Adjunctive lamotrigine treatment for adolescents with bipolar disorder: retrospective report of five cases
Soutullo CA, Díez-Suárez A, Figueroa-Quintana A.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Clínica Universitaria, University of Navarra, 31008-Pamplona, Spain.
Our aim was to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of adjunctive lamotrigine in the treatment of adolescents with bipolar disorder.
We evaluated all patients under age 18 with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) bipolar disorder in our outpatient clinic treated with lamotrigine, using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale. We rated response with the CGI-Improvement (CGI-I) scale.
Five patients (mean age = 15.5 +/- 1.8 years; range = 14-17), 1 male and 4 females, were included. One patient (20%) had bipolar I disorder, 1 (20%) had bipolar II disorder, and 3 (60%) had bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS). The polarity of the episode at baseline was depressive in all patients.
The mean lamotrigine dose was 100 +/- 87.5 mg/day (1.67 +/- 1.39 mg/kg/day). The mean duration of treatment was 28 +/- 28 weeks. CGI significantly improved from 5 at baseline to 3 +/- 1 at endpoint (p = 0.011). Improvement was marked or moderate in 4 patients (80%) and minimal in 1 patient (20%). One patient referred to dizziness, and there were no reports of increased cycling, worsening of mania, or skin rash.
This open, retrospective chart review suggests that lamotrigine may be effective and well tolerated as an adjunctive treatment in adolescents with bipolar disorder. Controlled trials are needed.
CITATION J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2006 Jun;16(3):357-64