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Mechanism of Action

Paliperidone is the major active metabolite of risperidone. The mechanism of action of paliperidone, as with other drugs having efficacy in schizophrenia, is unknown, but it has been proposed that the drug's therapeutic activity in schizophrenia is mediated through a combination of central dopamine Type 2 (D2) and serotonin Type 2 (5HT2A) receptor antagonism.


Paliperidone (Invega) is a centrally active dopamine Type 2 (D2) antagonist and with predominant serotonin Type 2 (5HT2A) activity. Paliperidone is also active as an antagonist at beta1 and beta2 adrenergic receptors and H1 histaminergic receptors, which may explain some of the other effects of the drug. Paliperidone has no affinity for cholinergic muscarinic or (+)1- and (-)2-adrenergic receptors. The pharmacological activity of the (+)- and (-)- paliperidone enantiomers is qualitatively and quantitatively similar in vitro.


Following a single dose, the plasma concentrations of paliperidone gradually rise to reach peak plasma concentration (Cmax) approximately 24 hours after dosing. The pharmacokinetics of paliperidone following Invega (Paliperidone) administration are dose-proportional within the available dose range. The terminal elimination half-life of paliperidone is approximately 23 hours.

Steady-state concentrations of paliperidone are attained within 4-5 days of dosing with Paliperidone (Invega) in most subjects. The mean steady-state peak: trough ratio for an Invega dose of 9 mg was 1.7 with a range of 1.2-3.1.

Following administration of Invega (Paliperidone), the (+) and (-) enantiomers of paliperidone interconvert, reaching an AUC (+) to (-) ratio of approximately 1.6 at steady state.

Absorption and Distribution

The absolute oral bioavailability of paliperidone following Paliperidone (Invega) administration is 28%.

Administration of a 12 mg paliperidone extended-release tablet to healthy ambulatory subjects with a standard high-fat/high-caloric meal gave mean Cmax and AUC values of paliperidone that were increased by 60% and 54%, respectively, compared with administration under fasting conditions. Clinical trials establishing the safety and efficacy of Invega (Paliperidone) were carried out in subjects without regard to the timing of meals. While this medication can be taken without regard to food, the presence of food at the time of Invega administration may increase exposure to paliperidone.

Based on a population analysis, the apparent volume of distribution of paliperidone is 487 L. The plasma protein binding of racemic paliperidone is 74%.

Metabolism and Elimination

Although in vitro studies suggested a role for CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 in the metabolism of paliperidone, in vivo results indicate that these isozymes play a limited role in the overall elimination of paliperidone.

One week following administration of a single oral dose of 1 mg immediate-release 14C-paliperidone to 5 healthy volunteers, 59% (range 51% - 67%) of the dose was excreted unchanged into urine, 32% (26% - 41%) of the dose was recovered as metabolites, and 6% - 12% of the dose was not recovered. Approximately 80% of the administered radioactivity was recovered in urine and 11% in the feces. Four primary metabolic pathways have been identified in vivo, none of which could be shown to account for more than 10% of the dose: dealkylation, hydroxylation, dehydrogenation, and benzisoxazole scission.

Population pharmacokinetic analyses found no difference in exposure or clearance of paliperidone between extensive metabolizers and poor metabolizers of CYP2D6 substrates.

Special Populations

Renal Impairment

The dose of Invega (Paliperidone) should be reduced in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment. The disposition of a single dose paliperidone 3 mg extended-release tablet was studied in adult subjects with varying degrees of renal function. Elimination of paliperidone decreased with decreasing estimated creatinine clearance. Total clearance of paliperidone was reduced in subjects with impaired renal function by 32% on average in mild (CrCl = 50 ml / min to < 80 ml / min), 64% in moderate (CrCl = 30 ml / min to < 50 ml / min), and 71% in severe (CrCl = 10 ml / min to < 30 ml / min) renal impairment, corresponding to an average increase in exposure (AUCinf) of 1.5 fold, 2.6 fold, and 4.8 fold, respectively, compared to healthy subjects. The mean terminal elimination half-life of paliperidone was 24 hours, 40 hours, and 51 hours in subjects with mild, moderate, and severe renal impairment, respectively, compared with 23 hours in subjects with normal renal function (CrCl >= 80 ml / min).

Hepatic Impairment

In a study in adult subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class B), the plasma concentrations of free paliperidone were similar to those of healthy subjects, although total paliperidone exposure decreased because of a decrease in protein binding. Consequently, no dose adjustment is required in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment. Invega (Paliperidone) has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Adolescents (12-17 years of age)

Paliperidone systemic exposure in adolescents weighing >= 51 kg ( >= 112 lbs) was similar to that in adults. In adolescents weighing < 51 kg (< 112 lbs), a 23% higher exposure was observed; this is considered not to be clinically significant. Age did not influence the paliperidone exposure.


No dosage adjustment is recommended based on age alone. However, dose adjustment may be required because of age-related decreases in creatinine clearance.


No dosage adjustment is recommended based on race. No differences in pharmacokinetics were observed in a pharmacokinetic study conducted in Japanese and Caucasians.


No dosage adjustment is recommended based on gender. No differences in pharmacokinetics were observed in a pharmacokinetic study conducted in men and women.


No dosage adjustment is recommended based on smoking status. Based on in vitro studies utilizing human liver enzymes, paliperidone is not a substrate for CYP1A2; smoking should, therefore, not have an effect on the pharmacokinetics of paliperidone.

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