NYMC Faculty Publications


Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotics Update: Lengthening the Dosing Interval and Expanding the Diagnostic Indications

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2017


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


INTRODUCTION: Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics are a useful but underutilized option in the management of schizophrenia. Areas covered: This is a narrative review of newer LAI antipsychotics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is an update to a previously published review from 2013. Emphasized are new indications and new dosing intervals. Expert commentary: Ensuring that persons receiving oral antipsychotics are aware that LAI antipsychotics are available is important. The use of LAI antipsychotics can decrease the risk of relapse in both first-episode and chronic schizophrenia. Available treatments differ in terms of specific indications, approved injection sites, needle gauge, injection volume, injection interval, requirements for oral supplementation, availability of pre-filled syringes, storage needs, and post-injection observation period, as well as potential drug-drug interactions and commonly encountered adverse reactions. Approved indications have expanded beyond schizophrenia to also include bipolar maintenance (risperidone microspheres and aripiprazole monohydrate) and schizoaffective disorder (paliperidone palmitate monthly). Intervals between injections can be longer than one month (six-week or two-month aripiprazole lauroxil, and three-month paliperidone palmitate). After a review of the evidence-base, guidance is offered on the appropriate selection among the LAI formulations of both first and second-generation antipsychotics.