Like one of Shaq's free throws (Clank!) -- and more, soon -- this from MedPage Today:
. . . .Long-term findings for the novel antipsychotic agent asenapine did not confirm any advantage over second-generation antipsychotics for negative symptoms of schizophrenia. . . .
Earlier in the clinical trials program for asenapine, an unhypothesized benefit turned up -- it appeared to improve negative symptoms of schizophrenia significantly better than risperidone (Risperdal).
These negative symptoms, such as lack of motivation and social withdrawal, are far more likely to persist over time than are the core, positive symptoms of the disorder, "which have a much more waxing and waning form," Dr. Schooler said.
To examine this potential advantage prospectively, the researchers conducted the Aphrodite 25543 study, which included 26 weeks of double-dummy treatment with asenapine (5 to 10 mg bid) or olanzapine (5 to 20 mg qd) in 481 schizophrenia patients who had higher negative than positive symptom scores.
Dr. Schooler's presentation focused on the 26-week extension phase that followed for the 134 asenapine-treated patients and 172 olanzapine-treated patients that remained in the trial.
For the primary outcome of Negative Symptom Assessment Scale 16 scores, there was no significant difference between the drugs at week 52 (P=0.2344).
Likewise, they found no differences -- and little change over time -- for the positive symptom portion of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) or for the anxiety and depression portion. . . .