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Atypical antipsychotic drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death.

N Engl J Med. 2009; 360(3):225-35 (ISSN: 1533-4406)

Ray WA; Chung CP; Murray KT; Hall K; Stein CM
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville 37212, USA. [email protected]

BACKGROUND: Users of typical antipsychotic drugs have an increased risk of serious ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. However, less is known regarding the cardiac safety of the atypical antipsychotic drugs, which have largely replaced the older agents in clinical practice. METHODS: We calculated the adjusted incidence of sudden cardiac death among current users of antipsychotic drugs in a retrospective cohort study of Medicaid enrollees in Tennessee. The primary analysis included 44,218 and 46,089 baseline users of single typical and atypical drugs, respectively, and 186,600 matched nonusers of antipsychotic drugs. To assess residual confounding related to factors associated with the use of antipsychotic drugs, we performed a secondary analysis of users of antipsychotic drugs who had no baseline diagnosis of schizophrenia or related psychoses and with whom nonusers were matched according to propensity score (i.e., the predicted probability that they would be users of antipsychotic drugs). RESULTS: Current users of typical and of atypical antipsychotic drugs had higher rates of sudden cardiac death than did nonusers of antipsychotic drugs, with adjusted incidence-rate ratios of 1.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.68 to 2.34) and 2.26 (95% CI, 1.88 to 2.72), respectively. The incidence-rate ratio for users of atypical antipsychotic drugs as compared with users of typical antipsychotic drugs was 1.14 (95% CI, 0.93 to 1.39). Former users of antipsychotic drugs had no significantly increased risk (incidence-rate ratio, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.30). For both classes of drugs, the risk for current users increased significantly with an increasing dose. Among users of typical antipsychotic drugs, the incidence-rate ratios increased from 1.31 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.77) for those taking low doses to 2.42 (95% CI, 1.91 to 3.06) for those taking high doses (P<0.001). Among users of atypical agents, the incidence-rate ratios increased from 1.59 (95% CI, 1 .03 to 2.46) for those taking low doses to 2.86 (95% CI, 2.25 to 3.65) for those taking high doses (P=0.01). The findings were similar in the cohort that was matched for propensity score.

CONCLUSIONS: Current users of typical and of atypical antipsychotic drugs had a similar, dose-related increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

J Psychopharmacol 2009; 23; 346 originally published online Mar 27, 2009;

GM Goodwin and Consensus Group of the British Association for Psychopharmacology from the British Association for Psychopharmacology

Evidence-based guidelines for treating bipolar disorder: revised second edition recommendations


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Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 12 new-generation antidepressants: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis. 

Lancet. 2009 Jan 28. Cipriani A, Furukawa TA, Salanti G, et al. (Review)

BACKGROUND: Conventional meta-analyses have shown inconsistent results for efficacy of second-generation antidepressants. We therefore did a multiple-treatments meta-analysis, which accounts for both direct and indirect comparisons, to assess the effects of 12 new-generation antidepressants on major depression.
METHODS: We systematically reviewed 117 randomised controlled trials (25 928 participants) from 1991 up to Nov 30, 2007, which compared any of the following antidepressants at therapeutic dose range for the acute treatment of unipolar major depression in adults: bupropion, citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, milnacipran, mirtazapine, paroxetine, reboxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine. The main outcomes were the proportion of patients who responded to or dropped out of the allocated treatment. Analysis was done on an intention-to-treat basis.
FINDINGS: Mirtazapine, escitalopram, venlafaxine, and sertraline were significantly more efficacious than duloxetine (odds ratios [OR] 1.39, 1.33, 1.30 and 1.27, respectively), fluoxetine (1.37, 1.32, 1.28, and 1.25, respectively), fluvoxamine (1.41, 1.35, 1.30, and 1.27, respectively), paroxetine (1.35, 1.30, 1.27, and 1.22, respectively), and reboxetine (2.03, 1.95, 1.89, and 1.85, respectively). Reboxetine was significantly less efficacious than all the other antidepressants tested. Escitalopram and sertraline showed the best profile of acceptability, leading to significantly fewer discontinuations than did duloxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, reboxetine, and venlafaxine.
INTERPRETATION: Clinically important differences exist between commonly prescribed antidepressants for both efficacy and acceptability in favour of escitalopram and sertraline. Sertraline might be the best choice when starting treatment for moderate to severe major depression in adults because it has the most favourable balance between benefits, acceptability, and acquisition cost. FUNDING: None.

Second-generation versus first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia: a meta-analysis.

