Antipsychotic drug may control bipolar mania

A drug used to treat schizophrenia, amisulpride, appears to be a safe and effective treatment for mania that occurs in Bipolar disorder, according to the findings of a small study.

Amisulpride (brand name, Solian) “has been reported to be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and major depressive disorder,” Dr. Eduard Vieta, of the University of Barcelona, and colleagues write in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. “However, no prospective study to date has assessed the effectiveness and tolerability of this compound in mania.”

Mania is one aspect of bipolar disorder, the other being depression. People with the disorder suffer swings in mood between these extremes.

The researchers treated 20 acutely manic patients with amisulpride in a 6-week study. A total of 14 patients completed the study. Two patients withdrew due to lack of efficacy and two due to side effects. Another patient decided to withdraw and the sixth patient was lost to follow-up.

In the final analysis, amisulpride treatment resulted in significant improvements in standardized scales measuring mania and depression.

Thirteen of the 14 patients “were considered responders, as they achieved at least 50 percent improvement in their baseline (mania) scores,” Vieta’s team writes. “Remission was achieved by 10 patients,” they note.

The most common side effects were sedation and dry mouth. Other symptoms included tremor, impaired muscle tone, and restlessness.

Based on these findings, the investigators conclude that “controlled trials are warranted.”

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, May 2005.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD