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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008 Feb;28(1):13-20. doi: 10.1097/jcp.0b013e3181618eb4.

Aripiprazole monotherapy in nonpsychotic bipolar I depression: results of 2 randomized, placebo-controlled studies.

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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

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  • J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Feb;29(1):38.


Although most treatment research on bipolar disorder has focused on mania, depressive episodes occur more frequently among patients with bipolar disorder. Here, we report the results of 2 identically designed, 8-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (CN138-096 and CN138-146) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole monotherapy in outpatients with bipolar I disorder experiencing a major depressive episode without psychotic features. Patients were randomized to placebo or aripiprazole (initiated at 10 mg/d, then flexibly dosed at 5-30 mg/d based on clinical effect and tolerability). The primary end point was mean change from baseline to Week 8 (last observation carried forward) in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total score. In Studies 1 and 2, respectively, 186 and 187 patients were randomized to aripiprazole, and 188 and 188 to placebo. Although statistically significant differences were observed during Weeks 1 to 6, aripiprazole did not achieve statistical significance versus placebo at Week 8 in either study in the change in Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total (primary end point). In addition, despite early statistical separation on the Clinical Global Impressions Bipolar Version Severity of Illness-Depression score (key secondary end point), aripiprazole was not superior to placebo at end point. Aripiprazole was associated with a higher incidence of akathisia, insomnia, nausea, fatigue, restlessness, and dry mouth versus placebo. More patients discontinued with aripiprazole versus placebo in Study 1 (46.8% vs 35.1%) and Study 2 (41.2% vs 29.8%). Aripiprazole monotherapy-as dosed in this study design-was not significantly more effective than placebo in the treatment of bipolar depression at end point (Week 8).

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