Leucht S, Corves C, Arbter D, Engel RR, Li C, Davis JM.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
1:Lancet. 2008 Dec 4

BACKGROUND: Because of the debate about whether second-generation antipsychotic drugs are better than first-generation antipsychotic drugs, we did a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to compare the effects of these two types of drugs in patients with schizophrenia. METHODS: We compared nine second-generation antipsychotic drugs with first-generation drugs for overall efficacy (main outcome), positive, negative and depressive symptoms, relapse, quality of life, extrapyramidal side-effects, weight gain, and sedation. FINDINGS: We included 150 double-blind, mostly short-term, studies, with 21 533 participants. We excluded open studies because they systematically favoured second-generation drugs. Four of these drugs were better than first-generation antipsychotic drugs for overall efficacy, with small to medium effect sizes (amisulpride -0.31 [95% CI -0.44 to -0.19, p<0.0001], clozapine -0.52 [-0.75 to -0.29, p<0.0001], olanzapine -0.28 [-0.38 to -0.18, p<0.0001], and risperidone -0.13 [-0.22 to -0.05, p=0.002]). The other second-generation drugs were not more efficacious than the first-generation drugs, even for negative symptoms. Therefore efficacy on negative symptoms cannot be a core component of atypicality. Second-generation antipsychotic drugs induced fewer extrapyramidal side-effects than did haloperidol (even at low doses). Only a few have been shown to induce fewer extrapyramidal side-effects than low-potency first-generation antipsychotic drugs. With the exception of aripiprazole and ziprasidone, second-generation antipsychotic drugs induced more weight gain, in various degrees, than did haloperidol but not than low-potency first-generation drugs. The second-generation drugs also differed in their sedating properties. We did not note any consistent effects of moderator variables, such as industry sponsorship, comparator dose, or prophylactic antiparkinsonian medication. INTERPRETATION: Second-generation antipsychotic drugs differ in many properties and are not a homogeneous class. This meta-analysis provides data for individualised treatment based on efficacy, side-effects, and cost. FUNDING: National Institute of Mental Health.

PMID: 19058842 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Double-blind comparison of first- and second-generation antipsychotics in early-onset schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder: findings from the treatment of early-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders (TEOSS) study. Am J Psychiatry. 2008; 165(11):1420-31 (ISSN: 1535-7228)

Sikich L; Frazier JA; McClellan J; Findling RL; Vitiello B; Ritz L; Ambler D; Puglia M; Maloney AE; Michael E; De Jong S; Slifka K; Noyes N; Hlastala S; Pierson L; McNamara NK; Delporto-Bedoya D; Anderson R; Hamer RM; Lieberman JA
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA. [email protected]

OBJECTIVE: Atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics are considered standard treatment for children and adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. However, the superiority of second-generation antipsychotics over first-generation antipsychotics has not been demonstrated. This study compared the efficacy and safety of two second-generation antipsychotics (olanzapine and risperidone) with a first-generation antipsychotic (molindone) in the treatment of early-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. METHOD: This double-blind multisite trial randomly assigned pediatric patients with early-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder to treatment with either olanzapine (2.5-20 mg/day), risperidone (0.5-6 mg/day), or molindone (10-140 mg/day, plus 1 mg/day of benztropine) for 8 weeks. The primary outcome was response to treatment, defined as a Clinical Global Impression (CGI) improvement score of 1 or 2 and >or=20% reduction in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score after 8 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: In total, 119 youth were randomly assigned to treatment. Of these subjects, 116 received at least one dose of treatment and thus were available for analysis. No significant differences were found among treatment groups in response rates (molindone: 50%; olanzapine: 34%; risperidone: 46%) or magnitude of symptom reduction. Olanzapine and risperidone were associated with significantly greater weight gain. Olanzapine showed the greatest risk of weight gain and significant increases in fasting cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, insulin, and liver transaminase levels. Molindone led to more self-reports of akathisia.

CONCLUSIONS: Risperidone and olanzapine did not demonstrate superior efficacy over molindone for treating early-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Adverse effects were frequent but differed among medications. The results question the nearly exclusive use of second-generation antipsychotics to treat early-onset schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The safety findings related to weight gain and metabolic problems raise important public health concerns, given the widespread use of second-generation antipsychotics in youth for nonpsychotic disorders.

