Scientists have made an advancement in identifying an effective new treatment for schizophrenia.
The study led by Dr. Stephen Marder examined the effectiveness of paliperidone extended-release (ER) tablets, a new drug that orally delivers active metabolite of the drug risperidone.
Marder and his colleagues examined the efficacy and safety of the new psychotropic agent in a 6-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 444 patients experiencing an acute episode of schizophrenia.
During this time, the patients were monitored for side effects, and their symptom improvement assessed.
Dr Marder said that the findings revealed that two doses of paliperidone extended release tablets were effective and improved the functioning.
"This double-blind study found that two doses of paliperidone extended release tablets were more effective than placebo for treating the symptoms of acute schizophrenia," said Dr Marder.
"Patients receiving the most effective dose of paliperidone also demonstrated improvements in their social functioning," he added.
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute said that the study exhibits efficacy of the metabolite and provides another treatment option.
"This study demonstrates the efficacy of the 9-hydroxy metabolite of risperidone that has antipsychotic efficacy and an acceptable safety profile which provides psychiatrists with yet another treatment option. It has practical advantages with its long half life, duration of action and extended release formulation," said Lieberman.
However, Dr. Lieberman cautioned that the finding is not "a novel or breakthrough treatment and does not provide major differences or advantages over existing treatments.