Risk of Extrapyramidal Adverse Events With Aripiprazole

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Aripiprazole is a unique atypical antipsychotic with partial agonist activity on the dopamine-2 (D2) receptor. This unique pharmacological profile of aripiprazole was thought to lead to a lower incidence of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPSs). However, recent case reports have alluded to an increase in the risk of EPS in aripiprazole users compared with nonusers of the drug. No epidemiologic studies to date have quantified this risk. We conducted a pharmacoepidemiologic study composed of a nested case-control study using a large health claims database (IMS Health) in the United States. In the nested case-control analysis, there were 5242 cases of EPS with 50,532 corresponding controls in the entire cohort. The odds ratio (OR) for EPS among those with any prescription of aripiprazole was 5.38 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.03–9.57). The OR was lower among those taking 2 to 3 prescriptions (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.07–7.85) but increased in those receiving greater than 4 prescriptions (OR, 8.64; 95% CI, 2.63–28.38). All risk periods were compared with those of subjects who had not used aripiprazole or other antipsychotics. For the secondary outcome of dyskinesia, the risk for aripiprazole was 8.50 (95% CI, 8.53–2.27–31.97) compared with that of nonusers. In conclusion, we found an increase in the risk of EPS and dyskinesias among users of aripiprazole.

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