FDA approves transdermal asenapine system for schizophrenia


The Food and Drug Administration has approved a transdermal asenapine delivery system (Secuado) for treatment of schizophrenia in adults, according to a release from Noven Pharmaceuticals.

A stamp saying "FDA approved." Olivier Le Moal/Getty Images

The patch formulation is designed to deliver sustained concentrations of asenapine over 24-hour periods, so the system is a once-daily treatment. The efficacy and safety profile for children younger than 18 years is unknown.

The approval is based on an international, phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 616 adults with schizophrenia. The transdermal system achieved the study’s primary endpoint of statistically significant improvement at week 6 in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, compared with placebo.

The safety profile of the system was consistent with the known profile of sublingual asenapine, and the most commonly observed adverse reactions were extrapyramidal disorder, application site reaction, and weight gain. The full prescribing information includes a boxed warning explaining that antipsychotics, such as asenapine, are associated with increased risk of death among elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, an indication not approved for this transdermal asenapine-delivery system. Other warnings described in the prescribing information include neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, and metabolic changes.

“In addition to offering a new delivery option, transdermal patches can also provide caretakers and health care providers with a nonintrustive, visual confirmation that a treatment is being utilized,” noted Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College, in the release.

Noven is a subsidiary of Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical.

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