Direct transition to long-acting risperidone--analysis of long-term efficacy.
This report presents data from the extension phase of a 6-month trial that evaluated the efficacy of risperidone long-acting injectable (RLAI) in stable psychotic patients requiring a treatment change. Patients continued to receive RLAI every 2 weeks for a maximum of 12 months from study entry. Symptoms were assessed using the PANSS after 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of treatment (or treatment endpoint). Remission of severity criteria were defined as< or =3 points in all PANSS items suggested by the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group.715 patients (63% male) entered the extension phase and 508 completed the 12-month study. The mean PANSS total score at Day 0 was 74.9+/-22.7. This was significantly reduced after 1 month (67.7 +/-22.3, p< or =0.001), with continued improvements over the 12 months of the study until treatment endpoint (59.7+/-21.9). Significant improvements from Day 0 to endpoint were also seen in the scores for all PANSS subscales and symptom factors. The proportion of patients who met the PANSS severity criteria for remission increased from 29% at Day 0 to 60% at endpoint, and the proportion of patients who met these criteria for< or = 6 months increased from 24% at Month 6 to 45% at endpoint. Treatment with RLAI for up to 12 months provided significant and sustained improvements in symptom control in patients with schizophrenia. These improvements may help patients to achieve and remain in remission.