Article Title

Adjunctive aripiprazole for antipsychotic-related hyperprolactinaemia in patients with first-episode schizophrenia: A meta-analysis


Background: Hyperprolactinaemia is a common antipsychotic (AP)-induced adverse effect, particularly in female patients.

Aims: This meta-analysis examined the efficacy and safety of adjunctive aripiprazole in preventing AP-related hyperprolactinaemia in patients with first-episode schizophrenia.

Methods: PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, WanFang and China Journal Net databases were searched to identify eligible randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Primary outcomes were the reductions of serum prolactin level and prolactin-related symptoms. Data were independently extracted by two reviewers and analysed using RevMan (V.5.3). Weighted/standardised mean differences (WMDs/SMDs)±95% CIs were reported.

Results: In the five RCTs (n=400), the adjunctive aripiprazole (n=197) and the control groups (n=203) with a mean of 11.2 weeks of treatment duration were compared. The aripiprazole group had a significantly lower endpoint serum prolactin level in all patients (five RCTs, n=385; WMD: −50.43 ng/mL (95% CI: −75.05 to −25.81), p<0.00001; I2=99%), female patients (two RCTs, n=186; WMD: −22.58 ng/mL (95% CI: −25.67 to −19.49), p<0.00001; I2=0%) and male patients (two RCTs, n=127; WMD: −68.80 ng/mL (95% CI: −100.11 to −37.49), p<0.0001). In the sensitivity analysis for the endpoint serum prolactin level in all patients, the findings remained significant (p<0.00001; I2=96%). The aripiprazole group was superior to the control group in improving negative symptoms as assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (three RCTs, n=213; SMD: −0.51 (95% CI: −0.79 to −0.24), p=0.0002; I2=0%). Adverse effects and discontinuation rates were similar between the two groups.

Conclusions: Adjunctive aripiprazole appears to be associated with reduced AP-induced hyperprolactinaemia and improved prolactin-related symptoms in first-episode schizophrenia. Further studies with large sample sizes are needed to confirm these findings.


psychiatry, schizophrenia, systematic review, hyperprolactinaemia, adjunctive aripiprazole

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