Seroquel: New data show efficacy and tolerablity in bipolar depression


Alderley Park, England — May 6, 2004 — AstraZeneca announced important new data today presented at the 157th American Psychiatric Association (APA) congress from the first large-scale clinical trial to examine SEROQUEL (quetiapine) as a treatment for depressive episodes in patients with bipolar I and II disorders. The results show that SEROQUEL is an effective and well-tolerated agent for the treatment of bipolar depression, and improves a broad range of anxiety and mood symptoms associated with bipolar depression.1,2 SEROQUEL is currently approved worldwide for the treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The results of the study show that SEROQUEL was superior to placebo in reducing depressive symptoms, as measured by MADRS scores, in patients with bipolar disorder. Patients treated with SEROQUEL exhibited a statistically significant improvement across all efficacy measures, including those measuring anxiety, as early as week one. The improvements were noted at every assessment during the 8-week trial. In addition, approximately 50% of patients receiving SEROQUEL achieved remission from their bipolar depression symptoms.

"This study is unique because it is the first to examine SEROQUEL as a treatment for depressive episodes that included both patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorders. These results are an important contribution to the scientific community," commented Dr Joseph Calabrese, Co-Director of the National Institute of Mental Health Bipolar Research Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and lead trial investigator. "Based on these exciting results, SEROQUEL should be further explored in the area of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder."

The study, known as the BOLDER study, was a double-blind, placebo controlled trial involving 542 patients with bipolar I and II disorders who were randomised to receive 8 weeks of treatment with either a fixed dose of SEROQUEL (300mg/d, 600mg/d administered once-daily) or placebo. The results of the trial show:1,2

  • Patients taking SEROQUEL achieved a significantly greater improvement (p<0.001) in mean Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores versus placebo at every time point starting at week one and through to week 8 (MADRS: -16.7 and -16.4 vs -10.3 in 600mg, 300mg and placebo group, respectively; HAM-D: -13.8 and -13.4 vs -8.5 in 600mg, 300mg and placebo group, respectively).

  • Significantly more patients taking SEROQUEL (p<0.001) were considered responders (≥ 50% decrease from baseline MADRS score) from week 2 through to the end of the study.

  • After 8 weeks significantly more patients taking SEROQUEL achieved remission from their depressive symptoms compared to the placebo group (53% vs 28% respectively, p<0.001) as evaluated on the MADRS scale.

  • Patients taking SEROQUEL had significantly greater improvement in mean Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) score versus placebo at every assessment point starting at week one through week 8 (-8.6 and -8.7 vs -5.5; p<0.05 at 600mg, 300mg and placebo, respectively).

  • Treatment-emergent mania did not differ between SEROQUEL and placebo (3% vs 4% respectively).

  • Significant improvements were also seen on measures of quality of life and quality of sleep at all timepoints throughout the 8 week study (p<0.001).

    Bipolar depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the MADRS, HAM-D and HAM-A. The primary endpoint for bipolar depression was change in baseline on the MADRS scale.

    Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that affects approximately 3-4% of the adult population and is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.3,4,5,6 More than half of those with bipolar disorder stop taking their medication at some point during their illness, subjecting themselves to a high risk of relapse and an increased risk of suicide.7 A medication's overall efficacy and tolerability profile is therefore vital to helping patients comply with their medication.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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