Aripiprazole monotherapy in nonpsychotic bipolar I depression: Results of 2 randomized, placebo-controlled studies

Michael E. Thase, Alan Jonas, Arif Khan, Charles L. Bowden, Xiaoling Wu, Robert D. McQuade, William H. Carson, Ronald N. Marcus, Randall Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


Although most treatment research on bipolar disorder has focused on mania, depressive episodes occur more frequently among patients with bipolar disorder. Here, we report the results of 2 identically designed, 8-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (CN138-096 and CN138-146) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole monotherapy in outpatients with bipolar I disorder experiencing a major depressive episode without psychotic features. Patients were randomized to placebo or aripiprazole (initiated at 10 mg/d, then flexibly dosed at 5-30 mg/d based on clinical effect and tolerability). The primary end point was mean change from baseline to Week 8 (last observation carried forward) in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale total score. In Studies 1 and 2, respectively, 186 and 187 patients were randomized to aripiprazole, and 188 and 188 to placebo. Although statistically significant differences were observed during Weeks 1 to 6, aripiprazole did not achieve statistical significance versus placebo at Week 8 in either study in the change in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale total (primary end point). In addition, despite early statistical separation on the Clinical Global Impressions Bipolar Version Severity of Illness-Depression score (key secondary end point), aripiprazole was not superior to placebo at end point. Aripiprazole was associated with a higher incidence of akathisia, insomnia, nausea, fatigue, restlessness, and dry mouth versus placebo. More patients discontinued with aripiprazole versus placebo in Study 1 (46.8% vs 35.1%) and Study 2 (41.2% vs 29.8%). Aripiprazole monotherapy-as dosed in this study design-was not significantly more effective than placebo in the treatment of bipolar depression at end point (Week 8).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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