An evaluation of the safety and efficacy of cariprazine in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia: a phase II, randomized clinical trial

Schizophr Res. 2014 Feb;152(2-3):450-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.11.041. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Introduction: Cariprazine is an orally active and potent D3 and D2 partial agonist with preferential binding to D3 receptors in development for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania. This study (NCT00694707) evaluated the efficacy and safety of cariprazine in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia.

Methods: This study was a multinational, double-blind, randomized, placebo- and active-controlled, fixed-dose trial. Patients were randomized to receive placebo, cariprazine 1.5mg/d, cariprazine 3.0mg/d, cariprazine 4.5mg/d, or risperidone 4.0mg/d (for assay sensitivity) for 6 weeks of double-blind treatment and 2 weeks of safety follow-up. Primary and secondary efficacy parameters were change from baseline to Week 6 in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total and Global Impressions-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) scores, respectively. Safety parameters included adverse events (AEs), vital signs, laboratory measures, and extrapyramidal symptom (EPS) scales.

Results: Of 732 randomized patients, 64% completed the study. PANSS total score improvement at Week 6 was statistically significant versus placebo for cariprazine 1.5mg/d, 3.0mg/d, and 4.5mg/d (least squares mean difference [LSMD]: -7.6, -8.8, -10.4, respectively; p<0.001; LOCF) and risperidone (-15.1, p<0.001; LOCF); significant improvement on CGI-S was demonstrated for all active treatments (p<0.05). The most frequent cariprazine AEs (≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of the placebo group) were insomnia, extrapyramidal disorder, akathisia, sedation, nausea, dizziness, and constipation. Mean changes in metabolic parameters were small and similar between groups.

Conclusion: The results of this study support the efficacy and safety of cariprazine in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia.

Keywords: Antipsychotic; Cariprazine; D(3); Dopamine; Schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / chemically induced
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Piperazines
  • cariprazine

Associated data