Faster, Better Response to Risperidone than Valproate in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

January 7, 2011 · Posted in Current Treatments 

An article by Pavuluri et al. published in Bipolar Disorders in September reported that both divalproex sodium (valproate, or Depakote) and risperidone (Risperdol) were effective in youth with bipolar disorder, but improvements appeared more quickly with risperidone.  Risperidone also produced higher response rates, higher remission rates, and fewer dropouts from side effects.

A presentation by the research group at an earlier conference suggested that it was particularly among those with comorbid disruptive behavioral disorders (DBD), which include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD), that risperidone worked faster and produced greater early results  than divalproex.

risperidoneIn the study, 66 children with type I bipolar disorder and a mean age of 11 years were assessed. Treatment with risperidone was initiated at 0.5 mg/day and titrated to 2 mg, while divalproex was initiated at 60 micrograms/mL and titrated up to 120 micrograms.

Editor’s Note: The possibility that children with different comorbid disorders respond differently to different antimanic agents suggests that more studies are needed to determine which subgroups of patients are most responsive to typical treatments.

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