A multiple-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral aripiprazole for treatment of adolescents with schizophrenia.Am J Psychiatry. 2008; 165(11):1432-41 (ISSN: 1535-7228)

Findling RL; Robb A; Nyilas M; Forbes RA; Jin N; Ivanova S; Marcus R; McQuade RD; Iwamoto T; Carson WH
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-5080, USA. [email protected]

OBJECTIVE: Aripiprazole is a dopamine partial agonist approved for use in adults for short- and long-term treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This study was designed to examine the acute efficacy, safety, and tolerability of aripiprazole for adolescents with schizophrenia. METHOD: This was a 6-week multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects 13 to 17 years old with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and a Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score of 70 or more were randomly assigned (1:1:1 ratio) to placebo or 10 or 30 mg/day of aripiprazole. The primary endpoint was mean change from baseline to endpoint (last observation carried forward) in PANSS total score. Assessments of safety and tolerability included spontaneously reported adverse events, extrapyramidal symptom scores, serum prolactin concentration, body weight, and metabolic measures. RESULTS: Of 302 patients, 85% completed the 6-week study. The mean baseline PANSS score was 94.1. At the end of the study, both aripiprazole doses showed statistically significant differences from placebo in reduction in PANSS total score. Adverse events occurring in more than 5% of either aripiprazole group and with a combined incidence at least twice the rate for placebo were extrapyramidal disorder, somnolence, and tremor. Mean changes in prolactin were -8.45, -11.93, and -15.14 ng/ml for placebo and 10 mg and 30 mg of aripirazole, respectively. Mean body weight changes were -0.8, 0.0, and 0.2 kg for placebo and 10 mg and 30 mg of aripiprazole, respectively. CONCLUSION: Both 10- and 30-mg/day doses of aripiprazole were superior to placebo in the acute treatment of adolescents with schizophrenia. Aripiprazole was generally well tolerated.

Schizophr Res. 2008 Mar;100(1-3):20-38.

World Psychiatric Association Pharmacopsychiatry Section statement on comparative effectiveness of antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Tandon R, Belmaker RH, Gattaz WF, Lopez-Ibor JJ Jr, Okasha A, Singh B, Stein DJ, Olie JP, Fleischhacker WW, Moeller HJ; Section of Pharmacopsychiatry, World Psychiatric Association.
Collaborators (41)
Altamura AC, Baldwin DS, Baron D, Bauer M, Belmaker RH, Blier P, Boyer P, Bunney WE, Burrows G, Fleischhacker W, Flores D, Gattaz WF, Goodwin G, Heinze G, Hindmarch I, Hippius H, Hoschl C, Kasper S, Kragh-Sorensen P, Lopez-Ibor JJ, Malt U, Millet B, Min SK, Moeller HJ, Monti J, Muller-Oerlinghausen B, Muller-Spahn F, Nutt DJ, Okasha A, Olie JP, Paykel ES, Racagni G, Renshaw P, Rosenberg R, Saletu B, Singh B, Stein DJ, Tandon R, Versiani M, Vieta E, Zohar J.
University of Florida, Tallahassee, USA. [email protected]

Data from two major government-funded studies of comparative antipsychotic effectiveness in schizophrenia contradict the widely prevalent belief that the newer second-generation medications are vastly superior to the older first-generation drugs. This has caused uncertainty among patients, clinicians and policy-makers about the relative utility of first- and second- generation antipsychotic agents in its treatment. To reduce confusion and provide a contextual understanding of the new data, the World Psychiatry Association Section on Pharmacopsychiatry comprehensively reviewed the literature on the comparative effectiveness of different antipsychotic treatments for schizophrenia and developed this update. Utilizing data from the approximately 1,600 randomized controlled trials of antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia, we applied the two indirect and one direct method to comparing the effectiveness of 62 currently-available antipsychotic agents. The subclasses of 51 first-generation and 11 second-generation antipsychotics were both found to be very heterogeneous, with substantial differences in side-effect profiles among members. Second-generation antipsychotic agents were found to be inconsistently more effective than first-generation agents in alleviating negative, cognitive, and depressive symptoms and had a lower liability to cause tardive dyskinesia; these modest benefits were principally driven by the ability of second-generation antipsychotics to provide equivalent improvement in positive symptoms along with a lower risk of causing extrapyramidal side-effects. Clozapine was found to be more efficacious than other agents in treatment-refractory schizophrenia. There were no consistent differences in efficacy among other second-generation antipsychotic agents; if such differences exist, they are likely small in magnitude. Dosing was found to be a key variable in optimizing effectiveness of both first- and second- generation antipsychotic agents. There was enormous individual variability in antipsychotic response and vulnerability to various adverse effects. In contrast to their relatively similar efficacy in treating positive symptoms, there were substantial differences among both first- and second- generation antipsychotic agents with regard to their propensity to cause extrapyramidal, metabolic and other adverse effects; second-generation agents have a lower liability to cause acute extrapyramidal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia along with a tendency to cause greater metabolic side-effects than first-generation agents. Based on these data about the comparative effectiveness of different antipsychotic treatment options, we summarize elements of current best antipsychotic practice for the treatment of schizophrenia and discuss the role of government and the pharmaceutical industry in obtaining and disseminating information which can facilitate best practice



 Vibo Valentia  Chiesa di San Michele  (Campanile del Peruzzi)





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