Navigation Links
Antidepressant Medication Has No Effect on Bipolar Patients

Antidepressant medication has no additional effect when given to depressed people with bipolar disorder who are already taking a mood stabilizer//, according to a recent study.

The results are part of the large-scale, multi-site Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD), a $26.8 million clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Bipolar disorder, a sometimes debilitating illness marked by severe mood swings between depression and mania, is usually treated with mood stabilizers such as lithium, valproate, carbamazepine or other medications that reduce mania. However, depression is more common than mania in bipolar disorder, and depressive episodes tend to last longer than episodes of mania. Antidepressant medications are often used in addition to a mood stabilizer for treating bipolar depression, but they are thought to confer a serious risk of a switch from a depressive episode to a manic episode.

Finding the right treatment balance for people with bipolar disorder is a constant challenge; STEP-BD aims to identify the best treatment options. "Treating depression in people with bipolar disorder is notoriously difficult," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel. "STEP-BD sought to determine if adding an antidepressant to a mood stabilizer is effective and safe in treating depressive episodes. The results suggest that antidepressants are safe but not more effective than placebo as assessed in a large number of people with bipolar disorder. "

Lead author Gary Sachs, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues studied 366 participants at 22 sites across the country. Unlike most clinical studies, participants were recruited from clinical settings and were included in the study even if they were being treated for co-existing disorders such as substance abuse, anxiety or psychotic symptoms. Such open recruitment criteria allows th e study's results to have broader applicability than a tightly controlled trial in which people are excluded from participating if they have co-existing disorders.

Before participants were randomized to one of two antidepressants—bupropion (Wellbutrin) or paroxetine (Paxil)—or to a placebo, doctors trained in the treatment of bipolar disorder adjusted participants' mood stabilizer doses to optimal levels, ensuring that they were receiving the most appropriate amount.

After about 26 weeks, Sachs and colleagues found that 24 percent of those who had been randomized to the antidepressants stayed well for at least eight consecutive weeks—the study's stringent standard for recovery; 27 percent of those randomized to a placebo stayed well long enough to meet the eight-week recovery standard, indicating no difference between adding an antidepressant or adding placebo. In addition, about 10 percent of each group experienced emerging symptoms of mania, indicating that the antidepressants did not trigger a manic switch any more than placebo. Finally, when comparing the two antidepressants to each other, both showed similar rates of response and manic switch.

"Results of STEP-BD indicate that careful management of mood stabilizer medications is a reasonable alternative to adding an antidepressant medication for treating bipolar depression," said Dr. Sachs.

Future STEP-BD results will shed light on other treatment options for bipolar disorder, including psychotherapeutic treatments.


Related medicine news :

1. Antidepressants come in handy for patients on treatment for hepatitis, cancers and multiple sclerosis
2. Antidepressant helps obesity
3. Antidepressants increase gastric bleeding
4. Antidepressants-important role
5. Antidepressants increase gastric bleeding
6. Antidepressants could pose grave implications
7. Antidepressant Helps Relieve Hot Flashes
8. Antidepressants May Benefit Heart Patients
9. Antidepressants Harmful for Kids
10. Antidepressants For Children: How safe is it ?
11. Antidepressants Late In Pregnancy Harmful to Unborn Baby
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Altec Products, Inc., the leader in ... Dynamics AXUG, GPUG and NAVUG Summits to take place the week of October ... user conferences designed and led by users to provide attendees with a unique ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Symposium Chairman, Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is pleased to announce that ... March 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The annual meeting, along with the Dallas Rhinoplasty ... around the world. , Key topics at this year's event will include discussions on ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensor™ LLC, an Internet of Things ... capability. RightSensor™ provides a fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In an age where the cost of energy is rising, ... foot than in 2009. The Williamsport Regional Medical Center (WRMC) campus has grown 50 ... eight percent. , According to Facilities Management Administrative Director Dieter Reichmann, this is ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Relay (, a technology ... today a significant contract that will provide its award-winning private messaging solution to ... the growing success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, which now has over ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), ... Therapy Catapult to advance development of large scale ... immunotherapy. Under the agreement, the Cell Therapy Catapult ... to support advanced clinical trials and eventual commercialization ... --> The Cell Therapy Catapult is a ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Former White House Spokesman, and Drug Czar Public Affair Director, ... Robert Weiner , and Policy Analyst Daniel Sordello ... this is now a potential bipartisan campaign and debate issue ... Carly Fiorina to Rand Paul and ... they call "a shocker: 23 million need but do not ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Ga. , Oct. 12, 2015  MiMedx Group, ... company utilizing human amniotic tissue and patent-protected processes to ... Wound Care, Surgical, Orthopedic, Spine, Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and ... revenue results for the third quarter of 2015, its ... the Company has secured a $50 million Senior Secured ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: