To compare the tolerability and efficacy of different antipsychotic cross-titration schedules, using data from a brexpiprazole study (Equator; NCT01668797).
Patients with schizophrenia were cross-titrated from other antipsychotics to brexpiprazole monotherapy in a 1–4 week open-label conversion phase, then entered a single-blind brexpiprazole treatment phase. Patients were stratified into four “conversion groups,” according to the amount of time spent in the conversion phase. Discontinuation rates, treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), and efficacy (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS]) were compared between conversion groups.
Of the 404 patients treated with brexpiprazole, the majority (72.0%) spent 22–33 days in the conversion phase. Discontinuation rates due to lack of efficacy or adverse events were low in all conversion groups. Of the 292 patients who successfully switched and completed 8 weeks of brexpiprazole treatment, most were converted to brexpiprazole over 22–33 days (80.1%), and fewer were converted over 1–7 days (2.4%), 8–14 days (6.5%), or 15–21 days (11.0%). The incidence of TEAEs over 8 weeks was lower among those converted over 22–33 days (44.4%) than in other conversion groups (62.5–84.2%), although low patient numbers with shorter conversion times limit the generalizability of this finding. Each conversion group showed comparable improvement in PANSS total score from baseline.
The majority of patients were cross-titrated to brexpiprazole over a period of 22–33 days, by investigators’ choice. Additional data on shorter conversions may help clinicians to choose a switching paradigm that best meets their patients’ needs.