Utility of atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of resistant unipolar depression.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 401 Quarry Road, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
CNS Drugs (Impact Factor: 4.38). 02/2009; 23(5):369-77. DOI: 10.2165/00023210-200923050-00002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many patients fail to achieve an adequate response to antidepressant medication. Growing evidence suggests that atypical antipsychotics may augment antidepressant effects, resulting in a greater potential for response. Atypical antipsychotics possess pharmacological actions that are associated with antidepressant properties, including serotonin 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist and 5-HT(1A) and dopamine receptor partial agonist activity. In fact, the term 'atypical antipsychotic' is an unfortunate remnant of the early indication of these drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia. Soon after their introduction, the usefulness of atypical antipsychotics in bipolar disorder was firmly established and their use in the treatment of mood disorders has far outpaced their use in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Aripiprazole has become the first agent to receive US FDA approval for the adjunctive treatment of unipolar depression. Most recently, Symbyax, a fluoxetine/olanzapine combination, received FDA approval for the acute treatment of treatment-resistant depression. This is the first medication to be FDA approved for this indication. In the present article, the usefulness of antipsychotics in the treatment of resistant unipolar depression is reviewed.

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    ABSTRACT: Background The adjunctive use of some atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) has been popular for patients with treatment-resistant depression. However, little is known about the impact of these agents on patients' Health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Objectives The objective of this study is to examine the impact of the adjunctive AAPs use on HRQoL among users of antidepressants with self-reported depression. Methods Patients with depression (ICD-9-CM: 296, 300, and 311), and to have used the given AAPs and/or antidepressants for at least a year, were identified in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey of 2008–2011. The patients were classified into users of adjunctive AAPs (i.e., antidepressants plus AAPs) and users of antidepressants only. Adjusted multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between the utilization of AAPs and HRQoL measure.c Results A total of 3638 participants who met the inclusion criteria were identified (306 on AAPs vs. 3332 on antidepressants only). The study subjects were ≥18 years, predominately White (91.9%) and female (71%). The AAPs utilization was not associated with higher scores in the Physical Component Summary (PCS-12) of the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12v2) (β = 1.542, 95% CI = −0.0142 to 3.0977, P = 0.0521). Rather, it was negatively associated with the Mental Component Summary (MCS-12) scores of the SF-12v2 (β = −1.5537, 95% CI = −3.0247 to −0.0827, P = 0.0385). Conclusions The utilization of AAPs was not associated with higher scores of HRQoL. The findings of this study should underscore the need to consider other treatment options as add-on therapy for depression before resorting to AAPs.
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    ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder is a pernicious illness. Compared with the later-onset form, early onset bipolar disorder is associated with worse psychosocial outcomes, and is characterized by rapid cycling and increased risks of substance abuse and suicide attempts. Controlling mood episodes and preventing relapse in this group of pediatric patients requires careful treatment. Here, we review the effectiveness of aripiprazole for bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, with discussion of this drug's unique pharmacological profile and various clinical study outcomes. Aripiprazole acts as a serotonin 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, as well as a partial agonist of the serotonin 5-HT1A and dopamine D2 receptors. It can be safely used in children and adolescents, as it is highly tolerated and shows lower rates of the side effects typically observed with other antipsychotic drugs, including sedation, weight gain, hyperprolactinemia, and extrapyramidal syndrome. The presently reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs generally reported aripiprazole to be effective and well-tolerated in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. However, due to the limited number of RCTs, the present conclusions must be evaluated cautiously. Furthermore, aripiprazole cannot yet be considered a preferred treatment for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder, as there is not yet evidence that aripiprazole shows greater efficacy compared to other second-generation antipsychotics. Additional data are needed from future head-to-head comparison studies.
    Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics 01/2014; 5:211-221. DOI:10.2147/AHMT.S50015