Quetiapine fumarate is an atypical antipsychotic indicated for various mental disorders, but it has not been studied in Japanese patients with bipolar depression.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of quetiapine XR (extended release) in Japanese patients with bipolar depression.
In this multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study of 431 Japanese adults with bipolar I or II disorder, efficacy was determined by analyzing the mean change from baseline in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score. Secondary end points included MADRS response and remission rates, Hamilton Depression Scale 17-Item (HAM-D17), and Clinical Global Impressions-Bipolar (CGI-BP) scale scores. Safety was determined by monitoring adverse events and clinical assessments.
This study revealed a statistically significantly greater decrease in MADRS total score after 8 weeks of quetiapine XR 300 mg/day monotherapy compared with placebo (- 12.6 vs. - 10.1; p = 0.034). There were also improvements in MADRS response (44.1 vs. 35.6%) and remission (38.0 vs. 26.6%) rates as well as in HAM-D17 and CGI-BP scale scores compared with placebo. In the subgroup analysis of patients with bipolar I or II disorder, the adjusted mean changes in MADRS total score compared to placebo were - 2.3 and - 2.1, respectively. Adverse events occurred in 149 patients (83.2%) receiving quetiapine XR 300 mg/day and in 81 patients (45.8%) receiving placebo. The most common adverse events were somnolence and thirst, which is consistent with the previously reported safety profile.
Once-daily monotherapy with quetiapine XR is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for bipolar depression in Japanese patients.