A Shot for Schizophrenia

Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil) extended-release injection to treat schizophrenia approved by FDA

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) After a new FDA approval, patients who face schizophrenia every day may not have to take their medication every day to stay healthy.

Instead, they could take Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil), a newly approved, long-acting injection to treat adults with schizophrenia. This drug is given by a medical professional every four to six weeks using an injection in the arm or buttocks.

“Long-acting medications to treat schizophrenia can improve the lives of patients,” said Mitchell Mathis, MD, director of the Division of Psychiatry Products at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in a press release. “Having a variety of treatment options and dosage forms available for patients with mental illness is important so that a treatment plan can be tailored to meet the patient’s needs.”

According to the FDA, schizophrenia affects around 1 percent of US patients. It's a brain disorder with symptoms like paranoia, social withdrawal and hallucinations. In a 12-week study of 622 schizophrenia patients, Aristada appeared more beneficial than a placebo (fake treatment).

Like several other schizophrenia drugs, Aristada carries a boxed warning that notes a raised death risk tied to using the drug to treat dementia-related psychosis. Aristada is not approved for use in these patients.

A common side effect of this Alkermes, Inc., drug was akathisia, or feeling the need to move constantly.

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Review Date: 
October 6, 2015
Last Updated:
October 6, 2015