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Schizophr Res. 2011 Apr;127(1-3):93-9. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.12.011. Epub 2011 Jan 23.

Effect of aripiprazole augmentation of clozapine in schizophrenia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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  • 1Section of Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences, Psychiatric and Anaesthesiological Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.


The simultaneous prescription of two or more antipsychotic drugs in combination is a common treatment strategy for those patients who have demonstrated a suboptimal response to clozapine; nevertheless, evidence suggesting potential advantages of combination treatment with clozapine plus one antipsychotic in terms of efficacy and tolerability are still sparse. The present 24-week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of adjunctive aripiprazole to clozapine therapy in schizophrenia was aimed to explore the efficacy of aripiprazole add-on pharmacotherapy on clinical symptomatology and cognitive functioning in a sample of patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia receiving clozapine. After clinical and neurocognitive assessments patients were randomly allocated to receive, in a double-blind design, either up to 15 mg/day of aripiprazole or a placebo. A final sample of thirty-one patients completed the study. The results obtained indicate that aripiprazole added to stable clozapine treatment showed a beneficial effect on the positive and general psychopathological symptomatology in a sample of treatment-resistant schizophrenia patients. Regarding executive cognitive functions, aripiprazole augmentation of clozapine had no significant effects. The findings provide evidence that aripiprazole augmentation of clozapine treatment is well-tolerated and may be of benefit for patients who are partially responsive to clozapine monotherapy; further double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in a larger number of patients are required to evaluate the therapeutic potential of aripiprazole augmentation of clozapine.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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