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Original Research

Adjunctive Armodafinil for Major Depressive Episodes Associated With Bipolar I Disorder: A Randomized, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Proof-of-Concept Study

Joseph R. Calabrese, MD; Terence A. Ketter, MD; James M. Youakim, MD; Jane M. Tiller, MBChB, FRCPsych; Ronghua Yang, PhD; and Mark A. Frye, MD

Published: July 27, 2010

Article Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of armodafinil, the longer-lasting isomer of modafinil, when used adjunctively in patients with bipolar depression.

Method: In this 8-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted between June 2007 and December 2008, patients who were experiencing a major depressive episode associated with bipolar I disorder (according to DSM-IV-TR criteria) despite treatment with lithium, olanzapine, or valproic acid were randomly assigned to adjunctive armodafinil 150 mg/d (n = 128) or placebo (n = 129) administered once daily in the morning. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in the total 30-item Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, Clinician-Rated (IDS-C30) score. Secondary outcomes included changes from baseline in scores on the Montgomery-Šsberg Depression Rating Scale, among other psychological symptom scales. Statistical analyses were performed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with study drug and concurrent mood stabilizer treatment for bipolar disorder as factors and the corresponding baseline value as a covariate. A prespecified sensitivity analysis was done using analysis of variance (ANOVA) if a statistically significant treatment-by-baseline interaction was found. Tolerability was also assessed.

Results: A significant baseline-by-treatment interaction in the total IDS-C30 score (P = .08) was found. Patients administered adjunctive armodafinil showed greater improvement in depressive symptoms as seen in the greater mean ± SD change on the total IDS-C30 score (−15.8 ± 11.57) compared with the placebo group (−12.8 ± 12.54) (ANOVA: P = .044; ANCOVA: P = .074). No differences between treatment groups were observed in secondary outcomes. Adverse events reported more frequently in patients receiving adjunctive armodafinil were headache, diarrhea, and insomnia. Armodafinil was not associated with an increased incidence and/or severity of suicidality, depression, or mania or with changes in metabolic profile measurements.

Conclusions: In this proof-of-concept study, adjunctive armodafinil 150 mg/d appeared to improve depressive symptoms according to some, but not all, measures and was generally well tolerated in patients with bipolar depression.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00481195

J Clin Psychiatry

Submitted: December 9, 2009; accepted May 20, 2010.

Online ahead of print: July 27, 2010 (doi:10.4088/JCP.09m05900gry).

Corresponding author: Joseph R. Calabrese, MD, 10524 Euclid Ave, Room 12-135, Cleveland, OH 44106 (

Volume: 71

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