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Efficacy and Tolerability of Oral Paliperidone Extended-Release Tablets in the Treatment of Acute Schizophrenia: Pooled Data From Three 6-Week, Placebo-Controlled Studies

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(5):817-829

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of an extended-release (ER) formulation of paliperidone in patients with an acute episode of schizophrenia, in the dosage range of 3 to 15 mg daily.

Method: A pooled analysis of 3 similarly designed 6-week, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, fixed-dose, placebo-controlled studies in 1326 patients with acute schizophrenia (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS] total score of 70-120) was performed. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 mg daily of paliperidone ER or placebo. Efficacy and safety assessments were performed. The primary endpoint was change in PANSS total score from baseline to endpoint.

Results: PANSS total, PANSS subscale factor, and Personal and Social Performance scale scores significantly improved at endpoint for all doses of paliperidone ER relative to placebo (p <= .001). A significantly greater proportion of paliperidone ER-treated patients at all doses achieved a clinical response compared with placebo (p <= .001). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 66% to 77% of patients in the paliperidone ER groups and 66% of patients in the placebo group; serious TEAEs occurred in 6% of patients who received placebo and 5% to 6% of paliperidone ER-treated patients. Regardless of treatment group, median Simpson-Angus Rating Scale global, Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale total, and Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale scores were 0 at both baseline and endpoint. There were no clinically relevant differences in measures of body weight gain, glucose handling, lipid metabolism, or proportion of patients with abnormal corrected QT intervals on electrocardiography and no important differences between the proportion of patients who received paliperidone ER or placebo who reported potentially glucose- or prolactin-related events.

Conclusions: Paliperidone ER given once daily for 6 weeks appears to be a safe, well-tolerated, and effective treatment for patients with acute schizophrenia. ​

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifiers: NCT00077714, NCT00083668, and NCT00078039 ​