Brexpiprazole: A review of a new treatment option for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder

Ment Health Clin. 2018 Mar 23;7(5):207-212. doi: 10.9740/mhc.2017.09.207. eCollection 2017 Sep.


Brexpiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic that works as a partial agonist at serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine1A and dopamine D2 receptors and an antagonist at serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine2A. It has US Food and Drug Administration approval for monotherapy treatment of schizophrenia and adjunctive treatment to antidepressants for major depressive disorder. Two phase-3 clinical trials demonstrated efficacy and relatively fair tolerability with regard to adverse effects for each indication. Akathisia was frequently reported in the major depressive disorder trials but less so in the schizophrenia trials. Significant increases in body weight and triglycerides were seen across all studies. Brexpiprazole appears to be a viable option for treating an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia requiring hospitalization or adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder in patients who showed an inadequate response to 1 to 3 antidepressants. Further clinical trials are warranted to determine the long-term efficacy of brexpiprazole, and comparison trials would be beneficial to establish its place in therapy.

Keywords: atypical antipsychotic; brexpiprazole; major depressive disorder; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Review