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Aripiprazole for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder: A review.

Author(s): McIntyre RS

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada. roger.mcintyre@uhn.on.ca

Publication date & source: 2010, Clin Ther., 32 Suppl 1:S32-8.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review

BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder is a chronic neuropsychiatric syndrome associated with substantial rates of recurrence, interepisodic dysfunction, comorbidity, and premature mortality. Metabolic comorbidity (eg, overweight, obesity, metabolic syndrome) differentially affects individuals with bipolar disorder and contributes to increased illness-associated morbidity and mortality (ie, cardiovascular disease). Few pharmacologic agents have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. OBJECTIVE: This paper discusses the metabolic profile of aripiprazole and reviews pivotal registration trials of aripiprazole for the maintenance treatment of adults with bipolar I disorder. METHODS: MEDLINE was searched for English-language articles published between January 1995 and November 2009. The key search term was aripiprazole, combined with bipolar disorder and maintenance treatment. The review was limited to randomized, controlled registration trials, supplemented by poster presentations involving the registration-trial data sets. RESULTS: Three studies of the efficacy and tolerability of aripiprazole monotherapy in the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder were identified by the literature search: a 26-week, randomized, double-blind study and its 74-week extension phase (for a total of 100 weeks of double-blind treatment), and a randomized, double-blind comparison of aripiprazole with placebo and lithium (internal comparator) for up to 12 weeks. After 100 weeks of double-blind treatment, aripiprazole had a minimal effect on body composition and did not disrupt metabolic parameters compared with placebo. The mean (SD) weight change was 0.4 (0.8) kg with aripiprazole and -1.9 (0.8) kg with placebo (P = NS). A clinically significant (> or =7%) increase in weight occurred in 20% of the aripiprazole group and 5% of the placebo group (P = 0.01). Extrapyramidal symptoms were reported in 22% of the aripiprazole group and 15% of the placebo group. The identified trials of aripiprazole primarily enrolled patients during a manic state; no maintenance trials of combination therapy or trials enrolling individuals presenting with an acute depressive episode were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The available evidence supports the efficacy and tolerability of aripiprazole in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. The placebo-subtracted differences in body composition and metabolic parameters suggest utility for aripiprazole in the long-term treatment of bipolar disorder. 2010 Excerpta Medica Inc. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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