Anvisa approves long-acting drug to treat schizophrenia

New drug has the potential to reduce disease symptoms, prevent relapses and thus avoid hospitalizations

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved a new drug based on paliperidone palmitate for acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults. It is a second-generation antipsychotic, injectable, extended-release and monthly usage to be made available in Brazil. The new drug has the potential to reduce symptoms, prevent relapses and thus avoid hospitalizations.

Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the adult population in the country, or nearly two million Brazilians. With each relapse, the patient has a lot of damage that lead to losses in real-life consequences of the financial and professional carrier of the disease and the family. In addition, there may be an increase in suicide rates.

The new product will be an important ally in the treatment of schizophrenia in Brazil. Their effectiveness and characteristics associated with greater ease of use can provide a greater adherence to treatment, reducing the chance of relapse. Said Jose Carlos Appolinário, medical director of Janssen-Cilag Pharmaceuticals.