Dosing and switching of paliperidone ER in patients with schizophrenia: recommendations for clinical practice.

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Dosing and switching of paliperidone ER in patients with schizophrenia: recommendations for clinical practice.

Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2014;13(1):10

Authors: Peuskens J, Rubio G, Schreiner A

Abstract
Many patients with schizophrenia receive long-term treatment with antipsychotic medication. Switching of antipsychotic medication due to lack of efficacy, tolerability issues, and partial/non-adherence is common. Despite this, consensus strategies for switching between antipsychotics are lacking. This manuscript provides practical recommendations for switching antipsychotic medication to ensure optimal management of patients with schizophrenia, with a particular focus on paliperidone extended release (ER). The authors drew on their clinical experience supported by detailed discussion of literature describing antipsychotic switching techniques and strategies and findings from paliperidone ER clinical trials. Antipsychotic switching strategies should be individualized and take into consideration the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) properties of the pre- and post-switch medication. The use of temporary concomitant medications may be appropriate in some scenarios. Abrupt withdrawal of pre-switch medication may be appropriate in some instances but carries a greater risk of rebound and withdrawal symptoms than other strategies. Cross-tapering is the method most widely used in clinical practice. Paliperidone ER can be initiated without dose titration. The EU SmPC recommended dose of paliperidone ER is 6 mg/day; but doses should be individualized within the approved range of 3-12 mg/day. Higher doses may be required due to insufficient efficacy of the previous antipsychotic or in patients with acute symptoms. Recently diagnosed patients, those with renal impairment, or patients who have previously experienced tolerability issues with other antipsychotics may require lower doses. When switching from risperidone, higher doses of paliperidone ER may be required compared with risperidone. When switching from antipsychotics that have sedative and/or significant anticholinergic activity, the pre-switch antipsychotic should be tapered off gradually. Antipsychotics with less sedating and little anticholinergic activity can be tapered off over a shorter period. Temporary concomitant sedative medication may be beneficial when switching from antipsychotics with relatively higher sedative propensities. Switching from another antipsychotic to paliperidone ER requires individualized switching strategies and dosing, dependent on the characteristics of the patient and the PK and PD properties of the pre-switch medication. Cross-tapering strategies should be considered as a means of reducing the risk of rebound and withdrawal symptoms.

PMID: 24690136 [PubMed]

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