An open-label study of aripiprazole for methamphetamine induced psychosis

Bullletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2012; 22(2): 121-129 doi: 10.5455/bcp.20120412020813


Ahmad Hatim Sulaiman, Jesjeet Singh Gill, Mas Ayu Said, Mohamad Hussain Habil, Nor Zuraida Zainal, Ng Chong Guan.


Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia.


OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the therapeutic effects and tolerability of aripiprazole in the treatment of psychosis among methamphetamine dependence patients.

METHODS: This was an open label single arm prospective study conducted in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). The study subjects included treatment na´ve patients with a current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) diagnosis of methamphetamine dependence with co-occurrence of acute psychotic symptoms. Eligible patients were treated with an initial dose of 5-10 mg Aripiprazole followed by flexible dose (5-15mg/day) from day 2 to 14.

RESULTS: Out of 49 patients enrolled, 41 patients (83.7%) completed the study. At baseline the mean PANSS total score was 79.2 + 13.7 and the mean CGI-S score was 4.3 + 0.5. There was a statistically significant decline in the mean PANSS-total and CGI-S score over the course of the study. The mean reduction was 27.6 ▒ 21.4 point (p < 0.05, 95% CI [- 34.8, -20.4]) from baseline at day 14 for total PANSS score and 2.0 ▒ 1.2 point (p < 0.05, 95% CI [-2.4, -1.6) for CGI-S. Aripiprazole was generally well tolerated during the study. Adverse events were reported in 10 (20.4%) patients. No statistically significant changes were noted with respect to movement-related adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that aripiprazole improved the psychotic symptoms associated with methamphetamine use. It was generally well tolerated with mild to moderate adverse events. We conclude that aripiprazole might be an efficacious and safe option for the treatment of methamphetamine induced psychosis.


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