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Efficacy of low-dose D2/D3 partial agonist pramipexole on neuroleptic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms and symptoms of schizophrenia: a stage-1 open-label pilot study

Authors Weng JJ, Wang LH, Zhu H, Xu WR, Wei YM, Wang ZY, Yu WJ, Li HF

Received 21 February 2019

Accepted for publication 3 July 2019

Published 7 August 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2195—2203

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S205933

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jun Chen


Jia Jun Weng,*,1 Li Hua Wang,*,1 Hao Zhu,2 Wen Rong Xu,1 Yu Mei Wei,1 Zhi Yang Wang,1 Wen Juan Yu,1 Hua Fang Li1,3–4

1Department of Psychiatry, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 4Clinical Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: Some lines of evidence show that D2/D3 receptor partial agonist pramipexole may be effective in the treatment of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenia. Therefore, we analyzed whether a low dose of pramipexole (0.375–0.75 mg/day) has efficacy on EPS and symptoms of schizophrenia while maintaining tolerability.
Methods: Ten subjects with EPS [including drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP) and akathisia] were recruited in a stage-1, open-label pilot study. All the subjects were treated with a low dose of pramipexole. The evaluations were performed at baseline, day 3, week 1, week 2, week 4, week 6, and week 8. The ratings of SAS, BARS, PANSS, CDSS, and CGI-S and adverse effects (AE) were recorded in every visit.
Results: SAS total scores decreased significantly during the study in patients with DIP (P<0.001), and mild AEs were detected. Treatments with pramipexole did not show an anti-akathisia effect during the study, while 2 subjects experienced deterioration of akathisia and mood symptoms. The psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenia showed a trend of improvement during the study, but there was no improvement in depressive mood.
Conclusion: A low dose of pramipexole can significantly relieve antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism, but not akathisia. Improvements in psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenia were found, but the results of this study need to be validated in a larger sample. No improvement of mood disorder was detected.

Keywords: extrapyramidal symptoms, antipsychotics, pramipexole, clinical trial

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