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A review of aripiprazole in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder

Authors Leslie Citrome

Published 15 December 2006 Volume 2006:2(4) Pages 427—443

Leslie Citrome

New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA, and Clinical Research and Evaluation Facility, Nathan S Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research,  Orangeburg, NY, USA

Abstract: Aripiprazole has been approved by regulatory agencies for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Although it is a dopamine partial agonist, it also has substantial binding affinity for the serotonin 5HT2A receptor. Several double-blind randomized clinical trials have established the efficacy and tolerability of aripiprazole within the dose range of 10–30 mg/day for schizophrenia, and 15–30 mg/day for manic or mixed states associated with bipolar I disorder. Relatively few comparative trials with other secondgeneration antipsychotics have been published for schizophrenia, with none available for bipolar disorder. The evidence so far suggests that in terms of efficacy for schizophrenia, aripiprazole is superior to placebo and haloperidol (long term), similar to perphenazine and risperidone, and inferior to olanzapine. Its tolerability profile in patients with schizophrenia appears superior to haloperidol, perphenazine, risperidone, and olanzapine. Efficacy in treating manic or mixed states was established in placebo-controlled trials. Among some patients with bipolar disorder, akathisia and gastrointestinal (GI) complaints can emerge at the start of treatment; however, the GI symptoms were time-limited in many instances. Appropriate dosing may also be important in individualizing therapy to improve tolerability, with lower starting doses becoming more important when adding to, or switching from, another antipsychotic. Aripiprazole appears to have a low propensity for weight gain, a favorable metabolic profile, and no association with hyperprolactinemia.

Keywords: aripiprazole, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder

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