Lurasidone Reduces Agitation in Acute Exacerbation of Schizophrenia

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Among patients with higher baseline levels of agitation, lurasidone was associated with improvements in agitation compared with baseline as early as day 3 or 4.
Among patients with higher baseline levels of agitation, lurasidone was associated with improvements in agitation compared with baseline as early as day 3 or 4.

According to the results of a study published in General Hospital Psychiatry, lurasidone reduced agitation in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia, particularly in those with more severe baseline agitation.

In a post-hoc analysis of pooled data from 5 randomized controlled trials, researchers evaluated the impact of a 6-week course of once-daily oral lurasidone (40, 80, 120, or 160 mg/d) on agitation in adults presenting with acute exacerbation of psychotic symptoms. Prior to receipt of lurasidone, patients were tapered off of psychotropic agents for 3 to 7 days. The study authors assessed agitation at baseline and throughout the study with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale–Excited Component score.

Among patients with higher baseline levels of agitation (n=773), lurasidone was associated with improvements in agitation compared with baseline as early as day 3 or 4 (-1.6 vs -1.0; P <.05) and at the 6-week end point (-5.5 vs -3.8; P <.001; effect size 0.43). In this patient population, higher dosages of lurasidone (120 to 160 mg/d) had larger effect sizes at early time points compared with lower dosages of lurasidone (40 to 80 mg/d).

Among patients with lower baseline levels of agitation (n=754), lurasidone was associated with improvements at day 7 (-0.8 vs -0.1; P <.01) and at the 6-week end point (-1.9 vs -0.9; P <.001; effect size 0.31).

The study authors concluded that the "results suggest that lurasidone may be a useful treatment option for patients exhibiting agitation associated with acute psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia."

Reference

Allen MH, Citrome L, Pikalov A, Hsu J, Loebel A. Efficacy of lurasidone in the treatment of agitation: a post hoc analysis of five short-term studies in acutely ill patients with schizophrenia. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2017;47:75-82.

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