Olanzapine Effective for Acute Bipolar Depression

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Olanzapine monotherapy is effective in the acute treatment of bipolar depression, with a safety profile similar to that already known for the antipsychotic, new research shows.

Mauricio Tohen, MD, DrPH, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and colleagues found that a largely East Asian cohort of patients with bipolar I depression randomly assigned to olanzapine therapy had improvements in depression as measured by multiple assessment tools at the end of 6 weeks of treatment.

The most commonly reported adverse events in the active therapy arm were somnolence, increased appetite and weight, and sedation.

Unfavorable changes in fasting cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels were observed as well.

“It is important to consider that bipolar disorder is a particularly difficult to treat condition and that there are very few regulatory approved treatments for bipolar depression,” investigators write.

“Therefore, even a modest effect size may be of clinical relevance to patients, although treatment-emergent adverse events need to be taken into consideration as well.”

by Pam Harrison

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