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Aripiprazole: pharmacology and evidence in bipolar disorder.

Author(s): McIntyre RS, Soczynska JK, Woldeyohannes HO, Miranda A, Konarski JZ

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

Publication date & source: 2007-05, Expert Opin Pharmacother., 8(7):1001-9.

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

Aripiprazole is a psychotropic agent with a novel pharmacologic profile. The purpose of this article is to review the pharmacology, efficacy and safety of aripiprazole in bipolar disorder. The authors conducted a PubMed search of all English-language articles published between January 1995 and February 2007. The key search term was 'aripiprazole' combined with: 'randomized controlled trial', 'pharmacology', 'pharmacokinetics', 'pharmacodynamics', 'depression', 'mania', 'maintenance' and 'bipolar disorder'. Abstracts and proceedings from national and international psychiatric meetings were also reviewed. The search was augmented with a manual review of relevant article reference lists. This review is limited to pivotal registration, as well as acute and maintenance, randomized controlled trials in bipolar disorder. Aripiprazole is established as efficacious in acute mania and in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Aripiprazole has a favorable safety and tolerability profile, with minimal propensity for clinically significant weight gain and metabolic disruption. Extrapyramidal side effects, such as akathisia, are reported and may be treatment limiting in some cases. The hazard risk for tardive dyskinesia in the bipolar population is unknown. Aripiprazole constitutes an alternative mood-stabilizing pharmacologic avenue in bipolar disorder; its comparative efficacy in long-term recurrence prevention and bipolar depression is a future research vista.

Page last updated: 2007-05-03

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