Clinical Trial of Pramipexole in Bipolar Depression
The purpose of this study is to examine the safety and effectiveness of the drug pramipexole given in combination with lithium or divalproex for the short-term treatment of acute depression in patients with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a severe, chronic, and often life-threatening illness. Treatments for acute unipolar depression have been extensively researched. However, despite the availability of a wide range of antidepressant drugs, a significant proportion of depressed patients fail to respond to first-line antidepressant treatment. Novel and improved therapeutics for bipolar depression are needed. This study will evaluate the antidepressant properties of pramipexole.
This study will be conducted in three phases. Phase 1 is a 14-day washout period in which participants will be tapered off all their psychiatric medicines except divalproex or lithium. Participants will also be asked to adhere to a low caffeine and low monoamine diet. During Phase 2, participants will be randomly assigned to receive either pramipexole or placebo (an inactive pill) for 6 weeks. Participants who respond to treatment will be given either open-label pramipexole or another clinical treatment.
Participants will be screened with a medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram (EKG), blood and urine tests, and a psychiatric evaluation. Women of childbearing potential will have a pregnancy test. Participants will have a physical exam and EKG at study entry and study completion. Blood will be drawn at various times throughout the study. Pulse and blood pressure measurements will be taken daily. Weekly interviews will be conducted. Participants and a control group of healthy volunteers will undergo positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain.
|Study Design:||Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||An Investigation of the Antidepressant Efficacy of a Dopamine Agonist With Neurotrophic Properties in Bipolar Disorder|
|Study Start Date:||October 2001|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||November 2005|
Bipolar affective disorder (BPD, manic-depressive illness) is a common, severe, chronic and often life-threatening illness. Increasingly, it is being recognized that it is the depressive phase of the illness, which contributes much of the morbidity and mortality. Impairment in physical and social functioning resulting from depression can be just as severe as other chronic medical illnesses. Suicide is the cause of death in 10-20% of individuals with either bipolar or recurrent depressive disorders.
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 (unipolar) 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. A deficiency of dopamine systems stands as a prime candidate for involvement in the pathophysiology of depression.
Preliminary studies suggest that pramipexole (Mirapex), a dopaminergic-agent that is FDA-approved for Parkinson's Disease, may have antidepressant properties in unipolar and bipolar patients as well as neurotrophic properties. In this study, we propose to investigate the potential efficacy of pramipexole, which enhances dopaminergic throughput via D2 and D3 receptors, and exerts robust neurotrophic effects via direct intracellular mechanisms.
This is a 6-week randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled add-on study that will examine the efficacy of pramipexole in acutely depressed Bipolar II patients.
This study has three phases. The first phase is the washout phase that will last for 14 days. The second phase is a 6-week double-blind acute phase in which the efficacy and tolerability of adjunctive pramipexole and placebo are compared. Patients who complete the 6-week double-blind phase will receive either open-label pramipexole or clinical treatment. Acute efficacy will be determined by demonstrating a greater response rate using specified criteria.
Patients, ages 18 to 70, with a diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder, depressed (without psychotic features), will be randomized to double-blind treatment to receive either pramipexole (0.375-4.5 mg/day) or placebo in combination with a mood stabilizer for a period of 6 weeks. Following this acute period, the patients will receive either open-label pramipexole or treatment as clinically indicated. Approximately 100 patients with acute Bipolar II depression will be enrolled in the study. Imaging and pharmacokinetic studies will be obtained during the study.
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|