Departmental Papers (MSE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

February 2007


Rationale: Non-adherence with medication remains the major correctable cause of poor outcome in schizophrenia. However, few treatments have addressed this major determinant of outcome with novel long-term delivery systems.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to provide biological proof of concept for a long-term implantable antipsychotic delivery system in rodents and rabbits.

Materials and methods: Implantable formulations of haloperidol were created using biodegradable polymers. Implants were characterized for in vitro release and in vivo behavior using prepulse inhibition of startle in rats and mice, as well as pharmacokinetics in rabbits.

Results: Behavioral measures demonstrate the effectiveness of haloperidol implants delivering 1 mg/kg in mice and 0.6 mg/kg in rats to block amphetamine (10 mg/kg) in mice or apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg) in rats. Additionally, we demonstrate the pattern of release from single polymer implants for 1 year in rabbits.

Conclusions: The current study suggests that implantable formulations are a viable approach to providing long-term delivery of antipsychotic medications in vivo using animal models of behavior and pharmacokinetics. In contrast to depot formulations, implantable formulations could last 6 months or longer. Additionally, implants can be removed throughout the delivery interval, offering a degree of reversibility not available with depot formulations.


Postprint version. Published in Psychopharmacology, Volume 190, Issue 2, February 2007, pages 201-211.
Publisher URL:


antipsychotic agents, treatment adherence, schizophrenia, drug delivery systems, drug implants, prepulse inhibition, haloperidol, rat, mouse, rabbit



Date Posted: 15 March 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.