Use of asenapine as add-on therapy in the treatment of bipolar disorder: a comprehensive review and case series.Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2014 Sep; 13(9):1199-208.EO
Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs), conducted in schizophrenic and bipolar patients, have documented the efficacy and tolerability of asenapine as monotherapy both for short- and long-term treatment. However, evidence on its augmentative use is more limited and related to the manic/mixed phase of bipolar disorder (BD).
The present article reviews augmentative asenapine efficacy and safety/tolerability in the treatment of BD. It also includes some original cases of bipolar patients treated with add-on asenapine in the short- and long-term.
To date, only a single RCT with manic/mixed patients with partial response to mood-stabilizer monotherapy supports the efficacy and safety/tolerability of augmentative asenapine to lithium/valproate, both in acute and long-term treatment. Additionally, two case reports confirm the overall effectiveness of augmentative asenapine to clozapine and valproate. Our case series, consisting of 4 bipolar patients treated with adjunctive asenapine to mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics - with treatment duration ranging from 1 to 14 months - provided clinical results that are consistent with literature data. Taken as a whole, available evidence seems to support the efficacy and safety of adjunctive asenapine in bipolar patients, though additional studies with active comparators are requested to confirm the current body of evidence.