Introduction: Persistence with antipsychotic treatment is critical in managing patients with schizophrenia. To evaluate whether aripiprazole long-acting injection (aripiprazole once-monthly, AOM) can contribute to longer treatment persistence compared with daily orally administered aripiprazole (OA) in real-world clinical settings in Japan, treatment persistence in patients with schizophrenia was compared between patients treated with AOM and those with OA, using a claims database compiled by JMDC Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Methods: Data of patients with schizophrenia who newly initiated AOM or OA treatment between May 2015 and November 2017 were analyzed. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for treatment discontinuation of AOM vs. OA treatment, adjusted for age, sex, chlorpromazine-equivalent dose of antipsychotics, and the number of psychiatric hospitalizations. Results: The analysis included 198 patients in the AOM group and 1240 patients in the OA group (mean age 38.4 ± 11.9 years and 39.3 ± 12.4 years, respectively). The AOM group was significantly less likely to discontinue treatment than the OA group (adjusted HR 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43–0.68). When using the tolerable patients extracted from the OA group (i.e., patients with at least two OA prescriptions; n = 983) vs. the whole AOM group, AOM users were again significantly less likely to discontinue treatment (adjusted HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.53–0.86). Conclusion: AOM was associated with longer treatment persistence than OA in the antipsychotic treatment of patients with schizophrenia in real-world clinical settings in Japan, suggesting that the use of AOM may contribute to longer antipsychotic treatment.
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