Aripiprazole potentially lowers cost of schizophrenia
Treatment with the long-acting injectable antipsychotic (LAI) aripiprazole appears to reduce hospitalization in recent-onset schizophrenia, which can lead to a lower socioeconomic healthcare burden, according to a study.
The study involved 138 patients (mean age, 29.7 years; 52.9 percent male) hospitalized for schizophrenia. Most of them (73.2 percent) were high school graduates who were either working (27.5 percent) or unemployed (49.3 percent), and unmarried (71.7 percent) and living with their immediate family (60.9 percent).
More than half of the population (60.9 percent) had no record of psychiatric illness in their families. There were 29 percent of patients with mild substance use disorder, with 18.1 percent on cannabis, 1.4 percent on opiates, and 9.4 percent on multiple substances.
Aripiprazole treatment produced significant reductions in mean Clinical Global Impression Scale—severity of illness (CGI‐S) score (from 5.7 to 3.1; p<0.001) and mean Clinician‐Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptom Severity (CRDPSS) score (from 20.6 to 13.8; p<0.001) at the first year of follow-up.
The average number of hospitalizations also dropped after a year of treatment, from 0.9 to 0.4 (p=0.005). Mean total number of hospitalization days also decreased from 13.2 to 6.0 (p<0.001).
In light of the present data, aripiprazole in LAI formulation is hailed as an important therapeutic option in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia.