This 13-week, double-blind study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the atypical antipsychotic paliperidone palmitate (recently approved in the United States) versus placebo administered as monthly gluteal injections (after two initial doses given 1 week apart) in acutely symptomatic patients with schizophrenia. Patients (N=388) were randomly assigned (1 : 1 : 1 : 1) to paliperidone palmitate 50, 100, or 150 mg eq. or placebo. As the 150 mg eq. dose was administered to fewer patients (n=30) than planned, meaningful and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from the results of this group. The change from baseline in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score at endpoint showed improvement in both paliperidone palmitate 50 and 100 mg eq. groups but was significant only in the 100 mg eq. group (P=0.019). The paliperidone palmitate 50 (P=0.004) and 100 mg eq. (P<0.001) groups showed significant improvement in the Personal and Social Performance score from baseline to endpoint versus placebo. Common adverse events (in ≥2% of patients in any group) more frequent with paliperidone palmitate 50 or 100 mg eq. than placebo (≥5% difference) were headache, vomiting, extremity pain, and injection site pain. Treatment with paliperidone palmitate (100 mg eq.) was efficacious and all doses tested were tolerable.