Lumateperone for the Treatment of Schizophrenia


Adam M. Kaye: 0000-0002-7224-3322

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Psychopharmacology Bulletin







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Introduction: Schizophrenia is a severe psychotic disorder that is diagnosed by the presence of hallucinations or delusions along with disorganized speech, disorganized thought, or negative symptoms that are present for at least six months. Roughly 1 in 10,000 people a year are diagnosed with this psychiatric disorder. It is a chronic disorder requiring a lifetime of treatment of which antipsychotics have been the mainstay of this treatment. First-generation antipsychotics have dystonia, parkinsonism, and development of Tardive Dyskinesia as major side effects, and they are also nonspecific in terms of their actions. Second Generation antipsychotics target more specific dopamine and sometimes serotonin receptors with less dystonic side effects; however, there are additional concerns for the development of metabolic syndrome. This review aims to look at new medication on the market, lumateperone, for the treatment of Schizophrenia. Recent studies: In one four week study with 60mg and 120mg of Lumateperone compared, 4mg of Risperdal, and a placebo found that Lumateperone significantly decreased the total Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) from baseline. Safety analysis of this study also found that Lumateperone was not associated with EPS or significant weight gain. Another study found that 42mg of Lumateperone significantly decreased PANSS score over placebo and 28mg of Lumateperone with associated TEAEs of somnolence, sedation, fatigue, and constipation. In an open-label safety, patients were switched from their current antipsychotic to Lumateperone and then switched back to their previous treatment after six weeks. PATIENTS were found to have statistically significant improvements in metabolic parameters, weight, and endocrine parameters, which were all lost when they were switched back to their previous treatment and their schizophrenic symptoms at pre-trial levels or improved them while on Lumateperone. In a continuation of the previous study over 12 months, 4 TEAEs occurred in 5% or more of the participants: diarrhea, dry mouth, weight decrease, and headache. Prolactin, metabolic labs, BMI, and weight all decreased as compared to the standard of care. Pooled studies revealed EPS related TEAEs were less frequent in patients receiving 42 mg lumateperone over Risperdal. Another pooled study looked at the safety profile; they found patients treated with lumateperone, two TEAEs occurred at twice the placebo rate and at a rate of 5% or more: dry mouth (5% vs. 2.2%) and sedation (24.1% vs. 10.0%) though TEAE discontinuation rates were lower than with Risperdal. Summary: Taken together, data from these trials suggest that lumateperone can effectively treat positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Lumateperone entrance to the market introduces an innovative way to treat schizophrenia featuring both a novel mechanism of action and a markedly reduced side effect profile. Further research is needed to determine the efficacy of Lumateperone in treating bipolar disorder in addition to schizophrenia.