Schizophrenia is characterized by three primary types of symptoms — positive, negative and cognitive. Positive symptoms include abnormal behavior, which can range from mild to severe episodes of hallucinations, delusions and movement disorders. Negative symptoms include the inability to perform daily activities, and lack of emotion and energy. The cognitive symptoms lead to problems with memory and the ability to make decisions.
In clinical trials, Latuda was shown to be effective in treating both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Significant improvements in the cognitive symptoms have also been noticed with the use of the drug.
The safety profile of the drug is also good with minimal weight gain and metabolic effects. As a result, use of lurasidone may not necessitate co-administration of anti-cholinergics, which are known to impair cognition.
Lurasidone also has a unique receptor-binding capability for receptors that are known to improve cognitive capabilities upon effective regulation.
Four six-week controlled studies of adults with schizophrenia demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of Latuda. In the trials, patients treated with Latuda had fewer symptoms of schizophrenia than those taking an inactive pill (placebo).
The most common adverse reactions reported by those in clinical trials were drowsiness, feelings of restlessness and the urge to move (akathisia), nausea, movement abnormalities such as tremors, slow movement, or muscle stiffness (Parkinsonism), and agitation.
Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population, ages 18 years and older, in a given year. The most prominent symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking and behavior, and suspiciousness. Hearing voices that other people don’t hear is the most common type of hallucination. These experiences can make people with the disorder fearful and withdrawn.
All atypical antipsychotics — including Latuda — contain a boxed warning alerting prescribers to an increased risk of death associated with off-label use of these drugs to treat behavioral problems in older people with dementia-related psychosis. No drug in this class is approved to treat patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Latuda is manufactured by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.