Bringing Order to Bipolar

Bipolar disorder type 1 effectively treated with Seroquel

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Bipolar type I is serious and can be lethal if left untreated. And because of side effects and differences in personal biology, doctors need as many proven medications as possible in order to combat the disease.

A recent study indicates that Seroquel (quetiapine) is an effective treatment for the manic and mixed symptoms associated with bipolar type I. "Mixed" symptoms involve both depressive and manic elements simultaneously or in quick succession.

"Report medication side effects to your psychiatrist."

Andrew J. Cutler M.D., is CEO and chief medical officer of the Florida Clinical Research Center as well as a courtesy assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida. Dr. Cutler and his team of associates conducted the three-week study.

Participants were between the ages of 18 and 65 had all been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 and were dealing with acute mania at the time of the study. Some patients were placed on a placebo. The rest were placed on Seroquel at 300 mg on day one, 600 mg on day two and flexible dosing between 400 and 800 mg per day from day three through day 22.

The primary scale used to measure effectiveness of treatment was the Young Mania Rating Scale, a patient-completed questionnaire regarding subjective experience of symptoms over the prior 48 hours. 

Compared with the placebo, Seroquel improved manic and mixed-manic symptoms starting at day four, with sustained, progressive improvements building until the end of the study. The average daily dose was 604 mg.

Not only did more patients respond to Seroquel than to the placebo, but more patients went into clear, identifiable remission. The most common adverse events associated with Seroquel were sedation, dry mouth, and drowsiness.

This study indicates that Seroquel, when taken once daily and used by itself as a monotherapy is an effective regimen for many patients with bipolar disorder type I who dealing with manic or mixed episodes. Also, the study indicates that it takes the typical patient four days for the medication to become effective.

This study was published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics in November 2011. Funding was supplied by AstraZeneca, manufacturer of Seroquel.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 29, 2011
Last Updated:
January 3, 2012