A Case of Resistant Schizophrenia Successfully Treated With Clozapine/Long-acting Injectable Aripiprazole Combination

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Abstract

Background

Treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is a condition characterized by intense symptom severity and poor response to different antipsychotic agents. The first therapeutic option in TRS is clozapine, but often high/medium doses are not tolerated. Adding an oral antipsychotic to low doses of clozapine is a promising strategy in the management of TRS. On the contrary, there are few data on combined clozapine/long-acting injectable (LAI) medications, and none on clozapine/LAI-aripiprazole.

Case

A 21-year-old male schizophrenic patient, resistant to several oral and LAI medications, partially improved after clozapine 300 mg/d treatment. Unfortunately, he also reported excessive sedation and an episode of myoclonus, so clozapine was reduced to 150 mg/d, but no additional benefits were observed. Subsequently, LAI-aripiprazole (first 200 mg/mo, then 400 mg/mo) was added, and the patient's conditions dramatically improved over time. After 1 year of observation, symptoms reduction was 50% or greater, without significant adverse events.

Conclusions

Clozapine use in TRS is often reduced or delayed due to the fear of serious adverse effects. Adding LAI-aripiprazole to low doses of clozapine may be a useful therapeutic option to obtain a good efficacy/tolerability balance.

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