Mortality Risk Associated With Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotics: A Systematic Review and Meta-analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials

Schizophr Bull. 2016 Nov;42(6):1438-1445. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbw043. Epub 2016 Apr 16.


Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics (LAI-APs) have several advantages over oral medications, but deaths reported in Japan during the early post-marketing phase vigilance period have raised safety concerns. We conducted a series of meta-analyses to assess whether LAI-APs affect the mortality of patients with schizophrenia. Three categorical meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were performed to compare all-cause death (primary outcome) and death due to suicide: individual and pooled LAI-APs vs placebo, individual and pooled LAI-APs vs oral antipsychotics (OAPs), and head-to-head comparisons of LAI-APs. The risk ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs were calculated. We identified 52 RCTs (53 comparisons; total participants = 17 416, LAI-APs = 11 360, OAP = 3910, and placebo = 2146; mean study duration [wk]: LAI-APs vs placebo = 28.9, LAI-APs vs OAPs = 64.5). Neither pooled nor individual LAI-APs (aripiprazole, fluphenazine, olanzapine, paliperidone, and risperidone) differed from the placebo regarding the incidences of all-cause death (pooled LAI-APs: RR = 0.64, P = .37) and death due to suicide (pooled LAI-APs: RR = 0.98, P = .98). However, in a subgroup meta-analysis of only short-duration RCTs (≤13wk), pooled LAI-APs exhibited a trend toward lower incidence of all-cause death than placebo (RR = 0.29, P = .08). Pooled LAI-APs (aripiprazole, fluphenazine, haloperidol, olanzapine, paliperidone, risperidone, and zuclopenthixol) did not differ from pooled OAPs regarding all-cause death (pooled LAI-APs: RR = 0.71, P = .30) and death due to suicide (pooled LAI-APs: RR = 0.94, P = .91). Individual LAI-APs and OAPs were associated with similar risks of death. Data for head-to-head comparisons of individual LAI-APs were insufficient. In conclusion, there was no significant difference between LAI-APs and placebo or OAPs regarding all-cause death and death due to suicide.

Keywords: long-acting injectable antipsychotics; meta-analysis; mortality; schizophrenia; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / mortality*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations