Aripiprazole in Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder Comorbid With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial

Objective: To assess response to treatment with aripiprazole in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder comorbid with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: Children and adolescents were extensively assessed according to DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder comorbid with ADHD (n = 710). Those with this comorbidity who were acutely manic or in mixed states were randomly assigned in a 6-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to aripiprazole (n = 18) or placebo (n = 25). Primary outcome measures were assessed weekly and included the Young Mania Rating Scale; the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Scale-Version IV; and weight. Secondary outcome measures were the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness scale, the Child Mania Rating Scale-Parental Version (CMRS-P), the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised, the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale, and adverse events. The trial was conducted at the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, from January 2005 to November 2007.

Results: The group receiving aripiprazole showed a significantly greater reduction in YMRS scores (P = .02, effect size [ES] = 0.80), CMRS-P scores (P = .02; ES = 0.54), and CGI-S scores (P = .04; ES = 0.28) from baseline to endpoint than the placebo group. In addition, higher rates of response (P = .02) and remission (P = .01) were found for the aripiprazole group. No significant between-group differences were found in weight, ADHD symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Adverse events significantly more frequent in the aripiprazole group were somnolence and sialorrhea.

Conclusion: Aripiprazole was effective in reducing manic symptoms and improving global functioning without promoting severe adverse events or weight gain. No significant treatment effect in ADHD symptoms was observed. Studies are needed to assess psychopharmacologic interventions for improving ADHD symptoms in juvenile bipolar disorder comorbid with ADHD.

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(5):756-764

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.08m04726