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A clinical trial has found that patients with schizophrenia who have to take medication on a daily basis could benefit from a new treatment which can be taken as little as once a month.
The study of more than 1,000 outpatients with schizophrenia tested the effects of olanzapine long-acting injection (LAI) when taken in varying doses and at different intervals.
A total of 1,065 adult patients who had been taking oral olanzapine in daily doses of 10, 15 or 20mg were split into five groups. One group was given 150mg of olanzapine LAI every two weeks, another group was given 405mg every four weeks, the third took 300mg every two weeks, the fourth had a low reference dose of 45mg every four weeks, and the final group remained on oral olanzapine at their previously stabilised dose.
In the three groups taking the higher doses, olanzapine LAI maintained treatment levels for up to 24 weeks. The results were presented at the first annual Schizophrenia International Research Society conference in Venice, Italy.
Olanzapine LAI is an investigational formulation that combines olanzapine with a pamoate salt, resulting in an extended delivery of up to four weeks. Since the drug was introduced in 1996, it has been prescribed to approximately 24 million people worldwide.
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