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Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2012 Jun;16(2):121-31. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2011.632680. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Aripiprazole in bipolar depression: a pooled, post-hoc analysis by severity of core depressive symptoms.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



This post-hoc analysis of pooled data from two similarly designed trials assessed the impact of aripiprazole monotherapy vs. placebo on treatment outcomes based on baseline severity of core depressive symptoms in patients with bipolar I disorder.


Patients were classified as severely depressed (Bech-6 Total score > 15) or less severely depressed (Bech-6 Total score < 15). Efficacy was assessed by mean changes in Montgomery-├ůsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) Total and MADRS-6 subscale scores from baseline to endpoint using a mixed model repeated measures analysis.


A total of 133 patients (n = 62 on active aripiprazole) were classified as severely depressed and 612 patients (n = 309 aripiprazole) as less severely depressed. At endpoint, the mean MADRS Total score reduction for severely depressed patients receiving aripiprazole compared with placebo was -19.4 vs. -15.4 (P = 0.14), whereas MADRS-6 subscale score reduction for patients receiving aripiprazole compared with placebo was -13.8 vs. -10.3 (P = 0.07). Adverse event profiles were similar between the two severity groups.


Symptomatic improvements assessed here suggest that aripiprazole monotherapy at the doses studied may provide some improvements in core symptoms of depression in patients with bipolar I disorder who were more severely depressed.

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