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Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Mar;23(2):95-105. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e3282f2d42c.

Evaluation of the feasibility of switching from immediate release quetiapine to extended release quetiapine fumarate in stable outpatients with schizophrenia.

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Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany.


This double-blind, double-dummy study (D1444C00146) evaluated the efficacy and safety of switching patients with clinically stable schizophrenia from quetiapine immediate release (IR) to the same dose of once-daily extended release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR). Patients received quetiapine IR 400-800 mg/day twice daily for 4 weeks, and were then randomized (2 : 1) to a once-daily equivalent dose of quetiapine XR or maintained on IR for 6 weeks. The primary variable was the proportion of patients who discontinued treatment owing to lack of efficacy or whose Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores increased by at least 20% from randomization to any visit. In total, 497 patients were randomized to quetiapine XR (n=331) or IR (n=166). Noninferiority (6% margin; one-sided test, 2.5% significance level) was narrowly missed for the primary efficacy variable for the modified intention-to-treat population (9.1%, quetiapine XR; 7.2%, quetiapine IR; difference 1.86%; 95% confidence interval: -3.78, 6.57; P=0.0431), but was shown for the per-protocol population (5.3%, quetiapine XR; 6.2%, quetiapine IR; difference: -0.83%; 95% confidence interval: -6.75, 3.71; P=0.0017). Serious adverse event incidence was low for quetiapine XR and IR; there were no unexpected adverse events. In conclusion, efficacy was maintained without compromising safety/tolerability when switching patients with stable schizophrenia from twice-daily quetiapine IR to once-daily quetiapine XR (400-800 mg/day).

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