The results show that quetiapine, a new generation antipsychotic made by AstraZeneca, when taken in combination with mood stabilizers (lithium or divalproex), is significantly more effective at treating the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder than mood stabilizers alone. Critically, the results also show that quetiapine is well tolerated a major consideration in the treatment of this disorder1.
"Current treatment options for patients with bipolar disorder are limited. Commonly used therapies involving mood stabilizers are not effective for all patients and can be associated with troublesome side effects, such as distressing movement disorder side effects known as EPS, as well as weight gain and sexual dysfunction," commented Professor Gary Sachs, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, and study leader. "As a result patient compliance with treatment can be a real challenge. This is particularly critical in bipolar disorder since patients typically lead full lives, with jobs to hold down and valuable relationships to maintain. This is where the true value of a treatment such as quetiapine lies in its ability to improve the symptoms of the disease while keeping side effects to a minimum making compliance with the medication more likely."
The quetiapine trial, known as Study 99, is the first ever large-scale trial to study the efficacy, tolerability and safety of quetiapine in combination with mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar mania. The trial forms part of a comprehensive bipolar disorder clinical trial programme being undertaken to examine the efficacy of quetiapine in treating bipola
Contact: Rebecca Moan
Shire Health International