Aripiprazole in Schizophrenia: Consensus Guidelines

M. J. Travis; T. Burns; S. Dursun; T. Fahy; S. Frangou; R. Gray; P. M. Haddad; R. Hunter; D. M. Taylor; A. H. Young


Int J Clin Pract. 2005;59(4):485-495. 

In This Article

Summary and Introduction


Schizophrenia is a chronic disabling disease which in the majority of cases requires long-term treatment with antipsychotic medication. Before the development of atypical antipsychotics, treatment choice was restricted to conventional (or typical) antipsychotics, which are known to cause a range of side effects including extrapyramidal symptoms. Although atypical agents provide a favourable alternative (advocated by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK), they are associated with side effects. These differ between agents, but can include weight gain, sedation and hyperprolactinaemia. Aripiprazole is a newly available atypical antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia. With the apparent imitations of currently available medications, aripiprazole provides clinicians with another treatment option. The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the consensus reached by the Schizophrenia Innovation Working Group on best practice in prescribing and appropriate use of aripiprazole in the UK.


This article reports on the Schizophrenia Innovation Working Group meeting, organised to provide practical guidance on how to optimise outcomes in patients with schizophrenia using aripiprazole. At the time of the meeting, aripiprazole was shortly expected to become available to European prescribers; it became licensed for use in the European Union (EU) in June 2004.

The Schizophrenia Innovation Working Group consists of clinicians involved in the Broad Effectiveness Trial with Aripiprazole in the UK (UK BETA) and psychiatrists with a range of special interests, a psychiatric nurse and a pharmacist. All 10 members were invited to a 1-day meeting (supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd) on 17 May 2004 in London.

The meeting was divided into presentations in the morning and open discussion in the afternoon. The morning presentations covered the following topics: the clinical perception of aripiprazole; the management of schizophrenia in the UK; patients' perspectives of and adherence to antipsychotics; an overview of aripiprazole; experience with prescribing aripiprazole in the US (where it has been in licensed use since November 2002); and the experience of UK BETA triallists. The round table discussion aimed to reach consensus on best practice in prescribing and appropriate use of aripiprazole in the UK, for publication and dissemination.

This article is the result of this process. All members of the Schizophrenia Innovation Working Group contributed to this article and had full editorial control of the content. Some members were unable to attend the meeting; all members were interviewed fully beforehand.