Aripiprazole and Risperidone for Treatment of Methamphetamine-Associated Psychosis in Chinese Patients

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Mar:62:84-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.11.009. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


We evaluated tolerability and efficacy of aripiprazole and risperidone for treatment of methamphetamine (METH) associated psychotic symptoms in China. Patients with acute METH-associated psychotic symptoms (N=42) and with Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score between 60 and 120 were randomized to aripiprazole (initial dose 5-10mg per day followed by flexible doses 5-15 mg per day) or risperidone (initial dose 2-4 mg per day followed by flexible doses 4-6 mg per day) from day 3 to 25 of inpatient hospital stay. Outcome measures included PANSS and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness scale (CGI-S), METH craving Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Simpson Angus Scale (SAS), Barnes Assessments Akathasia Rating Scale (BARS), and self-reported adverse effects evaluated during treatment. Retention was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and the MIXED models procedure was used to compare the groups on measures of psychotic and extra-pyramidal symptoms. Patients in both aripiprazole and risperidone groups showed statistically significant reductions in psychotic symptomatology from baseline during treatment (p<0.001) with no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups (p=0.73 and p=0.15, respectively). Risperidone-treated patients reported significantly greater METH craving reductions (p<0.001). Overall, 71% of patients completed the entire study, but the aripiprazole group had a significantly lower retention than the risperidone group (p=0.007), primarily due to medication related adverse effects. Aripiprazole-treated patients also had significantly more akathisia (p=0.03) and agitation (p=0.02) than risperidone-treated patients. Patients in both groups who tolerated their medications and completed the entire study achieved comparable reductions of psychotic symptoms.

Keywords: Aripiprazole; Efficacy; Methamphetamine-associated psychosis; Risperidone; Safety; Tolerability.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aripiprazole / adverse effects
  • Aripiprazole / therapeutic use*
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Risperidone / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Aripiprazole
  • Risperidone