Riluzole to Treat Depression in Bipolar Disorder
This study examines if Riluzole, FDA approved for ALS, will improve symptoms of depression in Bipolar Disorder.
Purpose: This study will examine the safety and effectiveness of riluzole (Rilutek trademark) for short-term treatment of depression symptoms, such as depressed mood, psychomotor retardation, and excessive sleeping in patients with bipolar disease. Riluzole is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Preliminary findings of a study using riluzole to treat acute depression in patients with unipolar depression indicate that it may have antidepressant properties in some patients.
Patients between 18 and 70 years of age with bipolar I or II disorder without psychosis may be eligible for this 8-week study. Candidates must be currently depressed, must have had at least one previous major depressive episode, and must have failed to improve with prior treatment with at least one antidepressant. They will be screened with a medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram (EKG), blood and urine tests, and psychiatric evaluation. A blood or urine sample will be analyzed for illegal drugs. Women of childbearing potential will have a pregnancy test.
Participants will begin an 8-week course of treatment, starting with a placebo (a sugar pill formulated to look like the active drug) and, at some point, switching to riluzole. In addition to drug treatment, participants will undergo the following procedures:
Physical examination and electrocardiogram (EKG) at the beginning and end of the study;
Weekly check of vital signs (temperature, blood pressure and heart rate);
Weekly 1-hour interviews consisting of psychiatric and psychomotor rating scales to assess treatment response;
Weekly blood tests to measure blood levels of riluzole and evaluate drug side effects.
At the end of the study, participants' psychiatric status will be reassessed and appropriate long-term psychiatric treatment arranged.
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We enroll eligible participants locally and from around the country. Travel arrangements are provided and costs covered by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (Arrangements vary by distance and by specific study.) After completing the study participants receive short-term follow-up care while transitioning back to a provider.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||An Investigation of the Antidepressant Efficacy of an Antiglutamatergic Agent in Bipolar Depression|
- Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale [ Time Frame: 8 weeks ]The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) is a clinician-rated assessment of depression symptoms. Patients were rated weekly on 10 symptoms on a scale of 0 to 6 for each item, where 0 indicated no symptoms and 6 indicated the highest severity of that symptom. Total scores range from 0 to 60, where a moderate severity of depression would be present with a score of at least 20.
|Study Start Date:||February 2003|
|Study Completion Date:||December 2014|
|Primary Completion Date:||December 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Riluzole was dispensed either once or twice a day as 50 mg tablets. Riluzole dosing began at 50 mg twice per day by mouth and was increased on a weekly basis by 50 mg, as tolerated, to achieve a dose of 200 mg/day. Dose escalations continued until at least a 50% reduction in depression (MADRS) scores, intolerable side effects, or study completion. Dose was raised on a weekly basis by 50 mg until the dose of 200 mg was achieved unless precluded by an adverse event. If significant side effects occurred, titration was slowed and doses were reduced under double-blind conditions. The maximum permitted dose of riluzole was 200 mg/day. Those subjects not tolerating a dosage of 50 mg/day were removed from the study.
Other Name: Rilutek
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Placebo pills resembling 50 mg riluzole tables were dispensed either once or twice a day. Dosing began at 50 mg twice per day by mouth and was increased on a weekly basis by 50 mg, as tolerated, to achieve a dose of 200 mg/day. Dose escalations continued until at least a 50% reduction in depression (MADRS) scores, intolerable side effects, or study completion. Dose was raised on a weekly basis by 50 mg until the dose of 200 mg was achieved unless precluded by an adverse event. If significant side effects occurred, titration was slowed and doses were reduced under double-blind conditions. The maximum permitted dose of riluzole was 200 mg/day. Those subjects not tolerating a dosage of 50 mg/day were removed from the study.
The treatments for acute unipolar depression have been extensively researched. However, despite the availability of a wide range of antidepressant drugs, clinical trials indicate that 30% to 40% of depressed patients fail to respond to first-line antidepressant treatment, despite adequate dosage, duration, and compliance. Very few studies have examined the efficacy of somatic treatments for the acute phase of bipolar depression. Thus, there is a clear need to develop novel and improved therapeutics for bipolar depression. Recent preclinical studies suggest that antidepressants may exert delayed indirect effects on the glutamatergic system. Clinical data suggests that lamotrigine an inhibitor of glutamate release and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist ketamine may have antidepressant effects. Finally, our group recently found in two separate studies that the glutamate modulating agent riluzole was effective in treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression (Zarate et al 2004). Together, these data suggest that the glutamatergic system may play a role in the pathophysiology and treatment of depression, and that agents, which more directly reduce glutamatergic neurotransmission, may represent a novel class of antidepressants.
In this study, we propose to extend our findings from open-label studies with riluzole in treatment-resistant depression by investigating its efficacy in a double-blind placebo-controlled study in bipolar depression.
Patients, ages 18 to 70 years with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder I or II current episode depressed (without psychotic features), will be randomized to double-blind treated to receive either riluzole (50-200 mg/day) or placebo for a period of 8 weeks. Acute efficacy will be determined by demonstrating a greater response rate using specified criteria.
Approximately 78 patients with acute bipolar depression will be enrolled in this study.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00054704
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Principal Investigator:||Carlos A Zarate, M.D.||National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)|