When to start aripiprazole therapy in patients with bipolar mania
Kiran Kumar Sayyaparaju,1 Heinz Grunze,1 Kostas N Fountoulakis2
1Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience, Academic Psychiatry, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; 23rd Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Abstract: Aripiprazole is a third generation atypical antipsychotic with compelling evidence as a highly effective treatment option in the management of acute manic and mixed episodes of bipolar I disorders. It has a unique mode of action, acting as a partial agonist at dopamine D2 and D3, and serotonin 5-HT1A; and exhibiting antagonistic action at the 5-HT2A and H1 receptors. Overall, it has a favorable safety and tolerability profile, with low potential for clinically significant weight gain and metabolic effects, especially compared to other well-established treatments. It also has a superior tolerability profile when used as maintenance treatment. Side effects like headache, insomnia, and extrapyramidal side effects (EPSEs), such as tremor and akathisia may be treatment limiting in some cases. It is efficacious in both acute mania and mixed states, and in the long-term prevention of manic relapses. Aripiprazole therefore, is a significant player in the current portfolio of anti-manic pharmacological treatments. The data sources for this article are from EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the clinical trial database searches for all the literature published between January 2003 and September 2013. The key search terms were “aripiprazole” combined with “bipolar disorder”, “mania”, “antipsychotics”, “mood stabilizer”, “randomized controlled trial”, and “pharmacology”. Abstracts and proceedings from national and international psychiatric meetings were also reviewed, along with reviews of the reference lists of relevant articles.
Keywords: bipolar disorder, mania, maintenance, aripiprazole
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