Qualify: A randomized head-to-head study of aripiprazole once-monthly and paliperidone palmitate in the treatment of schizophrenia

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Objective: To directly compare aripiprazole once-monthly 400. mg (AOM 400) and paliperidone palmitate once-monthly (PP) on the Heinrichs-Carpenter Quality-of-Life Scale (QLS), a validated health-related quality of life and functioning measure in schizophrenia. Method: This 28-week, randomized, non-inferiority, open-label, rater-blinded, head-to-head study (QUALIFY) of AOM 400 and PP in adult patients (18-60 years) comprised oral conversion, initiation of AOM 400 or PP treatment, and continuation with intramuscular injections every 4. weeks. The primary endpoint assessed non-inferiority and superiority on QLS total score analyzed using a mixed model for repeated measurements. Results: Of 295 randomized patients, 100/148 (67.6%) of AOM 400 and 83/147 (56.5%) of PP patients completed 28. weeks of treatment. A statistically significant least squares mean difference in change from baseline to week 28 on QLS total score (4.67 [95%CI: 0.32;9.02], p = 0.036) confirmed non-inferiority and established superiority of AOM 400 vs PP. There were also significant improvements in Clinical Global Impression - Severity scale and the Investigator's Assessment Questionnaire for AOM 400 vs PP, and pre-defined sub-group analyses revealed a consistent pattern of significance favoring AOM 400 in patients ≤. 35. years. Common treatment-emergent adverse events in the treatment continuation phase were more frequent with PP vs AOM 400, and adverse events were the most frequent reason for discontinuation (27/137 [19.7%] for PP and 16/144 [11.1%] for AOM 400). All-cause discontinuation was numerically lower with AOM 400. Conclusion: Superior improvements on clinician-rated health-related quality of life and a favorable tolerability profile suggest greater overall effectiveness for aripiprazole once-monthly vs paliperidone palmitate.ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01795547.




Naber, D., Hansen, K., Forray, C., Baker, R. A., Sapin, C., Beillat, M., … Potkin, S. G. (2015). Qualify: A randomized head-to-head study of aripiprazole once-monthly and paliperidone palmitate in the treatment of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 168(1–2), 498–504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2015.07.007

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