Open-label adjunctive zonisamide in the treatment of bipolar disorders: a prospective trial.

Psychopharmacology Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, PO Box 670559, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.14). 06/2005; 66(5):617-24. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.v66n0512
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The response of 62 outpatients with DSM-IV bipolar disorders to open-label adjunctive zonisamide was evaluated in a prospective 8-week acute trial, followed by a 48-week continuation trial, conducted from June 2001 through May 2002.
During the acute trial, response to zonisamide was assessed weekly for the first 4 weeks and every 2 weeks for the second 4 weeks with the Clinical Global Impressions scale modified for bipolar illness (CGI-BP), the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), and the Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology (IDS). During the continuation trial, patients were assessed with these scales every 4 weeks. Patients' weights and side effects were also evaluated. Outcome measures were analyzed with repeated-measures analyses of variance.
Patients with manic symptoms at study entry (N = 34) displayed significant reductions in CGI-BP-Mania Severity and YMRS scores in the acute and continuation (N = 19) trials (p values < .0001 and < .001, respectively). Patients with depressive symptoms at study entry (N = 22) showed significant decreases in CGI-BP-Depression Severity and IDS scores in the acute trial (p values < .001 and < .05, respectively), but only 9 patients entered the continuation trial. Among these 9 patients, maintenance of anti-depressant response was mostly maintained. Initially euthymic patients (N = 6) showed no change in any rating scale scores acutely, but 2 of 4 patients who entered the continuation trial developed depressive symptoms. The 62 patients as a group showed significant weight loss in both trials (p values < .001). However, 20 patients (32%) discontinued zonisamide for worsening mood symptoms.
Adjunctive zonisamide was associated with beneficial effects on mood and body weight in some patients with bipolar disorders, but was also associated with a high discontinuation rate due to worsening mood symptoms. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are necessary to determine zonisamide's thymoleptic properties, if any, in bipolar disorders.

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