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Acute Treatment of Pediatric Bipolar I Disorder, Manic or Mixed Episode, With Aripiprazole: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(10):1441-1451
10.4088/JCP.09m05164yel

Objectives: To determine the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole for the treatment of pediatric bipolar I disorder, manic or mixed episode, with or without psychotic features.

Method: Subjects were enrolled between March 2005 and February 2007 in a randomized, multicenter, double-blind 4-week study of aripiprazole 10 mg/d, aripiprazole 30 mg/d, and placebo. Subjects (n = 296) were 10 to 17 years old with a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar I disorder with current manic or mixed episodes, with or without psychotic features, and a Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) score 20. The primary efficacy variable was change from baseline in the YMRS total score.

Results: Both doses of aripiprazole were superior to placebo on the YMRS total score beginning at week 1 and continuing through week 4. Aripiprazole 10 mg and 30 mg were more effective than placebo on global improvement, mania, and overall bipolar illness outcome measures. Response (≥ 50% reduction in YMRS total score) at week 4 was achieved by 44.8%, 63.6%, and 26.1% of subjects in the aripiprazole 10 mg, aripiprazole 30 mg, and placebo groups, respectively (P < .01 both doses vs placebo). Both doses were generally well tolerated. The most common adverse events were extrapyramidal disorder and somnolence; rates were higher for aripiprazole 30 mg compared with aripiprazole 10 mg. Average weight gain was not significantly different between the aripiprazole 10 mg (+0.82 kg) or 30 mg (+1.08 kg) groups compared with the placebo group (+0.56 kg) (P = .35 and P = .13, respectively).

Conclusions: Aripiprazole in daily doses of 10 mg or 30 mg is an effective and generally well-tolerated acute treatment for pediatric subjects with bipolar I mania or mixed episodes.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00110461


Submitted: February 23, 2009; accepted July 10, 2009.

Corresponding author: Robert L. Findling, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, 10524 Euclid Ave–1st Floor, Cleveland, OH 44106 (robert.findling@uhhospitals.org).