Efficacy and tolerability of brexpiprazole – a new antipsychotic drug from the group of dopamine D2 receptor partial agonists
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Katedra i Klinika Psychiatryczna, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
III Klinika Psychiatryczna, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Submission date: 2023-01-25
Final revision date: 2023-06-12
Acceptance date: 2023-07-15
Online publication date: 2024-04-09
Publication date: 2024-04-09
Corresponding author
Adam Wichniak   

III Klinika Psychiatryczna, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Brexpiprazole is a new antipsychotic drug from the group of dopamine D2/D3 receptor partial agonists. It represents a development of the second-generation antipsychotics and is an important addition to the pharmacological treatment options for schizophrenia. The purpose of this article is to present, illustrated by the case of brexpiprazole, how advances in the pharmacological properties of new antipsychotics translate into improved results in the treatment of schizophrenia, not only in terms of symptom reduction, but also in terms of functional improvement. The ratio of activation to blocking of the D2/D3 receptor is lower for brexpiprazole than for aripiprazole and cariprazine, which may translate into a lower risk of akathisia. Brexpiprazole has also stronger antihistaminic activity, which is likely to be associated with a stronger sedative effect, a lower risk of akathisia, excessive agitation and insomnia. Brexpiprazole meets the traditional requirements for an antipsychotic drug’s efficacy, i.e., compared to placebo, it brings a greater reduction in schizophrenia symptoms in short-term studies and prevents schizophrenia relapses in long-term follow-up. The highest antipsychotic efficacy was found with the highest registered dose (4 mg/day). In addition to reducing positive symptoms, brexpiprazole treatment also leads to a reduction in negative and depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety. It has also a positive effect on patients’ social and personal functioning and quality of life. This action of the drug is in line with the expectations of patients and their families regarding effective treatment. It should not only reduce symptoms, but also enable a return to health, i.e., a state that, in addition to optimal health and a sense of psychological well-being, also makes it possible to maintain proper social relations.
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