Introduction: Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating mental disorder that affects the patient's and their family's quality of life, as well as financial costs and health care settings. Despite the variety of available antipsychotics, optimal treatment outcomes are not always achieved. Novel drugs, such as iloperidone, can provide more effective, tolerable and safer strategies.
Aim: To review the evidence for the clinical impact of iloperidone on the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.
Evidence review: Clinical trials, observational studies and meta-analyses reached a common consensus that iloperidone is as effective as haloperidol, risperidone and ziprasidone in reducing schizophrenia symptoms. Similar amounts of adverse events and discontinuations were observed with iloperidone compared to placebo and active treatments. Common adverse events are mild and include dizziness, hypotension, dry mouth and weight gain. Iloperidone can induce extension of QTc interval, and clinicians should be aware of its contraindications. In long-term trials, iloperidone also showed promising safety and tolerability profiles. The low propensity to cause akathisia, extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), increased prolactin levels or changes to metabolic laboratory parameters support its use in practice. Results showed that iloperidone prevents relapse in stabilized patients, with a time to relapse superior to placebo and similar to haloperidol. Patients using a prior antipsychotic (eg, risperidone and aripiprazole) can easily switch to iloperidone with no serious impact on safety or efficacy. However, the acquisition costs of iloperidone may hamper its use. Further evidence comparing iloperidone with other antipsychotics, and pharmacoeconomic studies would be welcome.
Place in therapy: Considering just the clinical profile of iloperidone, it represents a promising drug for treating schizophrenia, particularly in patients who are intolerant to previous antipsychotics, as well as being suitable as first-line therapy. Cost-effectiveness comparisons are needed to justify its use in clinical practice.
Keywords: clinical practice; evidence-based; iloperidone; schizophrenia.