Author(s): Fernandez HH, Trieschmann ME, Friedman JH
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Abstract Aripiprazole is the newest atypical antipsychotic (AA) drug to be released in the US. It is the only AA that is a partial agonist at the D2 and 5HT1a receptors and an antagonist at 5HT2a receptors. It also has a high 5HT2/D2 ratio and may therefore carry a low risk of extrapyramidal side effects and alleviate psychosis in Parkinson-vulnerable populations. We report our preliminary experience in 8 patients with probable Parkinson disease (PD) treated with aripiprazole for drug-induced psychosis. Two patients were neuroleptic-naive, 5 patients were "quetiapine failures", and 1 patient was switched from olanzapine to aripiprazole. Aripiprazole was started at 5 mg to 10 mg a day and slowly increased over 3 to 7 days until side effects or improvement of psychosis occurred. Only 2 out of 8 patients experienced near complete resolution of their psychosis using aripiprazole. The other six patients discontinued aripiprazole within 40 days, 2 of whom discontinued due to motor worsening. Our preliminary experience with aripiprazole is mixed but not very encouraging. Controlled studies are needed to evaluate aripiprazole in parkinsonian patients.
This article was published in Clin Neuropharmacol
and referenced in Clinical Depression