Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Aripiprazole Wins Approval for Schizophrenia. (Unique Properties Not Yet Proven)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Aripiprazole Wins Approval for Schizophrenia. (Unique Properties Not Yet Proven)

Article excerpt

Aripiprazole may have some unique therapeutic properties, based on its pharmacology, according to Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, an investigator in clinical trials of the antipsychotic drug. But those properties have not yet been proven.

Approved in November for the treatment of schizophrenia, aripiprazole (Abilify) has "a novel, potentially superior mechanism of action," Dr. Lieberman, vice chairman of psychiatry and professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in an interview.

In trials, aripiprazole was effective in alleviating acute schizophrenia to a degree that appeared to be comparable to that of existing drugs like haloperidol and risperidone (Risperdal), with a "very clean" side effect profile in patients studied to date, said Dr. Lieberman, an adviser to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which is marketing the drug with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.

Aripiprazole was developed as an antipsychotic drug "and clearly acts as one," but pharmacologically it is a novel compound because of some properties that distinguish it from currently available antipsychotic drugs, he said.

Like the other atypicals and the older typical antipsychotic drugs, aripiprazole binds to the dopamine [D.sub.2] receptor. But it is a partial dopamine agonist, so it doesn't act as a full antagonist like the others, which is unique, he said. Previous drugs developed as partial agonists were never approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so aripiprazole is the first, he noted.

Because of its unique pharmacology, "one could envision a profile in which this drug is effective not just for psychosis, but also in alleviating negative symptoms and improving cognition, because it may stimulate dopaminergic activity of the regions of the brain that are deficient in schizophrenia," Dr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.