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Efficacy and safety of idalopirdine for Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Shinji Matsunaga (a1), Hiroshige Fujishiro (a2) and Hajime Takechi (a1)



The efficacy and tolerability of idalopirdine, a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine6 receptor antagonist, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is uncertain. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing idalopirdine for patients with AD was performed.


We included RCTs of idalopirdine for patients with AD and used Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) scores as a primary measure.


Four RCTs with 2,803 patients with AD were included. There was no significant difference in ADAS-cog between the idalopirdine and placebo groups [mean difference (MD) = −0.41, P = 0.32, I2 = 62%]. However, significant heterogeneity remained. Sensitivity analysis revealed that idalopirdine was more effective than placebo for ADAS-cog in the high dose and moderate AD subgroups (high dose subgroup: MD = −2.15, P = 0.005, moderate AD subgroup: MD = −2.15, P = 0.005). Moreover, meta-regression analysis showed that idalopirdine effect size for ADAS-cog was associated with mean dose (coefficient, −0.0289), ADAS-cog at baseline (coefficient, −0.9519), and proportion of male participants (coefficient, 0.2214). For safety outcomes, idalopirdine was associated with a higher incidence of at least one adverse event and increased γ-glutamyltransferase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and vomiting than placebo. There were no significant differences in other secondary outcomes between both treatments.


Idalopirdine is not effective for AD patients and is associated with a risk of elevated liver enzymes and vomiting. Although idalopirdine might be more effective at high doses and in moderate AD subgroups, the effect size is small and may be limited.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Shinji Matsunaga, Department of Geriatrics and Cognitive Disorders, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, 1-98 Dengakugakubo, Kutsukake-cho, 470-1192 Toyoake, Aichi, Japan. Phone: +81-562-93-9083; Fax: +81-562-93-9021. Email:


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Efficacy and safety of idalopirdine for Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Shinji Matsunaga (a1), Hiroshige Fujishiro (a2) and Hajime Takechi (a1)


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