August 1, 2009

U.S. FDA approves anti-psychotic drug

Invega Sustenna, a longer-acting anti-psychotic medication for schizophrenia, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, its maker says.

Janssen, a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., said in a release Friday its once-monthly injectable version of the drug paliperidone palmitate became the first of its kind to be approved in the United States.

The approval of once-monthly Invega Sustenna will provide healthcare professionals with a treatment option that is, at the same time, a definitive monitoring tool for uninterrupted medication compliance, which may help optimize clinical outcomes in schizophrenia, said clinical investigator Henry A. Nasrallah, a doctor who worked on the Invega Sustenna trials.

The fact Invega Sustenna must only be taken once a month is important as many schizophrenia sufferers have problems maintaining a steady medication schedule.

There is no cure for schizophrenia, which estimates say affects about 1 percent of the world's population. The brain disorder, which can be managed via proper medical treatment, leaves patients with problems maintaining social relations, clear thinking and distinguishing reality from imagination.