Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of ethyl-eicosapentanoate in the treatment of bipolar depression and rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
ABSTRACT The results of pilot trials suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may have efficacy in the treatment of mood symptoms in bipolar disorder.
We conducted a 4-month, randomized, placebo-controlled, adjunctive trial of ethyl-eicosapentanoate (EPA) 6 g/day in the treatment of bipolar depression and rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Subjects were receiving mood-stabilizing medications at therapeutic doses or plasma concentrations. The measures of efficacy were early study discontinuation, changes from baseline in depressive symptoms (Inventory for Depressive Symptomology total score) and in manic symptoms (Young Mania Rating Scale total score), and manic exacerbations ("switches"). We also measured side effects and bleeding time, a biomarker of drug action.
Overall, there were no significant differences on any outcome measure between the EPA and placebo groups.
This study did not find overall evidence of efficacy for adjunctive treatment with EPA 6 g/day in outpatients with bipolar depression or rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
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ABSTRACT: We review three studies of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depression that were carried out by our research group at the Beer Sheva Mental Health Center. The first study examined eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) versus placebo as an adjunct to antidepressant treatment in 20 unipolar patients with recurrent major depression. The second study used omega-3 fatty acids in childhood major depression; 28 children aged 6–12 were randomized to omega-3 fatty acids or placebo as pharmacologic monotherapy. The third study was an open-label add-on trial of EPA in bipolar depression. Twelve bipolar outpatients with depressive symptoms were treated with 1.5–2.0 g/day of EPA for up to 6 months. In the adult unipolar depression study, highly significant benefits were found by week 3 of EPA treatment compared with placebo. In the child study, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on each of the three rating scales. In the bipolar depression study, 8 of the 10 patients who completed at least 1 month of follow-up achieved a 50% or greater reduction in Hamilton depression (Ham-D) scores within 1 month. No significant side effects were reported in any of the studies. Omega-3 fatty acids were shown to be more effective than placebo for depression in both adults and children in small controlled studies and in an open study of bipolar depression. (This review discusses three studies, all from our group, completed before the clinical trial registry was initiated.)
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ABSTRACT: Inflammation has emerged as a potentially important factor - and thus putative pharmacological target - in the pathology of bipolar disorders. However to date no systematic evaluations of the efficacy of add on anti-inflammatory treatment for the depressive and manic episodes have been carried out. Sixteen articles were ultimately identified - by computer searches of databases (including PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and EMBASE), supplemented by hand searches and personal communication - as meeting study inclusion criteria. Anti-manic effects were evaluated in two trials, one of adjunctive n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), one of omega-3 fatty acids (O3FA), and significant improvements only emerged for NAC. Celecoxib had a rapid but short-lived antidepressant effect. Despite limited effects of O3FA on symptoms, imaging data demonstrated alterations in neuronal functioning that might have longer-term therapeutic effects. Evidence was strongest for adjunctive NAC in bipolar depression though conclusions are limited by small sample sizes. Definitive conclusions are limited by the paucity of data, small study sizes, and the variability in methodology used. Current evidence for aspirin or celecoxib is insufficient though further investigation of the potential of celecoxib in early illness onset is warranted. Variable evidence exists for add-on O3FA though an indication of short-term treatment effects on membrane fluidity and neuronal activity suggest longer follow-up assessment is needed. The strongest evidence emerged for NAC in depression and future studies must address the role of illness duration and patients׳ baseline medications on outcomes. Careful consideration of lithium toxicity in the elderly and renal impaired is essential. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2014; 174C:467-478. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.015 · 3.71 Impact Factor
Eicosapentaenoic acid: sources, health effects, and role in disease prevention, Edited by Theodore G. Bradley, Francisco P. Vargas, 01/2012: chapter Eicosapentaenoic acid and bone metabolism: pages 47-74; Nova Science Publishers.