Brexpiprazole: A Review in Schizophrenia
Brexpiprazole (Rxulti®, Rexulti®) is an oral atypical antipsychotic agent approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in the EU (in adult patients) and the USA, as well as in some other countries, including Japan. Like aripiprazole, it is a partial agonist at dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. However, brexpiprazole displays less intrinsic activity at D2 receptors and, coupled with actions at 5HT1A, 5HT2A and noradrenaline α1B receptors that are at least as potent as its action at D2 receptors, is predicted to demonstrate a lower propensity for activating adverse events and extrapyramidal symptoms than aripiprazole. Brexpiprazole 2–4 mg/day produced statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in overall symptomatology and psychosocial functioning compared with placebo in adults with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia. As maintenance treatment, brexpiprazole 1–4 mg/day significantly delayed the time to relapse compared with placebo in patients who were already stabilized on the drug and was associated with stabilization or continued improvement in patients’ symptoms and functioning. Brexpiprazole was generally well tolerated, exhibiting an adverse event profile characterized by a relatively low incidence of activating and sedating adverse effects, small changes in QT interval and metabolic parameters that were not clinically significant, and moderate weight gain. Clinical evidence to date suggests it usefully extends the range of therapeutic options for schizophrenia.
During the peer review process, the manufacturer of brexpiprazole was also offered an opportunity to review this article. Changes resulting from comments received were made on the basis of scientific and editorial merit.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.
Conflict of interest
James Frampton is a salaried employee of Adis/Springer, is responsible for the article content and declares no relevant conflicts of interest.
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