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Psychopharmacol Bull. 1991;27(2):127-33.

Correlates of antimanic response to valproate.

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  • 1McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA.


Seventeen patients with acute mania were treated with the antiepileptic agent valproate under placebo-controlled, double-blind conditions for 7 to 21 days. No other psychotropics were allowed, except for lorazepam, up to 4 mg per day, as needed for agitation or insomnia for the first 10 study days only. Of the 17 patients, 12 (71%) showed some response, ranging from a 30 percent to a 100 percent decrease in scores on the Young Mania Rating Scale (MRS). The remaining 5 patients displayed no response to valproate treatment, with increases on the MRS of 3 percent to 13 percent. Compared with nonresponders, responders had an older age of onset and a shorter duration of illness and displayed a higher average serum valproate concentration on Study Days 3 through 6, but not on Study Day 15 or at termination. Degree of valproate response was greater for those patients with more severe sleep disruption at baseline. However, the majority of factors assessed, including a history of rapid cycling and high levels of dysphoria, were not associated with response to valproate.

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