Working… Menu

Treatment for Bipolar Depression: Acute & Prophylactic Efficacy With Citalopram

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00562861
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 22, 2007
Results First Posted : February 13, 2017
Last Update Posted : March 24, 2017
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Tufts Medical Center

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE November 20, 2007
First Posted Date  ICMJE November 22, 2007
Results First Submitted Date  ICMJE July 7, 2016
Results First Posted Date  ICMJE February 13, 2017
Last Update Posted Date March 24, 2017
Study Start Date  ICMJE November 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date July 2014   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 20, 2016)
MADRS Rating Scale Change [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating scale assessed in mixed effects regression model. The total range for the scale is 0 to 60. Lower values involve less depression, while higher values involve worse depression. The change in the MADRS scale is interpreted as higher values meaning better outcomes, because more depressive symptoms are improved.
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 21, 2007)
In acute treatment, citalopram will be more effective than placebo for depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
Change History Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00562861 on Archive Site
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 21, 2007)
  • In acute treatment, citalopram will be associated with a greater risk of acute hypomania, mixed-states, or mania than placebo. [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
  • In maintenance treatment, the total number of affective episodes and their rate (episodes/study time), as well as time to intervention with other medications and time to first episode, will be lower in the placebo than in the citalopram group. [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Antidepressant response or remission in depressed bipolar patients will be associated with changes in cortical and paralimbic regions, consistent with SRI antidepressant response in unipolar depressed patients. [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
  • Polymorphic variation at the 5HTTLPR gene will alter the risk of acute mania or increased mood-cycling with citalopram vs. placebo treatments [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Treatment for Bipolar Depression: Acute & Prophylactic Efficacy With Citalopram
Official Title  ICMJE Treatment for Bipolar Depression: Acute & Prophylactic Efficacy With Citalopram
Brief Summary

Bipolar depression is one of the least studied depressive illnesses. The standard practice for many doctors is to use antidepressant medicines, but there are few studies on the long-term results of these medicines. The goal of this study is to look at how effective and safe these medicines are in treating bipolar depression when taken with a mood stabilizer medicine.

The drug being studied is citalopram, also known as Celexa. Celexa is FDA approved for the treatment of major depression, but is not FDA approved for the treatment of bipolar depression. It is, however, standard practice for many doctors is to use antidepressants, like Celexa, to treat their patients with bipolar disorder depression.

The drug will be studied in three ways. We will see if it helps treat depressive symptoms. We will see how the drug affects the brain using PET and fMRI scans. Finally, we will look at the possibility that there may be a gene that could predict if a person would get better taking the drug using genetics.

Detailed Description

The problem of interest

Depression is a common serious illness, with great personal suffering and a 10% or more risk of suicide. There are two kinds of depression, bipolar (depression alternating with mood swings) and unipolar ("simple" depression, or major depressive disorder). In both kinds of depression, antidepressants are commonly used. However, unlike unipolar depression, where a good deal of research supports this use, there is very little research on antidepressant use in bipolar disorder. Some studies support benefit with antidepressants for bipolar depression; i.e., if one is depressed, antidepressants can help a patient get better in the short-term. However, long-term studies are limited; the few available studies with older antidepressants did not demonstrate long-term preventive benefit. Some clinicians think new generation antidepressants (like Prozac and other serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are safer and more effective than the older antidepressants. Yet there are no rigorous long-term studies of new generation antidepressants in bipolar disorder. Recent observational studies with new antidepressants suggest that they may be harmful to some patients with bipolar disorder.

Clinicians are thus left in a quandary. Antidepressants appear to be effective in the short term, but should the antidepressants (especially new generation antidepressants) be continued long-term? Some studies support both approaches. Importantly, some evidence exists that antidepressants can make many patients worse, with more and more depression or mania over time.

This is a major public health problem, since clinicians prescribe antidepressants for the long-term in up to 80% of patients with bipolar disorder. This represents standard treatment, despite the limitations of the available evidence and the suggestion that in some patients such antidepressant use may be harmful.

This study is also looking at possible biological predictors that may reflect an individual patients' likelihood that he or she will respond to a specific treatment.

How the problem will be studied

This project is one of the most rigorous studies of new generation antidepressants in long-term treatment of bipolar disorder. We will recruit patients with bipolar disorder who are currently in a depressive episode and are taking or eligible and interested in taking a mood stabilizer such as lithium. Subjects will then be randomly put into one of two groups. The first group will receive the generic antidepressant, citalopram while the other group will receive placebo, sugar pill. Patients will be closely followed and monitored by the research psychiatrist and through a series of safety labs. Subjects will have an MRI and PET scan for the biological predictors section of the study. The key question is: After the acute recovery, should they continue antidepressants or not?

