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Comparison of Aripiprazole and Risperidone for the Treatment of People With First-Episode Psychosis

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Delbert Robinson, Northwell Health Identifier:
First received: May 1, 2006
Last updated: September 7, 2016
Last verified: September 2016
This 52 week long study evaluates the effectiveness of aripiprazole versus risperidone in treating people with first-episode schizophrenia. Patients who do not improve with these medications receive clozapine as their third medication trial.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Aripiprazole
Drug: Risperidone
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Preventing Morbidity in First Episode Schizophrenia, Part II

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Northwell Health:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Percentage of Participants That Responded to Treatment [ Time Frame: this outcome was assessed throughout the study. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Anchored (BPRS-A) 4 items on this scale were examined to determine subjects responder status: Items 4. Conceptual Disorganization 8. Grandiosity 12. Hallucinations and 15. Unusual Thought Content. Scores range from-7 (not assessed) to 7 (very severe) Subjects with scores of 3 or less on all 4 items for 2 consecutive visits are deemed responders, subjects with 4 or greater and any of the aforementioned items for 2 consecutive study visits are non responders. Additionally, the subjects response on the Clinical Global Impressions Scale. A Clinical Global Improvement CGI) rating of much or very much improved on 2 consecutive ratings were deemed a responder. Percentages and confidence intervals were used to report response outcome. Response status was assessed throughout the duration of the study; a participant can be deemed a responder any time between weeks 1-week 12. The possible range for this outcome is a score of 4 to 28

Enrollment: 198
Study Start Date: December 2005
Study Completion Date: December 2015
Primary Completion Date: December 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Participants will take aripiprazole
Participants will take aripiprazole
Drug: Aripiprazole
The dosage for aripiprazole will be 5 mg to 30 mg per day in capsule form. The dose of aripiprazole will be based on the participant's clinical improvement and side effects, which will be evaluated weekly for the first 4 weeks and then every 2 weeks until the 12th week and then monthly until study end.
Other Name: Abilify
Experimental: Participants will take risperidone
Participants will take risperidone
Drug: Risperidone
The dosage for risperidone will be 1 mg to 6 mg per day in capsule form. The dose of risperidone will be based on the participant's clinical improvement and side effects, which will be evaluated weekly for the first 4 weeks, then every 2 weeks until the 12th week, and then monthly until the study end.
Other Name: Risperdal

Detailed Description:

Schizophrenia is a severely disabling brain disorder. People with schizophrenia often experience hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, and movement disorders. Medications are available to alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia, but many cause undesirable side effects. For example, two early second generation antipsychotics, olanzapine and risperidone, have been shown to be effective in treating schizophrenia symptoms, but cause rapid, substantial weight gain. There is a lower risk of such side effects with newer second generation antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole. Little is known, however, about the effectiveness of these newer medications in treating people with first-episode schizophrenia. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of aripiprazole versus risperidone for the treatment of first-episode schizophrenia.

Participants in this double-blind study will be randomly assigned to receive either aripiprazole or risperidone for 12 weeks. Subjects who do not meet response criteria will be continued on their initial blinded antipsychotic for an additional 4 weeks for a total length of 16 weeks of treatment. Subjects who meet response criteria by week 16 will continue on their successful blinded medication for their remaining time in study. Patients who do not respond will be treated with the other medication (aripiprazole or risperidone) that they did not receive during the first 16 weeks of the study. The second antipsychotic trial will last 16 weeks. Patients who respond during the switch phase will be continued on their successful medication during their remaining time in the study. Patients who do not respond to the second medication trial will then be treated with open-label clozapine for 20 weeks. Safety monitoring for clozapine-treated subjects will follow the established procedures for multi-episode patients (e.g . weekly complete blood count (CBC) monitoring). The total length of patient participation is 52 weeks.

During the longitudinal follow-up phase, subjects may be prescribed open-label sodium valproate for manic symptoms and open-label sertraline for symptoms of depression or anxiety empirically responsive to (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)SSRI treatment. Additionally, all participants will take part in a Healthy Lifestyles program aimed at preventing weight gain. The Healthy Lifestyles program will provide psycho-education, supportive psychotherapy, and medication adherence counseling. At each visit, treatment and metabolic outcomes will be assessed. Participants will meet with both a psychiatrist, who will evaluate progress and medication dosage, and a social worker, who will administer the Healthy Lifestyles Program. Upon completion of the study, participants will receive follow-up care from clinical staff members who were not part of the research team.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   15 Years to 40 Years   (Child, Adult)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or similar psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, as assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for Axis I DSM-IV Disorders (SCID-I/P)
  • History of previous antipsychotic medication treatment for a duration of 2 weeks or less
  • Current positive symptoms rated 4 (moderate) or more on one or more of the following Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-A) items: conceptual disorganization; grandiosity; hallucinatory behavior; or unusual thought content
  • Agrees to use an effective form of contraception

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any serious neurological or endocrine disorder, or any medical condition or treatment known to affect the brain
  • Any current medical condition that requires treatment with a medication with psychotropic effects
  • At significant risk for suicidal or homicidal behavior
  • Cognitive or language limitations, or any other factor that would interfere with a participant's ability to provide informed consent or safely participate in study procedures
  • Diagnosis of diabetes, defined as a fasting plasma glucose level of at least 126 mg/dL, or metabolic syndrome, defined as three or more of the following: high blood pressure (greater than 135/85 mmHg); truncal obesity (having a waist circumference greater than 40 inches for men and greater than 35 inches for women); elevated fasting glucose (greater than 110 mg/dL); low HDL-cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women); or elevated triglycerides (defined as greater than 150 mg/dL)
  • Requires treatment with an antidepressant or mood stabilizing medication
  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for a current substance-induced psychotic disorder, a psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, delusional disorder, brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, or a mood disorder (major depression or bipolar) with psychotic features
  • Any medical conditions that would make treatment with risperidone or aripiprazole medically inadvisable
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00320671

United States, New York
The Zucker Hillside Hospital
Glen Oaks, New York, United States, 11004
Sponsors and Collaborators
Northwell Health
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Delbert Robinson, MD The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
  More Information

Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Delbert Robinson, Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine, Northwell Health Identifier: NCT00320671     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01MH060004-02 
Study First Received: May 1, 2006
Results First Received: March 22, 2016
Last Updated: September 7, 2016
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: Yes

Keywords provided by Northwell Health:
Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophreniform Disorder
Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified NOS

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Serotonin Antagonists
Serotonin Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs
Dopamine Antagonists
Dopamine Agents processed this record on October 21, 2016