Background Atypical antipsychotics are used for the treatment of acute mania, either as monotherapy or in combination with lithium or divalproex, which have a better tolerability profile as compared with typical antipsychotics. Asenapine, a newer atypical antipsychotic, has been found to be effective for the treatment of mania, with efficacy similar to olanzapine. The objective of the study was to compare the efficacy and safety of asenapine and olanzapine when used in combination with divalproex in patients with acute mania. Methods One hundred twenty patients aged 18 to 55 years, diagnosed with manic episode, were randomized to receive either flexible dose of sublingual asenapine (10-20 mg/d) or tablet olanzapine (10-20 mg/d), in combination with valproate 20 mg/kg per day for a period of 6 weeks. Efficacy was measured as change in Young Mania Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression-Bipolar using intention-to-treat analysis with last observation carried forward, and safety was measured using Udvalg for Kliniske Undersøgelser scale and Modified Simpson-Angus Extrapyramidal Side Effects Scale. Results There was a significant reduction in Young Mania Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression-Bipolar scores over time in both groups, with a significantly higher reduction in the olanzapine group as shown by the group × time interaction effect. Higher weight gain, increased sleep and appetite, and tremors were seen in the olanzapine-treated patients as compared with asenapine-treated patients; however, tongue hypesthesia was seen in the asenapine group only. Conclusions This study found that asenapine was an effective and well-tolerated atypical antipsychotic alternative to olanzapine in combination with divalproex for the short-term management of acute mania.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)