Bipolar disorder is a serious psychiatric illness affecting approximately three percent of the worldwide population. People with bipolar disorder experience dramatic mood swings, from deep depression to acute mania (characterised by symptoms such as excessively "high" mood, racing thoughts, poor concentration and unrealistic beliefs about their own abilities and powers).
The double-blind study presented at the meeting was conducted over the course of 12 weeks. In the initial three-week period, 438 patients with bipolar mania were randomly assigned to take risperidone, haloperidol or placebo. After the three weeks, patients still on active therapy could continue on 'blinded' treatment (risperidone or haloperidol, without knowing which medication they were receiving) for a further nine weeks, while those receiving placebo were switched to risperidone. During the total 12-week study period, the mean modal doses were 4.1 mg/day for risperidone and 7.4 mg/day for haloperidol.
During the initial three-weeks, efficacy was measured using the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). Significantly greater improvements were seen in those who took risperidone or haloperidol than in those who received placebo.
By the end of this period, treatment response was achieved by 48 percent of risperidone patients and 47 percent of the haloperidol group, compared with just 33 percent of peop
Contact: Roseann Ward