Background: Few studies have examined the relative risks of switching into hypomania or mania associated with second-generation antidepressant drugs in bipolar depression. Aims: To examine the relative acute effects of bupropion, sertraline and venlafaxine as adjuncts to mood stabilisers. Method: InalO-weektrial, participants receiving out-patient treatment for bipolar disorder (stratified for rapid cycling) were randomly treated with a flexible dose of one of the antidepressants, or their respective matching placebos, as adjuncts to mood stabilisers. Results: A total of 174 adults with bipolar disorder I, II or not otherwise specified, currently in the depressed phase, were included. All three antidepressants were associated with a similar range of acute response (49-53%) and remission (34-41%). There was a significantly increased risk of switches into hypomania or mania in participants treated with venlafaxine compared with bupropion or sertraline. Conclusions: More caution appears indicated in the use of venlafaxine rather than bupropion or sertraline in the adjunctive treatment of bipolar depression, especially if there is a prior history of rapid cycling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health