Bipolar I depression is a mental health condition that affects a person's mood, causing extreme shifts between periods of intense sadness (depression) and unusually high energy levels (mania). People with bipolar depression often need medication to manage their symptoms and maintain stability.
Antidepressants are used to treat acute depression in patients with bipolar I disorder, but their effect as maintenance treatment after the remission of depression has not been well studied.
A clinical trial investigated the effectiveness of using antidepressant medication as a maintenance treatment after the remission of bipolar I depression.
Clinical TrialThe trial aimed to discover if long-term antidepressant therapy after the remission of bipolar depression could help in preventing further depression episodes and their associated complications.
177 participants were recruited who had remission of bipolar I depression. 90 patients were assigned to continue treatment with the prescribed antidepressant for 52 weeks (52-week group) and 87 were assigned to switch to placebo at 8 weeks (8-week group).
The researchers tracked these participants over an extended period to observe the effects of prolonged antidepressant use.
The primary outcome was any mood episode, as defined by scores on scales measuring symptoms of hypomania or mania, depression, suicidality, and mood-episode severity; additional treatment or hospitalization for mood symptoms; or attempted or completed suicide. Key secondary outcomes included the time to an episode of mania or hypomania or depression.