In patients with schizophrenia and viral hepatitis, the second-generation antipsychotic paliperidone was associated with a reduced risk of liver damage. The finding stems from a nationwide, population-based cohort study published in Psychiatry Research.
Researchers used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to identify 134 patients with schizophrenia and viral hepatitis who received paliperidone and 268 patients with schizophrenia and viral hepatitis who did not receive paliperidone.
Over about 5 years of follow-up, 5.47% of patients developed severe hepatic outcomes, such as liver failure, liver decompensation, liver transplantation, and liver cancer. Severe hepatic outcomes occurred in 1.49% of patients who took paliperidone, compared with 7.46% of patients who did not take the drug.
The study also showed that early use of paliperidone was linked with a lower risk of liver damage. In fact, none of the patients taking paliperidone developed severe hepatic outcomes if they began the drug within 180 days of their schizophrenia diagnosis.
“Paliperidone treatment,” researchers concluded, “was associated with a reduced risk of severe hepatic outcomes in patients with schizophrenia and viral hepatitis.”
Chang CH, Lane HY, Liu CY, Chen SJ, Lin CH. Paliperidone is associated with reduced risk of severe hepatic outcome in patients with schizophrenia and viral hepatitis: a nationwide population-based cohort study. Psychiatry Research. 2019;281:112597.