To evaluate the efficacy and impact of long-acting injectable (LAI) aripiprazole in patients with schizophrenia with a coexisting substance use disorder (SUD).
A multicenter, observational, descriptive and retrospective study was conducted in patients with a DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia who had a coexisting SUD and were treated with LAI-aripiprazole. Disease severity was evaluated with the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) severity scale for schizophrenia, daily functioning and disability were evaluated with the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Scale (WHODAS-2.0), and the severity of the addiction was evaluated with the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS).
The sample included 40 patients. Overall, after 6 months of treatment with LAI-aripiprazole at a dose of 400 mg/4 weeks in 77.5% of the patients, we observed significant improvement in the psychopathological symptoms, with a reduction of over 30% in the scores of the five CGI-severity scales. The WHODAS-2.0 mean (standard deviation) score was also significantly reduced from 57.6 (8.2) to 42.3 (4.3) points ( p < 0.001). Regarding SUDs, after 6 months of treatment, substance use was stopped in 5 of the 9 patients with cocaine use disorder and in 3 of the 16 patients with alcohol abuse disorder. A significant reduction in the severity of the dependence was observed only in the subgroups of participants with cocaine and alcohol use disorders.