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Pham Nguyen TP, Thibault D, Hamedani AG, Weintraub D, Willis AW. Atypical antipsychotic use and mortality risk in Parkinson disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2022 Oct 1; 103:17-22.
INTRODUCTION: Dopamine receptor blocking atypical antipsychotic (DRB-AAP) use has previously been associated with increased adverse effects and mortality risk among persons with Parkinson disease (PD). Pimavanserin, the only AAP indicated for PD psychosis in the U.S., is a serotonin receptor inverse agonist/antagonist with no known DRB activity. Early observational data have reported inconsistent findings regarding mortality risk associated with pimavanserin. The objective of this study was to estimate all-cause mortality risks of pimavanserin as compared to DRB-AAPs. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using a large U.S. commercial insurance database. Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare all-cause mortality risks between propensity score-matched groups of PD patients who were new users of pimavanserin or a DRB-AAP, further dividing DRB-AAPs into preferred (quetiapine, clozapine) and non-preferred (other remaining AAPs). RESULTS: We identified 775, 4,563, and 1,297 individuals on pimavanserin, preferred, and non-preferred DRB-AAPs, respectively. There was no difference in mortality risk for pimavanserin vs. preferred DRB-AAPs [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.99, 95% CI: 0.81-1.20], or pimavanserin vs. non-preferred DRB-AAPs (aHR 0.98, 95% CI: 0.79-1.22) in intention-to-treat analyses. CONCLUSION: Mortality risk among PD patients using AAPs did not differ by antipsychotic drug categorization based on mechanism of action. Research on the comparative efficacy and morbidity of AAPs, and the mortality associated with psychosis itself is needed to guide clinical decision-making in the PD population.