Divalproex sodium extended-release (ER) was examined for the treatment of acute mania in adults in 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. One study demonstrated statistically significant improvements in mania symptoms compared to placebo, while an earlier study did not. Results of the earlier study are presented here.
A total of 225 DSM-IV-diagnosed bipolar I disorder patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to 21 days of double-blind treatment with divalproex ER (n = 147) or placebo (n = 78). The daily divalproex ER dosage was initiated at 20 mg/kg. The primary efficacy variable was the change from baseline to final evaluation in Mania Rating Scale (MRS) score. Subjects were discontinued from the study if they were discharged from the hospital or if they met prespecified improvement criteria. The study was conducted from May 1998 to July 1999 at centers in the United States.
There was no statistically significant difference in MRS score change from baseline to final for patients treated with divalproex ER compared with those treated with placebo. With the exception of back pain and constipation, adverse event rates between placebo and divalproex ER were very similar. A large proportion of patients prematurely discontinued study treatment (divalproex ER: 83%, placebo: 82%). The mean daily dose of divalproex ER was 2,211 mg with a mean maximum serum valproic acid concentration of 77.9 microg/mL.
The results of the current study did not demonstrate statistically significant improvement in mania symptoms associated with divalproex ER treatment compared to placebo. A number of methodological considerations may have contributed to the negative findings, including allowance for early study discontinuation and lower than optimal dosing.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00060905.
"For example, in a 3-week study comparing placebo, valproate, and lithium (Bowden et al., 1994), response rates were 25% for placebo, 48% for valproate (P=0.004 vs. placebo), and 49% for lithium (P=0.025 vs. placebo). A subsequent placebo-controlled trial of valproate patients (Bowden et al., 2006) reported response rates of 48% for valproate and 34% for placebo. In a three-arm study comparing quetiapine and lithium with placebo (Bowden et al., 2005), response rates were 27.4% at 3 weeks and 41.1% at 3 months for placebo, 53.3% at 3 weeks and 72.0% at 3 months for quetiapine, and 53.1% at 3 weeks and 75.5% at 3 months for lithium. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of valproate and lithium in bipolar I patients experiencing a manic or a mixed episode. This international, randomized, open-label, parallel-group, equivalence study included 268 patients with bipolar I disorder. The starting dose of valproate was 20 mg/kg/day and that of lithium was 800 mg/day. Treatment duration was 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was mean change in Young Mania Rating Scale score between baseline and study end. Secondary outcome measures were response and remission rates, change in Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression Bipolar Disorder instrument score, and occurrence of adverse events. The mean change from baseline in Young Mania Rating Scale score was 15.8+/-5.3 in the lithium group and 17.3+/-9.4 in the valproate group. The 90% confidence interval of the intergroup difference (-0.69; 3.31) was within prespecified equivalence limits. Response rates were 72.6% in the lithium group and 79.5% in the valproate group. Remission rates were 58.5 and 71.9%, respectively. No intergroup differences were observed in median time to treatment response (21 days) or change in Clinical Global Impression Bipolar Disorder instrument or Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale scores. Adverse events were reported in 42.8% of patients in the lithium group and 41.5% in the valproate group. Valproate and lithium showed comparable efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of acute mania over 12 weeks.
International clinical psychopharmacology 03/2010; 25(2):60-7. DOI:10.1097/YIC.0b013e328333ac1b · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anticonvulsant drugs are widely used in psychiatric indications. These include mainly alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes, panic and anxiety disorders, dementia, schizophrenia, affective disorders, bipolar affective disorders in particular, and, to some extent, personality disorders. A further area in which neurology and psychiatry overlap is pain conditions, in which some anticonvulsants, and also typical psychiatric medications such as antidepressants, are helpful. From the beginning of their psychiatric use, anticonvulsants have also been used to ameliorate specific symptoms of psychiatric disorders independently of their causality and underlying illness, eg, aggression, and, more recently, cognitive impairment, as seen in affective disorders and schizophrenia. With new anticonvulsants currently under development, it is likely that their use in psychiatry will further increase, and that psychiatrists need to learn about their differential efficacy and safety profiles to the same extent as do neurologists.
Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 02/2008; 10(1):77-89.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder is a common, debilitating, chronic illness that emerges early in life and has serious consequences such as long-term unemployment and suicide. It confers considerable functional disability to the individual, their family and society as a whole and yet it is often undetected, misdiagnosed and treated poorly. In the past decade, many new treatment strategies have been trialled in the management of bipolar disorder with variable success. The emerging evidence, for pharmacological agents in particular, is promising but when considered alone does not directly translate to real-world clinical populations of bipolar disorder. Data from drug trials are largely based on findings that identify differences between groups determined in a time-limited manner, whereas clinical management concerns the treatment of individuals over the life-long course of the illness. Considering the findings in the context of the individual and their particular needs perhaps best bridges the gap between the evidence from research studies and their application in clinical practice. Specifically, only lithium and valproate have moderate or strong evidence for use across all three phases of bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsants, such as lamotrigine, have strong evidence in maintenance; whereas antipsychotics largely have strong evidence in acute mania, with the exception of quetiapine, which has strong evidence in bipolar depression. Maintenance data for antipsychotics is emerging but at present remains weak. Combinations have strong evidence in acute phases of illness but maintenance data is urgently needed. Conventional antidepressants only have weak evidence in bipolar depression and do not have a role in maintenance therapy. Therefore, this paper summarizes the efficacy data for treating bipolar disorder and also applies clinical considerations to these data when formulating recommendations for the management of bipolar disorder.
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