needed to treat and number needed to harm with paliperidone palmitate relative to long-acting haloperidol, bromperidol, and fluphenazine decanoate for treatment of patients with schizophrenia

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC, Raritan, NJ, USA
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (Impact Factor: 1.74). 03/2011; 7(1):93-101. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S17177
Source: PubMed


We analyzed data retrieved through a PubMed search of randomized, placebo-controlled trials of first-generation antipsychotic long-acting injectables (haloperidol decanoate, bromperidol decanoate, and fluphenazine decanoate), and a company database of paliperidone palmitate, to compare the benefit-risk ratio in patients with schizophrenia.
From the eight studies that met our selection criteria, two efficacy and six safety parameters were selected for calculation of number needed to treat (NNT), number needed to harm (NNH), and the likelihood of being helped or harmed (LHH) using comparisons of active drug relative to placebo. NNTs for prevention of relapse ranged from 2 to 5 for paliperidone palmitate, haloperidol decanoate, and fluphenazine decanoate, indicating a moderate to large effect size.
Among the selected maintenance studies, NNH varied considerably, but indicated a lower likelihood of encountering extrapyramidal side effects, such as akathisia, tremor, and tardive dyskinesia, with paliperidone palmitate versus placebo than with first-generation antipsychotic depot agents versus placebo. This was further supported by an overall higher NNH for paliperidone palmitate versus placebo with respect to anticholinergic use and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale positive score. LHH for preventing relapse versus use of anticholinergics was 15 for paliperidone palmitate and 3 for fluphenazine decanoate, favoring paliperidone palmitate.
Overall, paliperidone palmitate had a similar NNT and a more favorable NNH compared with the first-generation long-acting injectables assessed.

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    • "There is little published evidence of the occurrence of TD in association with paliperidone palmitate. Paliperidone palmitate has not been reported to be associated with TD in recently published short-term trials [17], and there was only one recent longer-term trial in which a case of TD was reported. [18] The occurrence of TD in association with oral paliperidone has been reported in a small number of case reports, with one case reporting on a lady who developed oro–buccal–lingual dyskinesia after 2 years of treatment with paliperidone 6 mg daily[19] and another case reporting the occurrence of the rabbit syndrome.[20] "
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    ABSTRACT: Paliperidone palmitate is an atypical long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic that has been approved for use in the US, EU, Australia and numerous other countries for acute and maintenance therapy of schizophrenia. LAI antipsychotics are often viewed as a 'last-resort' treatment for difficult-to-treat patients, however this article considers their role more broadly in the management of partial or non-adherence in schizophrenia. A search of MedLine, CTR and PsychInfo was conducted to identify relevant publications and clinical trials (search term 'paliperidone palmitate', up to December 2010). The findings were discussed in a number of teleconferences and the manuscript was finalized with a face-to-face meeting of the authors group. Relapse prevention in schizophrenia requires a comprehensive approach to treatment, which includes antipsychotic medication and psychosocial measures as well as family and/or carer involvement. Good symptom control and the interconnected issue of treatment adherence are arguably the most crucial factors for success. Carer and patient feedback should be carefully considered. Negotiation about commencing LAI therapy done early in course of disease is easier than many clinicians believe, although it is not often attempted in practice. Paliperidone palmitate is useful in both the acute and maintenance phases of treatment. Commentary: A case-based approach is presented to suggest various opportunities where use of paliperidone palmitate could be considered within the disease course of schizophrenia. Paliperidone palmitate offers some advantages in terms of tolerability, simplicity of treatment initiation and long duration between injections. The consensus of the authors is that rather than reserving paliperidone palmitate for use in difficult-to-treat or refractory patients, it could be used to promote adherence and prevent relapse earlier in the course of the illness.
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