Antidepressants for the acute treatment of bipolar depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
ABSTRACT The role of antidepressants in the acute treatment of bipolar depression remains a contentious issue. A previous meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concluded that antidepressants were effective and safe for bipolar depression. Several trials published since then suggest that antidepressants may not be as beneficial as previously concluded. The current systematic review and meta-analyses reexamine the efficacy and safety of antidepressant use for the acute treatment of bipolar depression.
EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched for double-blind RCTs published from 2003 to 2009 using the following diagnostic medical subject heading (MESH) terms: bipolar disorder, bipolar depression, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, bipolar III disorder, bipolar mania, cyclothymia, manic depressive psychosis, mixed mania and depression, and rapid cycling and bipolar disorder. Databases of trial registries were also searched for unpublished RCTs. These searches were supplemented by hand searches of relevant articles and review articles.
Trials that compared acute (< 16 wk) antidepressant treatment with either an active drug or a placebo comparator in adult bipolar patients, depressive phase were eligible for inclusion. Main outcome measures were clinical response, remission, and affective switch.
Six RCTs (N = 1,034) were identified since publication in 2004 of the first meta-analysis that assessed antidepressant use in the acute treatment of bipolar depression. These studies were combined with earlier studies for a total of 15 studies containing 2,373 patients. Antidepressants were not statistically superior to placebo or other current standard treatment for bipolar depression. Antidepressants were not associated with an increased risk of switch. Studies that employed more sensitive criteria to define switch did report elevated switch rates for antidepressants.
Although antidepressants were found to be safe for the acute treatment of bipolar depression, their lack of efficacy may limit their clinical utility. Further high-quality studies are required to address the existing limitations in the literature.
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ABSTRACT: Depression is the predominant pole of illness disability in bipolar disorder and, compared with acute mania, has less systematic research guiding treatment development. The aim of this review is to present the therapeutic options currently available for managing bipolar depression and to highlight areas of unmet need and future research. Literature search of PubMed, PsycINFO, and Cochrane databases and bibliographies from 2000 to August 2013 for treatments that have regulatory approval for bipolar depression or early controlled preliminary data on efficacy. Treatment options for bipolar depression have increased over the last decade, most notably with regulatory approval for olanzapine/fluoxetine combination, quetiapine, and lurasidone. Conventional mood stabilizers lamotrigine and divalproex have meta-analyses suggesting acute antidepressant response. Manual-based psychotherapies also appear to be effective in treating bipolar depression. The therapeutic utility of unimodal antidepressants, as a class, for the treatment of patients with bipolar depression, as a group, remains to be confirmed. There is a substantially unmet need to develop new interventions that are efficacious, effective, and have low side effect burden. Additional compounds are currently being developed that may ultimately be applicable to the treatment of bipolar depression and early open-trial data encourage further studies, but both of these topics are beyond the scope of this review. Future registrational trials will need to establish initial efficacy, but increasing interest for personalized or individualized medicine will encourage further studies on individual predictors or biomarkers of response. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2014; 169S1:S17-S23. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bipolar depression is more pervasive than mania, but has fewer evidence-based treatments. Using data from multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials and meta-analyses, we assessed the number needed to treat (NNT) for response and the number needed to harm (NNH) for selected side effects for older and newer acute bipolar depression treatments. The 2 older FDA-approved treatments for bipolar depression, olanzapine-fluoxetine combination (OFC) and quetiapine (QTP) monotherapy, were efficacious (response NNT=4 for OFC, NNT=6 for QTP), but similarly likely to yield harms (OFC weight gain NNH=6; QTP sedation/somnolence NNH=5). Commonly used unapproved agents (lamotrigine monotherapy and adjunctive antidepressants) tended to be well-tolerated (with double-digit NNHs), although this advantage was at the cost of inadequate efficacy (response NNT=12 for lamotrigine, NNT=29 for antidepressants). In contrast, the newly approved agent lurasidone was not only efficacious (response NNT=5 for monotherapy, NNT=7 as adjunctive therapy), but also had enhanced tolerability (NNH=15 for akathisia [monotherapy], NNH=16 for nausea [adjunctive]). Although adjunctive armodafinil appeared well tolerated, its efficacy in bipolar depression has not been consistently demonstrated in randomized controlled trials. NNT and NNH are categorical metrics; only selected NNHs were assessed; limited generalizability of efficacy (versus effectiveness) studies. For acute bipolar depression, older approved treatments may have utility in high-urgency situations, whereas lamotrigine and antidepressants may have utility in low-urgency situations. Newly approved lurasidone may ultimately prove useful in diverse situations. New drug development needs to focus on not only efficacy but also on tolerability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2014; 169S1:S24-S33. · 3.76 Impact Factor
- BMC Psychiatry 01/2011; · 2.24 Impact Factor