Monthly Injectable Drug Reduces Psychiatric Hospitalization for Schizophrenia

April 8, 2014
Rachel Lutz

A once-monthly injectable treatment significantly reduces psychiatric hospitalization for schizophrenia compared to daily oral antipsychotics.

A once-monthly injectable treatment significantly reduces psychiatric hospitalization for schizophrenia compared to daily oral antipsychotics, according to research presented at the 4th Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) conference, held April 5-9, 2014, in Florence, Italy.

The researchers divided the MIRROR study into 2 treatment periods. First, they assessed total psychiatric hospitalization in 433 stable adult patients with schizophrenia who were treated with oral antipsychotics. Then, they treated the same patients with once-monthly injectable Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole) 400 mg and monitored them in a naturalistic community setting for 6 months.

Compared to prior oral antipsychotics, the injectable aripiprazole 400 mg reduced the rates of psychiatric hospitalization (8% versus 38.1%, respectively) after 6 months. The most common adverse reactions to the 400 mg dose were insomnia and akathinsia.

“Our ability to reduce the risk of relapse and rehospitalization is critical in facilitating improvement in psychosocial and vocational functioning,” study investigator John M. Kane, MD, Chairman of Psychiatry at the Zucker Hillside Hospital and Vice President of Behavioral Sciences at North Shore-LIJ Health System, said in a statement. “With each relapse patients can lose hard won gains and find it more and more difficult to progress towards recovery.”