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A 1-Year Double-Blind Study of 2 Doses of Long-Acting Risperidone in Stable Patients With Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder.

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(8):1194-1203

Objective: This study examined the effects of 2 doses of long-acting risperidone injection in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Method: This 52-week, prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, international study included clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (DSM-IV criteria). Settings included physicians' offices and clinics. Patients received a fixed dose of long-acting risperidone (25 or 50 mg) every 2 weeks. Primary outcome was time to relapse, defined as either rehospitalization or other exacerbation criteria. Other assessments included the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness scale, and functional and quality-of-life measures. Safety was assessed via treatment-emergent adverse events, laboratory tests, and movement disorder rating scales. Data were collected from December 2002 to September 2004.

Results: A total of 324 patients were randomized to 25 mg (N = 163) or 50 mg (N = 161) of long-acting risperidone. Time to relapse was comparable (p = .131) for both groups. Projected median time to relapse was 161.8 weeks (95% CI = 103.0 to 254.2) with 25 mg and 259.0 weeks (95% CI = 153.6 to 436.8) with 50 mg. One-year incidences of relapse were 21.6% (N = 35) and 14.9% (N = 24), respectively (p = .059). Psychiatric hospitalization was the reason for relapse for 16 (10%) in the 25-mg group and 10 (6%) in the 50-mg group. Patients experienced statistically significant but modest improvements at endpoint in most measures (i.e., psychotic symptoms, functioning, movement disorder severity) with both doses, with no significant between-group differences.

Conclusion: In this 1-year study, long-acting risperidone was associated with low relapse and rehospitalization rates, indicating that doses of 25 to 50 mg are appropriate for long-term treatment in schizophrenia.

Clinical Trials Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00297388.