Objective: The goal of this study was to explore the tolerability, safety, and treatment response of switching from oral olanzapine to paliperidone extended release (ER). Methods: Adult patients with nonacute schizophrenia who had been treated unsuccessfully with oral olanzapine were switched to flexible doses of paliperidone ER (3 to 12 mg/d). The primary efficacy outcome was a ≥20% improvement in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total scores from baseline to endpoint for patients who switched medications because of lack of efficacy with olanzapine and noninferiority versus previous olanzapine treatment (mean endpoint change in PANSS total scores vs. baseline of ≤5 points) for patients who switched for reasons other than lack of efficacy. Safety and tolerability were assessed by monitoring adverse events, extrapyramidal symptoms, and weight change. Results: Of 396 patients, 65.2% were men, mean age was 40.0±12.0 years, and 75.5% had paranoid schizophrenia. Among the patients whose main reason for switching was lack of efficacy, an improvement in the PANSS total score of ≥20% occurred in 57.4% of patients. Noninferiority was confirmed for each subgroup of patients whose main reason for switching was something other than lack of efficacy. Paliperidone ER was generally well tolerated. Extrapyramidal symptoms as measured by total Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale scores showed statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements at endpoint, the average weight decreased by 0.8±5.2 kg at endpoint, and a clinically relevant weight gain of ≥7% occurred in 8.0% of patients. Conclusion: Paliperidone ER flexibly-dosed over 6 months was well tolerated and associated with a meaningful clinical response in patients with nonacute schizophrenia who had previously been unsuccessfully treated with oral olanzapine.
- atypical antipsychotic
- flexible dosing
- paliperidone extended release (ER)