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Lurasidone in the Treatment of Acute Schizophrenia: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(6):829-836
10.4088/JCP.08m04905

Objective: Lurasidone is a novel psychotropic agent with high affinity for D2 and 5-HT2A receptors, as well as for receptors implicated in the enhancement of cognition and mood and the reduction of negative symptoms (5-HT7, 5-HT1A, and a2c). The objective of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lurasidone in patients hospitalized for an acute exacerbation of DSM-IV-defined schizophrenia.

Method: Patients were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of double-blind treatment with a fixed dose of lurasidone 80 mg (N = 90, 75.6% male, mean age = 39.7 years, mean baseline score on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale derived from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [BPRSd] = 55.1) or placebo (N = 90, 77.8% male, mean age = 41.9 years, mean BPRSd score = 56.1). The primary efficacy measure was the BPRSd. The study was conducted from May to December 2004.

Results: At day 42, last-observation-carried-forward endpoint, treatment with lurasidone was associated with significant improvement compared to placebo on the BPRSd (least squares mean ± SE = -8.9 ± 1.3 vs. -4.2 ± 1.4; p = .012), as well as on all secondary efficacy measures, including the PANSS total score (-14.1 ± 2.1 vs. -5.5 ± 2.2; p = .004) and the PANSS positive (-4.3 ± 0.7 vs. -1.7 ± 0.7; p = .006), negative (-2.9 ± 0.5 vs. -1.3 ± 0.5; p = .025), and general psychopathology (-7.0 ± 1.1 vs. -2.7 ± 1.2; p = .0061) subscales. Significant improvement was seen as early as day 3, based on BPRSd, PANSS, and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness assessments. Treatment with lurasidone was generally well tolerated and was not associated with adverse changes in metabolic or electrocardiogram parameters. There were no clinically significant differences between lurasidone and placebo in objective measures of extrapyramidal symptoms.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the novel psychotropic agent lurasidone is a safe and effective treatment for patients with an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00088634