Aripiprazole, ziprasidone, and quetiapine in the treatment of first-episode nonaffective psychosis: results of a 6-week, randomized, flexible-dose, open-label comparison.J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013 Apr; 33(2):215-20.JC
Differences among antipsychotics in effectiveness have turned out to be a topic of increasing research interest, although comparisons between the different second-generation antipsychotics are scarce. From October 2005 to March 2011, a prospective, randomized, open-label study comparing the effectiveness of aripiprazole, ziprasidone, and quetiapine in the short-term treatment of first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders was undertaken. Two hundred two patients were randomly assigned to aripiprazole (n = 78), ziprasidone (n = 62), or quetiapine (n = 62) and followed up for 6 weeks. The primary effectiveness measure was all-cause of treatment discontinuation. In addition, an analysis based on per protocol populations was conducted in the analysis for clinical efficacy. The overall dropout rate at 6 weeks was small (6.4%). The treatment discontinuation rate differed significantly between treatment groups (aripiprazole, 15%; ziprasidone, 19%; and quetiapine, 35%; χ(2) = 8.529; P = 0.014). Insufficient efficacy in the group of quetiapine is the main reason for discontinuation rate differences (χ = 10.139; P = 0.006). The mean time to all-cause discontinuation was significantly different between the groups (log-rank, 12.783; P = 0.001). Quetiapine was associated with a greater depressive symptoms improvement than ziprasidone (P = 0.045). The rate of responders at 6 weeks differed between the groups (F = 6, 116; P = 0.047), with a higher rate of the responders with aripiprazole. The profile of adverse effects varies between the treatments. Patients on quetiapine were less likely to be prescribed concomitant medications. Treatment with quetiapine was associated with a higher risk of treatment discontinuation during treatment owing to insufficient efficacy. Differences in effectiveness between second-generation antipsychotics would determine their position in everyday clinical practice and could help physicians choose the more efficacious antipsychotics.