Multisite, open-label, prospective trial of lamotrigine for geriatric bipolar depression: a preliminary report.

Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Bipolar Disorders (Impact Factor: 4.89). 05/2011; 13(3):294-302. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2011.00923.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This is a multisite, 12-week, open-label trial of lamotrigine augmentation in 57 older adults (≥ 60 years; mean ± SD age = 66.5 ± 6.7 years) with either type I or type II bipolar depression.
Primary outcome measure was change from baseline on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Secondary outcome measures included Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), Clinical Global Impression-Bipolar version (CGI-BP), and the WHO-Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II). The Udvalg for Kliniske Undersøgelser (UKU) was used to assess side effects.
A total of 77.2% of the study subjects had bipolar I disorder. The mean (SD) lamotrigine dose was 150.9 (68.5) mg/day. There was significant improvement in the MADRS, HAM-D, CGI-BP, and in most domains on the WHO-DAS II. For patients for whom final MADRS score was available: 31 (57.4%) met remission criteria and 35 (64.8%) met response criteria. There were 19/57 (33.3%) who dropped out of the study prematurely, with 6 dropouts due to adverse events (4 cases of rash, 1 manic switch, and 1 hyponatremia). Two cases of rash were possibly drug related and were resolved with drug discontinuation. The most common UKU adverse effects were reduced sleep duration (n = 14, 24.6%), weight loss (n = 12, 21.1%), increased dream activity (n = 12, 21.1%), polyuria/polydipsia (n = 11, 19.3%), weight gain (n = 9, 15.8%), diminished sexual desire (n = 9, 15.8%), increased sleep (n = 9, 15.8%), lassitude/fatigue (n = 8, 14%), and unsteady gait (n = 8, 14%). No significant changes in electrocardiogram or laboratory tests were observed.
In bipolar depressed elders, lamotrigine was associated with improvement in depression, psychopathology, and functional status. There was a moderate number of adverse events, although relationship of adverse events (particularly falls) to study medication could not be clearly determined in this uncontrolled trial. Controlled studies are needed to further evaluate efficacy and tolerability of lamotrigine therapy in geriatric bipolar depression.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To identify baseline clinical factors associated with acute treatment response in depressed older adults with bipolar disorder (BD) receiving lamotrigine. Secondary analysis of a multisite, 12-week, open-label, uncontrolled study of add-on lamotrigine in 57 adults 60 years and older with BD I or II depression. Measures included the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). Cardiometabolic risk was measured with total serum cholesterol and the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale-Geriatric (CIRS-G) item #13 (endocrine/metabolic burden). Neurocognitive (executive) function was evaluated using the Trail Making Test. Greater reduction in MADRS from baseline was associated with higher baseline cardiometabolic burden at 6 and 9 weeks and lower YMRS scores at 9 weeks. At 12 weeks, improvement in the MADRS from baseline was no longer significantly related to baseline cardiometabolic burden or YMRS scores. A longitudinal mixed model of MADRS scores corroborated these findings with a significant finding of time-by-baseline cholesterol level interaction. In a subset of participants, better baseline executive function was related to greater improvement in the MADRS at 9 weeks but not at 6 or 12 weeks. Among all participants, higher baseline YMRS scores were related to greater likelihood of dropout. Lamotrigine appears to work best in depressed elderly patients with BD who have high cardiometabolic risk and low level of mania. Agents like lamotrigine that act primarily on neuroprogressive pathways involving oxidative stress, neurotrophins, and inflammation may be particularly effective in individuals with BD who have significant cardiometabolic burden because of their effects on shared vulnerability factors in BD and medical illness.
    Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology 03/2012; 25(1):37-42. DOI:10.1177/0891988712436685 · 1.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 07/2012; 37(4):E7-8. DOI:10.1503/jpn.120019 · 7.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lamotrigine has been demonstrated to be effective as both an antiepileptic drug and a mood stabiliser. For epilepsy it is less efficacious than valproate in primary generalised epilepsy, but it is comparable to some traditional drugs in partial epilepsy. In psychiatry it has significant advantages over other mood stabilisers for the treatment and prevention of depressive phases of bipolar illness, but not for the treatment of mania. It has a more benign adverse effect profile than older antiepileptic agents and is not a proven teratogen. Risk of adverse reactions is reduced by commencing treatment at a markedly reduced dose that is gradually increased.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 10/2012; 20(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jocn.2012.05.024 · 1.32 Impact Factor