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Sustained-Release Antipsychotic Approved for Schizophrenia

MONDAY, Aug. 3 -- Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia, drug maker Janssen said in a news release.

The longer-acting version of the previously approved drug should help prevent relapses commonly caused when schizophrenia patients fail to take a more frequent dose, the company said. Invega Sustenna is the first once-monthly injectable atypical antipsychotic approved in the United States for this use, said the release from Janssen, a division of New Jersey-based Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Common side effects of the drug include injection site reactions, fatigue and dizziness, Janssen said. The drug should be used with caution by people who have any history of seizure disorder, diabetes or low white cell count.

Schizophrenia, for which there is no cure, is a severe brain disorder that affects about 1.1 percent of the U.S. adult population, the U.S. National Institutes of Health says. People with schizophrenia sometimes hear voices and may become convinced that others plan to hurt them.

More information

The FDA has more about this drug's history.

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Posted: August 2009