Aripiprazole once-monthly is an LAI formulation of aripiprazole that is currently approved in the USA and Europe for the treatment of schizophrenia. Some studies have reported a decline in hospital admissions and emergency use after initiation on long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics, but the effects of using recently commercialised LAI aripiprazole remains uncertain.
To characterize the impact of ALAI initiation on number of hospitalizations and visits to the emergency service, among patients suffering from schizophrenia attending regularly to psychiatric consultations of Gregorio Marañón University General Hospital (Madrid, Spain).
Patients initiated on (ALAI) were studied in an observational mirror-image design to assess changes in number of hospitalizations and visits to the emergency service in the 12months pre- vs 12months post-depot initiation. Other sociodemographic, physical and clinical variables such as age, gender, weight, blood pressure and presence of dual disorders were also gathered. Variables were collected reviewing clinical records.
Wilcoxon test was used to assess hospitalizations and visits to the emergency. Paired t-tests were used to assess changes in weight and blood pressure. Non parametric Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare aripiprazole doses between genders and in order to assess de influence of dual disorders. In order to perform the statistical analysis, IBM SPSS statistics v.20 was used.
31 patients were included in the final analysis. Mean age was 44.67 (SD=15.57) years. Most of the patients were male (54.8% vs 45.2%). 71% were previously receiving oral antipsychotics treatment, whereas 29% were receiving other LAI antipsychotic: no significant differences were observed when comparing hospitalizations (p=0.74) or emergency use (p=0.98) in the 12months post-initiation between these groups. Mean dosage was 352.67mg/28days (SD=0.461), and 38.7% needed an adjustment during the first year of treatment (dosage increased in 76.9%). A combination of two or more antipsychotics was prescribed in 64.5% of the patients. Mean psychiatric number of hospitalizations a year declined from 0.483/year pre-initiation to 0.224/year post-initiation (P<0.05), whereas mean visits a year to the emergency psychiatric service declined from 1.419 pre-initiation to 1.032 post-initiation (P<0.1). No significant changes in weight (p=0.82), systolic (p=0.56) or diastolic (p=0.29) blood pressure were observed. No gender differences in dosage were observed (p=0.246). Suffering from dual disorders had no influence on dosage either (p=0.68).
LAI aripiprazole initiation appears to provide a benefit decreasing hospitalization needs and emergency services consumption and it was well tolerated. This data supports previous evidence indicating superiority of LAI antipsychotics.