Say goodbye to negative side effects with this antipsychotic drug.
Antipsychotic drugs are what doctors use for the treatment of the psychotic symptoms of a schizophrenic patient. There are three types of antipsychotic medications, first-generation, second-generation, and third-generation antipsychotics.
First-generation antipsychotics came into the market in 1950. The drugs are also called neuroleptic since they cause neurolepsis. Neurolepsis is an altered state of mind where the patient shows the following symptoms:
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased psychomotor activity
- Indifference to the environment
Some of the original antipsychotic drugs include:
Second-Generation antipsychotics are also known as atypical antipsychotics. They are referred to as atypical antipsychotics because they have a low chance of inducing extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). Extrapyramidal symptoms, also known as extrapyramidal side effects, are motion-induced disorders. The motion-induced complications can either be sudden or chronic due to long term use of antipsychotic drugs. The disorders include:
- Tardive dyskinesias – are sudden involuntary movements of body parts like arms, legs or the torso. The disorder causes rapid, brief, discrete movements
- Dystonic reactions – are involuntary movements that are slow, twisting, and painful. The movements occur in muscles, legs, or arms.
The definition of ‘atypical antipsychotics’ later changed to include its ability to make cognitive functions perform as desired even in patients who have built up a resistance.
Some second-generation drugs include:
Newest psychotropic medication
Recently, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that their new antipsychotic medication, SEP-363856, was granted the designation ‘Break Through Therapy.’ The drug, if approved, will be used to treat schizophrenic adults.
Over four weeks, a study of the drug SEP 361-201 was conducted on 245 patients who were admitted with psychotic episodes of schizophrenia. Some patients were given a 50mg or 75mg dose daily, while others were given a placebo.
After the four weeks, patients who used the drug showed significant improvement as compared to those taking a placebo. The overall performance of the patients was rated on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The scale is used to measure the severity of the schizophrenic symptoms.
Using SEP-363856 not only led to reduced psychosis but also an overall reduction in the severity of the disorder. The comparison of severity is made against the Global-Impression-Severity Score. There was a significant improvement in the secondary outcome of the patients too. There were no cases of extrapyramidal side effects.
It’s worth noting that during the pre-clinical trials of SEP-363856, the drug showed efficacy in the treatment of animal models. There were significant traces of the antipsychotic medication in the serotonin receptors and the amine-associated receptors.
The Mechanism of Action
SEP-363856 works as a dopamine and serotonin agonist. In the human body, dopamine is the hormone responsible for reward-driven behaviour, while serotonin is the feel-good hormone. An agonist works by biding to the receptors and activating the receptor. The existing atypical drugs are dopamine and serotonin antagonists. The agonist nature makes the mechanism of action of SEP-363856 opposite of what currently exists in the market.
For a long time now, the mechanism of action of schizophrenia drugs has been through blocking the dopamine receptors and having a drug that works around that could be a breakthrough.
The only other drug that doesn’t cause extrapyramidal symptoms that currently exists in the market is Apriprazole. The world is ready for a better medication that makes the lives of people living with schizophrenia be as normal as possible. SEP-363856 is going to give that to people not only by controlling the psychotic symptoms while preventing the negative side effects that come with prolonged use of the drug. It’s safe to say that SEP-363856 if approved by the FDA, will be a third-generation antipsychotic drug.