As there is limited scientific data, and opposing kinds of clinical experience, there is no clear rationale to making this decision. Our study seeks to provide a scientific basis for making that decision. We plan to follow subjects for a goal of 1 year to obtain long-term outcome data on which approach is best.

How the research will advance scientific knowledge or human health

Since there are no rigorous long-term studies with new generation antidepressants in bipolar disorder, this study will be a major advance in that knowledge. Clinicians will have some evidence on which to base that decision, rather than simply their own opinions or patients' preferences. In the light of recent evidence that antidepressants are potentially harmful to some patients, this study will provide more information about how new antidepressants work specifically for bipolar patients rather than unipolar depression (also known as major depression). The biological portion of the study will shed light on possible biological factors that could show how an individual may respond to a specific treatment. This could potentially help doctors to decide on which treatments are more or less likely to work for their individual patients rather then using a "hit or miss" type method.

Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 2
Phase 3
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Bipolar Depression
Intervention  ICMJE
  • Drug: citalopram + mood stabilizer
    Citalopram dose will be flexibly designed, beginning at 10 mg/d for at least one week, and the increased by 10 mg per week to a maximum of 50 mg/d. No target dose will be provided but rather clinicians will dose to clinical efficacy. Thus the study will provide clinicians data on the effective dose if it is positive. The dose will not be predetermined at static amounts.
    Other Name: Celexa
  • Drug: placebo + mood stabilizer
    This arm will only receive mood stabilizing medication. All subjects will be required to receive treatment with lithium, lamotrigine, valproate, or carbamazepine for at least one month at therapeutic blood levels or doses before randomization, or they must initiate one of these agents at study entry.
    Other Name: lithium, lamotrigine, valproate, or carbamazepine
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Active Comparator: citalopram + mood stabilizer
    All patients are on baseline mood stabilizers and are randomized to receive citalopram or placebo. In this arm, they are randomly assigned to citalopram.
    Intervention: Drug: citalopram + mood stabilizer
  • Placebo Comparator: placebo + mood stabilizer
    All patients are on baseline mood stabilizers and are randomized to receive citalopram or placebo. In this arm, they are randomly assigned to placebo
    Intervention: Drug: placebo + mood stabilizer
Publications * Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Completed
Actual Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 20, 2016)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: November 21, 2007)
Actual Study Completion Date  ICMJE July 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date July 2014   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Current age ≥18 years
  • DSM-IV diagnosis of BPD, type-I, or type-II
  • Current major depressive episode using DSM-IV criteria, lasting 8 weeks or longer.
  • Use of lithium, divalproex, carbamazepine, or lamotrigine at therapeutic serum levels or doses for ≥4 weeks prior to study entry, or willingness to accept one of these agents.
  • Prior to initial evaluations, each subject must provide competent, written, informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Past non-response to a therapeutic trial of R,S-citalopram (≥100 mg/day for ≥8 weeks).
  • Previous intolerance of R,S-citalopram;
  • Diagnosis of unipolar depression
  • Diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder
  • Serious medical illness with acute instability (cardiac, respiratory, hepatic, renal), based on hospitalization in the past month
  • Abnormal thyroid function tests
  • Previous allergic reaction to or inability to tolerate lithium, divalproex, or carbamazepine at therapeutic serum levels.
  • Current or past renal dysfunction if taking lithium
  • Current or past hepatitis or other liver disease if taking divalproex
  • Current or past hematologic disease if on carbamazepine
  • Severe suicidal ideation, plan or intent, as documented by a score of ≥4 on the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale suicidality item (Item 10).
  • Presence of psychosis
  • Cognitive impairment sufficient to impair ability to give informed consent.
  • Current pregnancy, or inability to utilize contraception
  • The presence of any metallic implants
  • History of claustrophobia
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years to 64 Years   (Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE United States
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT00562861
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE MH78060-01A1
5R01MH078060-04 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Has Data Monitoring Committee Yes
U.S. FDA-regulated Product Not Provided
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE
Plan to Share IPD: No
Responsible Party Tufts Medical Center
Study Sponsor  ICMJE Tufts Medical Center
Collaborators  ICMJE National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Investigators  ICMJE
Principal Investigator: Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH Tufts University Medical
PRS Account Tufts Medical Center
Verification Date February 2017

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP