Added Benefit of Lurasidone in Schizophrenia Uncertain

Incorrect Drug Treatment Common in First-Episode Schizophrenia
Incorrect Drug Treatment Common in First-Episode Schizophrenia
Analysis conducted by German agency found that lurasidone is not any better than older atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia.

The atypical antipsychotic lurasidone (Latuda) does not provide any additional benefit in treating schizophrenia over older comparative drugs, according to an analysis done by a German agency responsible for analyzing the quality and efficiency of medicines.

The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined an assessment in which lurasidone was investigated in three randomized clinical trials (RCT) and compared with risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR). IQWiG, however, says that the dosages of lurasidone and the comparator therapies in the studies deviated from guidelines, so it is not clear whether this may have led to an over- or under-estimation of treatment effects.

IQWiG concluded that there is no added benefit of lurasidone over the comparative drugs. “It is uncertain both in the acute treatment and in the prevention of relapse whether the effect lurasidone has on the symptoms of schizophrenia is as good as that of the appropriate comparator therapies,” the agency wrote.

IQWiG found only once RCT on prevention of relapse involving lurasidone. But that trial was designed to show that lurasidone was not inferior to risperidone. The agency notes, however, that the study objective was not achieved, and added that it is uncertain whether the treatment effect of lurasidone is as profound as risperidone’s.

In regard to side effects in the prevention of relapse, lurasidone was found to have less constipation, reproductive system and breast disorders than risperidone. However, vomiting and treatment discontinuations due to side effects were higher with lurasidone.


German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Lurasidone in schizophrenia: added benefit is not proven. News Release. February 2, 2015.