Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka have introduced two new formulations of their antipsychotic medication Abilify in the USA, to make it easier for doctors to dose patients effectively.

Abilify (aripiprazole), used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, will now be available in a low-dose, 2mg tablet version, as well as a 1mg/ml oral solution that does not require refrigeration.

Until now, Abilify has been available only in 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, and 30mg doses, but the lower dose will make it easier for doctors to fine tune treatment for their patients.

The companies received Food and Drug Administration approval for an oral solution version of the drug, designed for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets, in January 2005. But that product required refrigeration and the new version will be more convenient for doctors, pharmacists and patients.

Abilify is one of B-MS’ most important growth products, with sales rising 54% in 2005 to reach $912 million.