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Original Research

Aripiprazole Augmentation in Clozapine-Treated Patients With Refractory Schizophrenia: An 8-Week, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Jae Seung Chang, MD, PhD; Yong Min Ahn, MD, PhD; Hye Jean Park, MD; Kyu Young Lee, MD, PhD; Se Hyun Kim, MD; Ung Gu Kang, MD, PhD; and Yong Sik Kim, MD, PhD

Published: May 11, 2008

Article Abstract

Objective: Inadequate response to clozapine poses a substantial problem in the pharmacotherapy of refractory schizophrenia. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole augmentation in clozapine-treated patients with refractory schizophrenia.

Method: Patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia who had a history of treatment failure or partial response to long-term clozapine treatment were recruited. A total of 62 patients with either a baseline Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) score of at least 35 or more than 2 Schedule for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) global rating item scores of at least 3 were randomly assigned to double-blind augmentation treatment with either aripiprazole (5-30 mg/day) or placebo over 8 weeks. The primary outcome measure was change in BPRS total score from baseline. The study was conducted between December 1, 2005, and December 10, 2006.

Results: There was no significant difference in the primary outcome measure between the 2 groups. In secondary analyses, improvement was significantly greater with aripiprazole treatment than with placebo for negative symptoms assessed by both the BPRS negative symptom subscale and the SANS total score but not for positive symptoms. Prolactin and triglyceride levels were significantly lower in the aripiprazole group than in the placebo group. No significant differences between the 2 groups were observed in adverse effects, including extrapyramidal symptoms and serum glucose levels.

Conclusion: Although aripiprazole augmentation of clozapine did not lead to a significant improvement of total symptom severity in schizophrenia, a favorable change in the negative symptom domain was observed.

Trial Registration: clinical Identifier: NCT00328367

Volume: 69

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