Efficacy and Acceptability of Cariprazine in Acute Exacerbation of Schizophrenia: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials

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PurposeThe purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and acceptability of cariprazine treatment in acute exacerbation of schizophrenia.MethodsThis review included randomized controlled trials of patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia in relation to efficacy and acceptability. The efficacy outcomes were assessed by pooling standardized mean differences (SMDs) calculated from the difference in the reduction in the mean of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score, PANSS positive and negative scores, and response rate. The primary acceptability outcomes were determined by pooling the risk ratios (RRs) of discontinuation for any reason, the incidence of serious adverse events, and treatment emergent events.FindingsFour randomized controlled trials consisting of 1843 patients met all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Efficacy analysis showed significant positive effects in relation to cariprazine therapy (SMD: −0.37, P < 0.00001 for PANSS total score change; SMD: −0.32, P < 0.00001 for PANSS positive score change; SMD: −0.32, P < 0.0001 for PANSS negative score change; RR, 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19–1.67; P < 0.0001 for response rate). For primary acceptability outcomes, less patients taking cariprazine discontinued treatment for any reason compared with patients receiving placebo (RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.78–1.04; P = 0.16). Significantly less patients on cariprazine had serious adverse events during the double-blind treatment period compared with patients taking placebo (RR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.34–0.89; P = 0.01). Significantly more patients on cariprazine had treatment emergent events compared with those receiving placebo (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03–1.18; P = 0.006).ImplicationsResults suggest that cariprazine may be an effective and acceptable treatment for schizophrenia and future research is warranted.

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