Long-Acting Schizophrenia Treatment Demonstrates Promising Long-Term Safety and Relapse Prevention

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Nashville Study Shows Long-Acting Injectable Drug Effective in Treating Schizophrenia


Researchers in Nashville, Tennessee have reported that a long-acting injectable drug for schizophrenia, paliperidone palmitate, has been found to be effective and safe up to 3 years. The study included 121 patients, with 95.9% of those on the every-6-month dose remaining relapse-free. The results were presented at the Psych Congress 2023 conference.

Improving Adherence

  • The main challenge in treating schizophrenia is patient adherence to medication.
  • The every-6-month dosing of paliperidone palmitate provides a solution for patients who struggle with daily pill intake.
  • The stability provided by long-acting drugs can help prevent relapses, which can lead to loss of brain and physical function.

Study Details

The study participants were clinically stable and well maintained on paliperidone palmitate every 6 months. Key details include:

  • Mean age of participants: 38.6 years
  • 68.6% of participants were men
  • Mean length of illness: 11 years
  • 4.1% of patients relapsed during the study period

Safety and Adverse Events

During the study, there were no new safety signals and no deaths. The most common adverse events experienced by the patients included:

  • Headache (18.2%)
  • Weight gain (12.4%)
  • Increase in blood prolactin (11.6%)

Transitioning to the 6-Month Formulation

Another poster presented during the conference discussed safety data for patients transitioning from the 1-month and 3-month formulations of paliperidone palmitate to the 6-month formulation. Key findings included:

  • Relapse rate of 7.8% for patients transitioning from the 1-month to 6-month formulation
  • Relapse rate of 7.3% for patients transitioning from the 3-month to 6-month formulation

Patient Benefits and Treatment Plans

According to the researchers, the safety shown in transitioning to the 6-month formulation suggests that clinicians have flexibility in developing treatment plans for patients interested in switching. The opportunity to take the long-term formulation can bring meaningful benefits to patients’ lives.

Hope and Treatment for Schizophrenia

Michael DePeau-Wilson, a reporter on MedPage Today’s enterprise & investigative team, commented on the findings. He emphasized that there is hope and treatment available for patients with schizophrenia, and that the long-acting medication can make a significant difference in their lives.

  • Michael DePeau-Wilson is a reporter on MedPage Today’s enterprise & investigative team. He covers psychiatry, long covid, and infectious diseases, among other relevant U.S. clinical news. Follow


The studies were supported by Janssen Scientific Affairs.

The study authors reported multiple relationships with industry.

Primary Source

Psych Congress

Source Reference: Correll C, et al “Efficacy and safety of paliperidone palmitate 6-month formulation: a 3-year analysis in adults with schizophrenia” Psych Congress 2023; Poster #87.

Secondary Source

Psych Congress

Source Reference: Correll C, et al “Efficacy and safety outcomes when transitioning to paliperidone palmitate 6-month from paliperidone palmitate 1-month versus paliperidone palmitate 3-month” Psych Congress 2023; Poster #116.

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