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One-drug therapy works for bipolar disorder

ent of new treatments for bipolar disorder.

"There was a dramatic response within eight days of beginning treatment in patients who were symptomatic with bipolar depression," says Dr. Calabrese. "About 50% of patients responded quickly to treatment with Seroquel versus placebo, achieving remission from their symptoms, with the response lasting through the eighth and last week of the trial. Seroquel was also twice as effective as placebo in decreasing suicidal thoughts associated with acute bipolar depression."

"Patients who respond most positively are probably those who also exhibit anxiety and agitation," adds Dr. Calabrese. "We are not certain as to the mechanism of action in the brain, however we know the drug impacts neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. The most common side effect is fatigue, so it may not be the best initial approach in patients who experience significant lethargy as a symptom of depression."

The trial tested two dose levels of Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate), 300 or 600mg/d, versus placebo. Of the 539 patients enrolled, 358 had bipolar I and 181 had bipolar II. Common side effects included dry mouth (43%), sedation (31%), sleepiness (26%), dizziness (20%) and constipation (11%). The research was supported by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

This study was first presented at the 2004 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.


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Contact: Eric Sandstrom
eric.sandstrom@uhhs.com
216-844-3825
University Hospitals of Cleveland
1-Jul-2005


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