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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Maintenance of response with atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia: a post-hoc analysis of 5 double-blind, randomized clinical trials

Virginia Stauffer1*, Haya Ascher-Svanum1, Lin Liu1, Tamara Ball2 and Robert Conley1

Author Affiliations

1 Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN, USA

2 i3 Statprobe, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:13  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-13

Published: 31 March 2009

Abstract

Background

How long an antipsychotic is effective in maintaining response is important in choosing the correct treatment for people with schizophrenia. This post-hoc analysis describes maintenance of response over 24 or 28 weeks in people treated for schizophrenia with olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone, or aripiprazole.

Methods

This was a post-hoc analysis using data from 5 double-blind, randomized, comparative trials of 24 or 28 weeks duration in which olanzapine was compared to risperidone (1 study; N = 339), quetiapine (1 study; N = 346), ziprasidone (2 studies; N = 548 and 394) or aripiprazole (1 study; N = 566) for treatment of schizophrenia. For each study, time to loss of response in patients who met criteria for response at Week 8 and the proportion of patients who lost response following Week 8 were compared by treatment group. The number needed to treat (NNT) with olanzapine rather than comparator to avoid loss of one additional responder over 24 or 28 weeks of treatment was calculated for each study.

Results

Time maintained in response was significantly longer (p < .05) for olanzapine compared to risperidone, quetiapine, and ziprasidone. Olanzapine did not significantly differ from aripiprazole. The proportion of patients who lost response was significantly lower for olanzapine versus risperidone, quetiapine, and ziprasidone (p < .05). NNTs to avoid one additional patient with loss of response with olanzapine versus risperidone, quetiapine and ziprasidone were favourable, ranging from 5 to 9.

Conclusion

During 24 and 28 weeks of treatment, the antipsychotics studied differed in the time that treated patients with schizophrenia remained in response and the proportion of patients who lost response. Olanzapine treatment resulted in a consistent and statistically significant advantage in maintenance of response compared to treatment with risperidone, quetiapine and ziprasidone; but not compared to treatment with aripiprazole.