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J Clin Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;70(1):25-35. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

The acute efficacy of aripiprazole across the symptom spectrum of schizophrenia: a pooled post hoc analysis from 5 short-term studies.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinoise 60612, USA. pjanicak@rush.edu



To evaluate the efficacy of aripiprazole across a range of symptoms-positive, negative, disorganized thought, depression/anxiety, and hostility-in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.


Pooled data were analyzed from 5 short-term, double-blind, multicenter studies (published between 1997 and 2007) involving patients hospitalized with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia (5 studies) or schizoaffective disorder (2 studies) and randomly assigned to aripiprazole (N = 875), haloperidol (N = 193), risperidone (N = 95), or placebo (N = 406). Aripiprazole doses ranged from 2 to 30 mg/day. Patients receiving the ineffective 2-mg dose were excluded from the primary analyses presented here. Factor analysis of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) data was used to evaluate changes from baseline with aripiprazole on 5 symptom factors-positive, negative, disorganized thought, depression/anxiety, and hostility-in 2 population subsets-schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Pairwise comparisons were made as follows for schizophrenia: aripiprazole versus placebo in all 5 studies; aripiprazole, haloperidol, and placebo in 3 studies; and aripiprazole, risperidone, and placebo in 1 study. Patients with schizoaffective disorder in 2 studies were included in the comparison of aripiprazole and placebo.


Aripiprazole was significantly better than placebo in improving all 5 PANSS factor scores from baseline (each p < .001) in the schizophrenia dataset. In schizoaffective disorder, aripiprazole was significantly better than placebo for the improvement of positive (p <or= .05) and hostility (p <or= .01) factor scores. Analysis of the 3 studies involving haloperidol showed that aripiprazole was significantly better than placebo in improving all 5 factors (p <or= .01), whereas haloperidol produced significantly greater improvements than placebo in 3 factors (positive, disorganized thought, and hostility) (each p < .001). There was no difference between aripiprazole and haloperidol on any factor. Analysis of the study involving risperidone showed that both drugs were better than placebo for all 5 factors with the exception of the depression/anxiety factor, in which only risperidone separated from placebo. There was no difference between aripiprazole and risperidone on any factor.


In this large dataset, aripiprazole was associated with improvements in a broad range of symptom domains in the short-term treatment of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Copyright 2009 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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