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A systematic review of quality of life and weight gain-related issues in patients treated for severe and persistent mental disorders: focus on aripiprazole

Authors Gentile S

Published 19 February 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 117—125


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Salvatore Gentile

Department of Mental Health, ASL Salerno 1, Italy

Abstract: Aripiprazole is a relatively novel second-generation antipsychotic belonging to the chemical class of benzisoxazole derivatives and is characterized by a unique pharmacological profile which suggests that the drug acts as a dopamine-serotonin system stabilizer. Whereas all previously available antipsychotics are antagonists at D2 receptors, aripiprazole is the only available partial agonist at these receptors. Thus, it has been suggested that aripiprazole could be associated with a relatively neutral impact on bodyweight, possibly reducing risks of a detrimental impact on the quality of life that often complicates management for a large number of patients diagnosed with severe and persistent mental disorders (SPMDs) treated chronically with antipsychotic medications. However, data from short- and long-term reviewed studies indicate that the prevalence rate of clinically relevant weight gain during therapy with this drug is similar to that occurring during treatments with other antipsychotic agents, either typical or atypical. Moreover, information on the impact of aripiprazole therapy on the quality of life of patients diagnosed with SPMDs is scarce and characterized by conflicting results. Given these results, further, large, well-designed studies are needed before confirming potential advantages of aripiprazole over first-generation antipsychotics and other SGAs.

Keywords: aripiprazole, effectiveness, quality of life, safety, weight gain

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