Objectives: Polypharmacy is common in maintenance treatment of bipolar illness, but proof of greater efficacy compared to monotherapy is assumed rather than well known. We systematically reviewed the evidence from the literature to provide recommendations for clinical management and future research. Method: A systematic review was conducted on the use of polypharmacy in bipolar prophylaxis. Relevant papers published in English through 31 December 2019 were identified searching the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library. Results: Twelve studies matched inclusion criteria, including 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The best drug combination in prevention is represented by lithium + valproic acid which showed a significant effect on time to mood relapses (HR = 0.57) compared to valproic acid monotherapy, especially for manic episodes (HR = 0.51). The effect was significant in terms of time to new drug treatment (HR = 0.51) and time to hospitalization (HR = 0.57). A significant reduction in the frequency of mood relapses was also reported for lithium + valproic acid vs. lithium monotherapy (RR=0.12); however, the trial had a small sample size. Lamotrigine + valproic acid reported significant efficacy in prevention of depressive episodes compared to lamotrigine alone. Conclusions: The literature to support a generally greater efficacy with polypharmacy in bipolar illness is scant and heterogeneous. Within that limited evidence base, the best drug combination in bipolar prevention is represented by lithium + valproic acid for manic, but not depressive episodes. Clinical practice should focus more on adequate monotherapy before considering polypharmacy.

Polypharmacy as maintenance treatment in bipolar illness : A systematic review / A. Amerio, D. Russo, N. Miletto, A. Aguglia, A. Costanza, B. Benatti, A. Odone, S.A. Barroilhet, V. Brakoulias, B. Dell'Osso, G. Serafini, M. Amore, S.N. Ghaemi. - In: ACTA PSYCHIATRICA SCANDINAVICA. - ISSN 0001-690X. - (2021 May 07). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1111/acps.13312]

Polypharmacy as maintenance treatment in bipolar illness : A systematic review

B. Benatti;B. Dell'Osso;
2021

Abstract

Objectives: Polypharmacy is common in maintenance treatment of bipolar illness, but proof of greater efficacy compared to monotherapy is assumed rather than well known. We systematically reviewed the evidence from the literature to provide recommendations for clinical management and future research. Method: A systematic review was conducted on the use of polypharmacy in bipolar prophylaxis. Relevant papers published in English through 31 December 2019 were identified searching the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library. Results: Twelve studies matched inclusion criteria, including 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The best drug combination in prevention is represented by lithium + valproic acid which showed a significant effect on time to mood relapses (HR = 0.57) compared to valproic acid monotherapy, especially for manic episodes (HR = 0.51). The effect was significant in terms of time to new drug treatment (HR = 0.51) and time to hospitalization (HR = 0.57). A significant reduction in the frequency of mood relapses was also reported for lithium + valproic acid vs. lithium monotherapy (RR=0.12); however, the trial had a small sample size. Lamotrigine + valproic acid reported significant efficacy in prevention of depressive episodes compared to lamotrigine alone. Conclusions: The literature to support a generally greater efficacy with polypharmacy in bipolar illness is scant and heterogeneous. Within that limited evidence base, the best drug combination in bipolar prevention is represented by lithium + valproic acid for manic, but not depressive episodes. Clinical practice should focus more on adequate monotherapy before considering polypharmacy.
bipolar illness; maintenance treatment; polypharmacy
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
7-mag-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/855155
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