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Sodium Oxybate in Schizophrenia With Insomnia

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00594256
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 15, 2008
Results First Posted : February 8, 2016
Last Update Posted : February 8, 2016
Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Daniel C. Javitt, MD, PhD, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Brief Summary:
The present protocol proposes study of the recently approved compound sodium oxybate (Xyrem), a gamma-aminobutyric acid type b (GABAB) and a g-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) receptor agonist, for the study of persistent symptoms of schizophrenia. Sodium oxybate is a central nervous system depressant currently approved for treatment of narcolepsy associated with cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness. In addition to evaluating effects on sodium oxybate on persistent symptoms and neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia, the study will test the hypothesis that this medication may be particularly effective in combating Insomnia Related to Schizophrenia, and in normalizing symptomatic and polysomnographic manifestations of sleep-related brain dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Schizophrenia Insomnia Related to Schizophrenia (307.42) Drug: Sodium Oxybate Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Rationale/Study Hypothesis:

Rationale for study of sodium oxybate is twofold: first, sleep dysfunction is an important and overlooked aspect of schizophrenia intrinsically linked to cognitive and functional impairments, and, second, GABAB receptors regulate dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems in vivo, suggesting that GABAB agonists may be therapeutically beneficial in schizophrenia.

We are aware of three previous trials of GHB in schizophrenia, two of which did not show any overall benefit in psychopathology. We noted multiple limitations in the controlled trials, including:

  1. requirement of cumbersome dosing patterns (up to six times a day) that could have led to incomplete compliance,
  2. lack of objective measures of subjective sleep or sleep architecture,
  3. lack of objective cognitive testing,
  4. use of GHB as monotherapy or only in conjunction with only low dose antipsychotics,
  5. short trial duration (less than 4 weeks),
  6. relatively low overall night-time dose of GHB, and
  7. a heterogeneous, small sample.

We propose an open label, proof of concept study evaluating the effect of sodium oxybate on insomnia in schizophrenia. The primary hypothesis of the study is that patients treated with sodium oxybate will show improved subjective sleep as measured by the overall Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Secondarily, we expect superior reduction in total psychopathology and PANSS factor scales (PANSS), polysomnographic measures, and neurocognition (MATRICS).

Design and dosage schedule:

We plan to enroll eight hospitalized patients with diagnostic & statistical manual text revision (DSM-IV-TR) schizophrenia and insomnia related to schizophrenia. The study will include: a one-week evaluation period, which will include tapering of any hypnotics, baseline diagnostic, psychopathology, neurocognitive, electrophysiological and polysomnographic measurements. Patients will then begin a four-week trial of adjunctive sodium oxybate, with a three-week taper of sodium oxybate to follow. Hypnotic/sodium oxybate taper may be extended or abbreviated, depending on clinical judgment.

Patients entering the study will be permitted to receive both typical and atypical antipsychotics. Treating psychiatrists will be encouraged to maintain fixed doses of all psychotropic medication throughout the study.

Other than haloperidol and benztropine prn (up to 10 mg/day of haloperidol), the prescription of a new psychotropic will not be permitted. After the second week of study medication, any subject requiring more than 4 doses of haloperidol in one week will be considered to have relapsed, and will be withdrawn from the study.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 8 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Open Label, Pilot Study of Adjunctive Xyrem (Sodium Oxybate) for the Treatment of Schizophrenia and Associated Sleep Disturbances
Study Start Date : May 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Sodium oxybate
Active treatment
Drug: Sodium Oxybate
Patients will undergo a one-week evaluation period, which will include a taper and discontinuation of any currently prescribed sedative/hypnotics, as well as baseline diagnostic, psychopathology, neurocognitive and polysomnographic measurements (see below for details). Hypnotic taper may be extended or abbreviated, depending on clinical judgment. Patients will then begin a 4-week trial of adjunctive Xyrem (sodium oxybate). Patients will begin at 4.5 g/night (in divided doses of 2.25 g, with 1st dose at bedtime and then 2nd dose four hours later). Dosage will increase by 1.5 g/day every week, until a dose of 9 g nightly is reached, or a patient cannot tolerate further dose escalations. Medication will be administered in divided dosage for the duration of the study. A three-week taper (by 3 g/day weekly) of sodium oxybate will follow the four-week trial of sodium oxybate.
Other Name: Xyrem

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    This rating scale generates a global sleep-quality score, as well as scores on 7 components of sleep quality: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction. The 19 items are combined to form seven "component" scores, each of which has a range of O-3 points. The seven component scores are then added to yield one "global" score, with a range of O-21 points, "0" indicating no difficulty and "21" indicating severe difficulties in all areas.

  2. Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    Designed to measure daytime sleepiness. 8 items rated 0-3, with higher scores associated with a greater daytime sleepiness. overall score rated 0-24, with scores greater than 10 indicating significant daytime sleepiness.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Negative Factor [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    The PANSS Negative factor is a 7-item rating scale widely used in the assessment of schizophrenia. Range is 7-49 with higher scores worse

  2. MATRICS Neurocognitive Battery Composite [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    This is a series of neurocognitive tests developed by the National Institute of Mental Health to evaluate medications targeting cognition in an efficient and reliable manner. It will be modified by the deletion of the social competence domain. The six domains include speed of processing, attention/vigilance, working memory, verbal learning, visual learning and reasoning/problem solving. The primary outcome will be the mean T-score (mean of six domains).

  3. Slow Wave Sleep Minutes [ Time Frame: 1 month ]
    Overnight sleep study: Subjects will undergo polysomnography four times during this study, on consecutive nights during the observation week and on consecutive nights at the end. Polysomnography will be performed in a modified seclusion room on the in patient unit. The first of the consecutive nights will be used for adaptation to the study conditions. Sleep was recorded between lights off (10 pm) and lights on (at 6:45 am). We aim for conditions for falling asleep as comfortable as possible under the experimental condition.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients aged 18-45 with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and insomnia related to schizophrenia, confirmed by a structured interview (SCID).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Lack of capacity to give informed consent (capacity is determined by a licensed member of the treatment team).
  • Unstable medical illness.
  • Diagnosis of restless leg syndrome, a seizure disorder, uncontrolled hypertension, unstable cardiac illness, or obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Pregnancy or lack of adequate birth control.
  • History of substance dependence disorder.
  • Current treatment with valproic acid.
  • Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADH).
  • Persistent need for treatment with benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates or other sedative hypnotics.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00594256

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United States, New York
Nathan Kline Insitute for Psychiatric Research
Orangeburg, New York, United States, 10962
Sponsors and Collaborators
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Jazz Pharmaceuticals
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Principal Investigator: Daniel C Javitt, MD PhD Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: Daniel C. Javitt, MD, PhD, Director, Schizophrenia Research Center, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research Identifier: NCT00594256    
Other Study ID Numbers: 07I/C36-0
First Posted: January 15, 2008    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: February 8, 2016
Last Update Posted: February 8, 2016
Last Verified: January 2016
Keywords provided by Daniel C. Javitt, MD, PhD, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research:
Sleep Architecture
Sodium Oxybate
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Sleep Disorders, Intrinsic
Sleep Wake Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Sodium Oxybate
Adjuvants, Anesthesia
Anesthetics, Intravenous
Anesthetics, General
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs