There is a relative lack of long-term, prospective data evaluating the safety and effectiveness of treatment in early-onset adolescent patients with schizophrenia who are treatment-naïve. The aim of this post-hoc analysis was to examine the long-term safety and effectiveness of lurasidone in adolescents with schizophrenia who were antipsychotic treatment-naïve (TN; at the time of enrolment in the initial study) compared to adolescents treated previously (TP) with an antipsychotic.
Patients aged 13-17 who completed 6 weeks of double-blind (DB), placebo-controlled treatment with lurasidone were enrolled in a 2-year, open-label (OL), flexible-dose (20-80 mg/day) lurasidone study.
The long-term analysis sample consisted of 50 TN and 221 TP patients, of whom 40% and 43%, respectively, discontinued prematurely. The three most common adverse events for TN and TP patients, respectively, were headache (26.0%, 23.5%); schizophrenia (14.0%, 12.2%), dizziness (16.0%, 4.1%), and nausea (16.0%, 11.8%). At endpoint, mean increase in weight was similar to expected weight gain based on growth charts for both TN (+4.5 kg vs. + 5.7 kg) and TP (+4.6 kg vs. + 6.6 kg) patients. Minimal changes were observed for each group in metabolic parameters and prolactin. Mean improvement was consistently greater in the TN vs. TP group (-19.2 vs. -15.9; effect size of 0.33) for between-group change in PANSS total score at Week 104.
In both TN and TP adolescents with schizophrenia, long-term treatment with lurasidone was associated with minimal effects on body weight, lipids, glycemic indices, and prolactin, with generally small differences noted in rates of reported AEs. Continued improvement in symptoms of schizophrenia was evident for both the TN and TP groups. These data indicate that lurasidone is a safe and efficacious treatment option for treatment-naïve youth with schizophrenia, who are generally most sensitive to antipsychotic adverse effects.

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