Rationale: Cariprazine, a dopamine D3/D2 receptor partial agonist antipsychotic, demonstrated efficacy and tolerability in 6-week, randomized, placebo-controlled schizophrenia trials. Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder that requires continuous treatment; therefore, the long-term safety and tolerability profile of antipsychotic agents is an important factor in guiding clinician decisions.
Objective: This single-arm, open-label extension study evaluated the long-term safety and tolerability of cariprazine in patients with schizophrenia.
Methods: Patients enrolled in this study completed a 6-week, randomized, placebo- and active-controlled study and had responded (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity [CGI-S] ≤3; ≥20 % reduction in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS] total score) to treatment at the end of the lead-in study. Patients (N = 93) received flexibly dosed, open-label cariprazine (1.5-4.5 mg/day) for up to 48 weeks.
Results: Approximately 50 % (46/93) of patients completed the 48 weeks of open-label treatment. The most common adverse events (AEs) were akathisia (14 %), insomnia (14 %), and weight increased (12 %). Serious AEs (SAEs) occurred in 13 % of patients; 11 % discontinued due to AEs. Mean changes in metabolic parameters were generally small and not clinically relevant. Mean body weight increased by 1.9 kg from the start of the lead-in study to the end of the extension study. There were no discontinuations associated with change in metabolic parameters or body weight. Long-term cariprazine treatment was not associated with prolactin elevation or clinically significant changes in cardiovascular parameters.
Conclusions: In this 48-week, single-arm trial, open-label cariprazine (1.5-4.5 mg/day) treatment was generally safe and well tolerated with no new safety concerns associated with long-term treatment.
Keywords: Atypical antipsychotic; Cariprazine; Dopamine antagonist; Open-label; Safety; Schizophrenia.