Analyses of Treatment-Emergent Mania With Olanzapine/Fluoxetine Combination in the Treatment of Bipolar Depression

Paul E. Keck, Jr., MD; Sara A. Corya, MD; Lori L. Altshuler, MD; Terence A. Ketter, MD; Susan L. McElroy, MD; Michael Case, MS; Susan D. Briggs, PhD; and Mauricio Tohen, MD, DrPH

Published: May 15, 2005

Article Abstract

Background: Treatment-emergent mania is a potential risk when patients with bipolar disorder are treated with antidepressant agents. These subanalyses compare treatment-emergent mania rates in bipolar I depressed patients treated with olanzapine, placebo, or olanzapine/fluoxetine combination.

Method: In this 8-week, double-blind investigation, patients with bipolar I depression (DSM-IV criteria) (N = 833, baseline Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale total score > = 20) were randomly assigned to olanzapine (5-20 mg/day, N = 370), placebo (N = 377), or olanzapine/fluoxetine combination (6/25, 6/50, or 12/50 mg/day; N = 86). Treatment-emergent mania was evaluated with the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), the Clinical Global Impressions-Bipolar Edition (CGI-BP) Severity of Mania scale, and adverse events records.

Results: Overall rates of study discontinuation due to mania were low and not significantly different among the therapy groups (p = .358). Incidence of treatment-emergent mania (defined as a YMRS score = 15 at any subsequent visit) did not differ significantly among therapy groups (olanzapine 5.7%, placebo 6.7%, olanzapine/fluoxetine combination 6.4%; p = .861). Subjects receiving olanzapine or olanzapine/fluoxetine combination had greater mean decreases in YMRS scores than those receiving placebo (p < .001 for both). Subjects receiving olanzapine or olanzapine/fluoxetine combination also had greater mean decreases in CGI-BP scores than those receiving placebo (p = .040 and p = .003, respectively).

Conclusion: These results suggest that olanzapine/fluoxetine combination does not present a greater risk of treatment-emergent mania compared to olanzapine or placebo over 8 weeks of acute treatment for bipolar I depression. Due to the cyclical nature of bipolar disorder, patients taking olanzapine/fluoxetine combination for bipolar depression should still be monitored for signs or symptoms of emerging mania.

Volume: 66

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