Background: The relative efficacy and tolerability of antipsychotics for schizophrenia are considerably well studied. This study aimed to examine whether previous findings could be replicated in a genetically distinct and homogenous group (ie, Japanese patients with schizophrenia) and whether previous findings could be extended to a broader range of antipsychotics with previously unclear relative efficacy and tolerability. Methods: Bayesian network meta-analysis was performed in which randomized trials comparing any of the following interventions were included: second-generation antipsychotics, haloperidol, or placebo. The primary outcomes for efficacy and acceptability were the response rate and all-cause discontinuation. The secondary outcomes included the improvement of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores, discontinuation because of adverse events, and individual adverse events. Results: Eighteen relevant studies were identified (total n=3,446; aripiprazole =267, blonanserin =285, clozapine =47, clocapramine =295, haloperidol =857, mosapramine =493, olanzapine =179, paliperidone =136, perospirone =146, placebo =138, quetiapine =212, and risperidone =338; mean study duration =8.33±1.41 weeks). In primary outcomes, olanzapine and paliperidone showed efficacy than placebo, and olanzapine and paliperidone showed superior acceptability compared with placebo. There were differences in the incidences of individual adverse events (the best antipsychotic: extrapyramidal symptoms = olanzapine, hyperprolactinemia-related symptoms = quetiapine, sedation = paliperidone, and weight change = blonanserin) among antipsychotics. Conclusion: Although the current analysis exclusively included Japanese patients with schizophrenia, no remarkable differences were observed in efficacy and safety compared with previous meta-analyses. Diverse hierarchies in safety outcomes also support the implication that individual risk expectations for adverse events can guide clinical decisions. However, the sample size was relatively limited. Additional efficacy and safety data are required to fully obtain a conclusive understanding.
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