Lurasidone for schizophrenia: what’s different?

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Lurasidone is one of several antipsychotics approved in the recent past by the US FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia. Several Phase II and III studies have established that lurasidone is more efficacious than placebo. There are no available adequately powered head-to-head comparisons of efficacy of lurasidone with other antipsychotics. However, in contrast to some other antipsychotics, lurasidone is associated with minimal weight gain and no clinically meaningful alterations in glucose, lipids, or the ECG QT interval. As per the product label, the recommended starting dose is 40 mg/day and the maximum recommended dose is 80 mg/day. Higher doses do not appear to be more efficacious, and may be associated with increases in adverse effects, such as somnolence and akathisia; however, this tolerability issue was not observed in one recently conducted 6-week study when lurasidone was administered at a dose of 160 mg/day. It is recommended that lurasidone be administered once daily with at least 350 calories of food. Additional studies are desirable to directly compare and contrast lurasidone with other antipsychotic agents.

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