[Preclinical pharmacological profiles and clinical efficacy of the novel antipsychotic drug brexpiprazole (REXULTI® Tablets 1 mg, 2 mg)].Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2019; 154(5):275-287.NY
Brexpiprazole (Rexulti®) is the second antipsychotic agent in the world with dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist which was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. It is categorized as 〝Serotonin- dopamine Activity Modulator (SDAM)〟 that regulates both serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems by acting as a partial agonist for serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and D2 receptors and as an antagonist for 5-HT2A receptors. In preclinical pharmacological studies, brexpiprazole showed the equivalent antipsychotic-like effects to those of other atypical antipsychotics. And it was suggested that brexpiprazole has the low potentials to induce extrapyramidal symptoms, hyperprolactinemia and tardive dyskinesia, with improvement effects on cognitive dysfunction. Furthermore, brexpiprazole has the weak effects on histamine H1 receptors which are associated with sedation and weight gain in clinical. In the clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia in both acute and maintenance phase, brexpiprazole showed improvement of antipsychotic effects against placebo, and low incidence of adverse events, e.g., extrapyramidal symptoms, hyperprolactinemia, and weight gain, as suggested in preclinical studies. Furthermore, brexpiprazole showed low incidence of metabolic abnormalities. In particular, brexpiprazole showed relatively low incidences of akathisia, insomnia and agitation which has been commonly reported with aripiprazole. This would be based on the pharmacological features of brexpiprazole that is more potent antagonism at 5-HT2A receptors and D2 receptors partial agonism with lower intrinsic activity compared to those of aripiprazole. In conclusion, brexpiprazole could be one of the antipsychotics with the most rational mechanism of action, and the better efficacy and safety/tolerability profiles would contribute to the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.