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What happened? A new medication has joined a class of new-generation antipsychotic drugs available to treat schizophrenia.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved paliperidone (Invega) extended-release tablets for treatment of schizophrenia. A similar medication, risperidone (Risperdal), has been available for some time. However, Invega is a new molecular entity containing an active substance previously not available in the United States.
Invega's effectiveness in the treatment of schizophrenia was established in three placebo-controlled trials conducted in North America, Europe and Asia. 1,665 participating adults were evaluated for the full range of schizophrenia signs and symptoms.
Side effects of Invega may include restlessness, movement disorders, rapid heartbeat and sleepiness. Invega is a member of a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics that have an increased rate of death compared with placebo in older adults with dementia-related psychosis. Invega is not approved for dementia-related psychosis.
Invega has not been evaluated in placebo-controlled trials for longer than six weeks. People who use the drug for extended periods should be periodically re-evaluated by a doctor.
What does this mean for you? Invega is another choice in a new generation of antipsychotics designed to provide more effective management of symptoms with fewer side effects. For example, for most people there's a lower incidence of tardive dyskinesia (TD) with the newer drugs than with the older medications. TD results in involuntary movements of your mouth, lips, tongue and other parts of the body.
The new drugs represent an advance in the treatment of schizophrenia and have led to greater independence and a higher quality of life for many people with schizophrenia. The approval of Invega adds to the treatment options for people with this serious condition.
According to the American Diabetes Association, certain antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. For this reason, people who take these medications need to be screened and carefully monitored by their doctors.