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Lurasidone to launch this summer for treatment of schizophrenia

Lurasidone, a new psycholeptic drug for schizophrenia set to launch in August 2014, is a step forward in the treatment of the disease, a leading mental health pharmacist has told The Pharmaceutical Journal.

“Lurasidone has a relatively benign profile of side effects,” said David Taylor, director of pharmacy and pathology at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. “Cardiac toxicity is low and the medicine has a low risk for weight gain and blood lipids. Furthermore, it does not cause QT-prolongation, which is a common concern with other antipsychotics,” he added.

Schizophrenic patients were found to respond equally as well to lurasidone as to quetiapine and risperidone, two other drugs used to treat schizophrenia, and the summary of product characteristics (SPC) notes that a significant separation from placebo was found after only four days. Lurasidone will be marketed as Latuda by Sunovion in the UK and Takeda in Europe.

According to the SPC, lurasidone should not be taken with medicines that are strong inhibitors of the CYP3A4, or strong inducers. Examples include clarithromycin and carbamazepine, respectively.

During trials of the medicine, the most common side effects among patients were akathisia and somnolence.

Action: Selective blocking agent of dopamine and monoamine effects.
Dose:Starting dose 37mg once daily, which can be increased based on responseand clinical judgement. The maximum daily dose is 148mg once daily. 
Legal category: POM.
NHS list price: 18.5 mg, 37 mg and 74 mg, £90.72 per pack of 28 tablets.

  • This article was amended on 13 May 2014 to indicate that Latuda will be marketed by Sunovion in the UK and Takeda in Europe. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138246

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Supplementary images

  • ECG trace (Dan Ionut Popescu/

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