2019-11-14| In-DepthR&DTechnology

SECUADO – The Hope to Enhance Schizophrenia Patients’ Quality of Life

by Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
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Although modern understandings of illness often suggest that being sick is synonymous with an inability to perform everyday tasks without help, research has proven that patients suffering from different ailments are able to maintain and should be afforded both dignity and respect while in the process of remission or relapse. Some medical authorities and even mainstream media, such as the movie Breathe, either directly or indirectly explore the issue of patient dignity. Medical authorities work toward the goal of allowing patients to live as close to normal lives as possible, continuing to determine whether alternatives to lying in hospital beds for unforeseen lengths of time. Breathe in 2017 is a biographical drama film illustrating how a young man falls ill from polio at age 28 and becomes paralyzed from the neck down. Unable to breathe without a respirator, he manages to alter his destiny by transforming his and other handicapped patients’ lives and provide everyone with a better quality of life. These examples emphasize people’s increasing desire to optimize patients’ possibility of living near normal lives.

Not only do patients living with physical ailments appear in popular culture but so do patients with mental disorders including schizophrenia. Today, evidence-based research demonstrates a chance for patients to redeem themselves from the difficulties of their diseases. In particular Noven’s (a subsidiary of Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co., Inc.) successful development of SECUADO marks the first transdermal patch formulation for the treatment of schizophrenia. SECUADO demonstrates statistically significant improvements when contrasted with the placebo at six weeks, based upon the change of the total Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for late-stage trial and in Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scores for the endpoint of the Phase III study data. In addition, SECUADO’s efficacy and safety are examined through 616 adults living with schizophrenia over the six-week treatment period, despite some side effects such as uncontrolled body movements known as tardive dyskinesia especially in the tongue and face in addition to interfered body metabolism.

Despite these side effects, SECUADO has been approved by the FDA based on its positive Phase II data as well as its convenience and effectiveness. SECUADO performs as a once-daily transdermal drug delivery system (TDDS), providing sustained concentration during wear time (24 hours) in a relatively less intrusive and more convenient manner to both patients and health caregivers. The dispersal system also helps alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia encountered as substantiated by the clinical data. The user-friendly of SECUADO more or less relieves the stress and pain of schizophrenia patients. The convenience of the patch allows patients’ lives to align more closely with the lives of those around them, and meanwhile spikes the share of Noven by over 22%


Pathological Symptoms & Types of Schizophrenia

Patients living with schizophrenia experience a greatly reduced quality of life and social functioning. Symptoms of schizophrenia can be classified into three categories: positive, negative and cognitive. “Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people and include hallucination, delusions, thought disorders and movement disorders.” While, negative symptoms are “associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors and can include reduced expression of emotions, reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, difficulty beginning and sustaining activities and reduced speaking.” Lastly, cognitive symptoms are linked to poor executive functioning, focusing/paying attention, and working memory “(the ability to use information immediately after learning it).” All these potential symptoms could interfere patients’ social life, decision making and even more severely, unable to manage their daily lives.


Great Awareness of Potential Risks Required When Use SECUADO

Although SECUADO is effective and user-friendly according to the clinical data and clinical-trial participants’ experiences, it still retains some risks to patients and warning for doctors while use. The higher risks of using SECUADO include increased death and stroke in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), and uncontrolled body movements. Thus, people with dementia-related psychosis and encountering with these side effects are prohibited from using SECUADO. Other risks include hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and diabetes, allergic reactions to ingredients in SECUADO, decreased blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension), falls, low white blood cell count, irregular heartbeat, increased prolactin levels in blood (hyperprolactinemia), seizures, impaired thinking and motor skills, problems controlling body temperature (e.g. feeling too warm), difficulty swallowing, external heat and increased skin irritation (e.g. redness, itching, pimple-like raised skin, swelling). Considering all these side effects, it is very important for patients to inform the healthcare provider of all medical conditions Still, instead of “living with schizophrenia cycle through [narrow therapeutic options],” SECUADO leaves patients and their caregivers more new treatment options, according to Leslie Citrome, clinical professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at New York Medical College.





Edit By Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin


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