Switching to Aripiprazole May Reduce Metabolic Risk

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Switching from the atypical antipsychotics olanzapine, quetiapine, or risperidone to the atypical antipsychotic aripiprazole may reduce metabolic risk in patients with schizophrenia, new research suggests.

In findings from the Comparison of Antipsychotics for Metabolic Problems (CAMP) study, presented here at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2011 Annual Meeting, more than 200 schizophrenic patients who were already taking olanzapine, quetiapine, or risperidone were randomly assigned to continue receiving their current medication or switch to aripiprazole.

Results showed that switching led to improvements in several metabolic measures, including larger reductions in weight gain, non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and serum triglycerides.

However, although rates of efficacy failure were similar between the switchers and nonswitchers, aripiprazole was associated with a higher rate of stopping the assigned treatment, report the investigators.

“The primary result showed that switching to aripiprazole was effective, especially in lowering the non-HDL cholesterol, albeit modestly. That was a significant finding,” Scott Stroup, MD, MPH, director of the Program for Intervention Effectiveness Research at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, told Medscape Medical News.

“I would tell clinicians that for some patients, perhaps many patients, switching medication is an effective strategy. But it’s important to monitor them carefully. For those who can’t switch successfully, it’s okay to put them back on their previous medication and then look for other strategies, such as behavioral interventions,” said Dr. Stroup…..

Reported by Deborah Brauser
Medscape Medical News
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743435

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