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Eur Psychiatry. 2019 May;58:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2019.01.015. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

The efficacy of cariprazine in negative symptoms of schizophrenia: Post hoc analyses of PANSS individual items and PANSS-derived factors.

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Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples (SUN), Naples, Italy.
Medical Division, Gedeon Richter Plc, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address:
Medical Division, Gedeon Richter Plc, Budapest, Hungary.
Allergan, Madison, NJ, USA.



Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are heterogeneous and multidimensional; effective treatments are lacking. Cariprazine, a dopamine D3-preferring D3/D2 receptor partial agonist and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, was significantly more effective than risperidone in treating negative symptoms in a prospectively designed trial in patients with schizophrenia and persistent, predominant negative symptoms.


Using post hoc analyses, we evaluated change from baseline at week 26 in individual items of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and PANSS-derived factor models using a mixed-effects model for repeated measures (MMRM) in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population (cariprazine = 227; risperidone = 227).


Change from baseline was significantly different in favor of cariprazine versus risperidone on PANSS items N1-N5 (blunted affect, emotional withdrawal, poor rapport, passive/apathetic social withdrawal, difficulty in abstract thinking) (P < .05), but not on N6 (lack of spontaneity/flow of conversation) or N7 (stereotyped thinking). On all PANSS-derived negative symptom factor models evaluated (PANSS-Factor Score for Negative Symptoms, Liemburg factors, Khan factors, Pentagonal Structure Model Negative Symptom factor), statistically significant improvement was demonstrated for cariprazine versus risperidone (P < .01). Small and similar changes in positive/depressive/EPS symptoms suggested that negative symptom improvement was not pseudospecific. Change from baseline was significantly different for cariprazine versus risperidone on PANSS-based factors evaluating other relevant symptom domains (disorganized thoughts, prosocial function, cognition; P < .05).


Since items representing different negative symptom dimensions may represent different fundamental pathophysiological mechanisms, significant improvement versus risperidone on most PANSS Negative Subscale items and across all PANSS-derived factors suggests broad-spectrum efficacy for cariprazine in treating negative symptoms of schizophrenia.


Cariprazine; Cognition; Negative symptoms; PANSS; Risperidone; Schizophrenia

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