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Differences in psychiatric background and dose–response to asenapine in patients with schizophrenia were examined based on efficacy and safety, using data obtained in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Patients with schizophrenia were classified into three clusters by a cluster analysis based on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) subscores at baseline, using the data from a 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. PANSS Marder factor scores were calculated for each cluster. The efficacy of 10 or 20 mg/day of asenapine on PANSS score was used as the primary endpoint, with the incidence of adverse events evaluated as the secondary endpoint.
A total of 529 asenapine-treated patients were classified into 3 clusters: Cluster-P with the higher scores in positive symptoms, disorganized thoughts, and hostility/excitement, Cluster-N with higher scores in negative symptoms, and Cluster-L with overall lower scores. In Cluster-N and Cluster-L, both 10 and 20 mg/day groups showed significant improvement in PANSS scores, while only the 20 mg/day group showed a significant difference in Cluster-P. Cluster-N and Cluster-L had differences in the incidence of adverse events, but this was not seen in Cluster-P.
The efficacy and safety of asenapine 10 and 20 mg/day differed between the 3 clusters of patients. This suggests that background information regarding baseline psychiatric symptoms may affect the therapeutic response in patients with schizophrenia.
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