Lamotrigine as an adjuvant treatment for acute bipolar depression: A Brazilian naturalistic study
Psychology and Neuroscience
Lamotrigine is indicated according to several recent treatment guidelines as a first-line medication for the treatment of bipolar depression. However, its efficacy in acute bipolar depression has not been well established. In the present naturalistic study, patients with bipolar depression (n = 20), predominantly bipolar type I, were treated with lamotrigine in addition to their prior treatment for 8 weeks. The Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
... r Depression (HAM-D-17), and Clinical Global Impressions-Bipolar Disorder (CGI-BD) scale were applied at baseline, week 4, and week 8. With regard to the primary measure of efficacy, mean total HAM-D-17 scores significantly decreased (p < .01) at the end of treatment. Eight patients (40%) exhibited a positive response (i.e., at least a 50% reduction of baseline scores). Additionally, eight (40%) and 11 (55%) patients exhibited complete remission, reflected by HAM-D-17 and CGI-BP scores, respectively. Episodes of switching to mania or hypomania occurred in five patients (25%). No skin rash or any other significant adverse events were reported. Our results indicate that the addition of lamotrigine to a mood stabilizer can be useful in the treatment of acute depressive episodes in bipolar I disorder.