Treatment of psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder with aripiprazole monotherapy: a meta-analysis

  • Konstantinos N Fountoulakis1,

    Affiliated with

    • Xenia Gonda2,

      Affiliated with

      • Eduard Vieta3 and

        Affiliated with

        • Frank Schmidt4

          Affiliated with

          Annals of General Psychiatry20109(Suppl 1):S225

          DOI: 10.1186/1744-859X-9-S1-S225

          Published: 22 April 2010


          The current article is a systematic registration and meta-analysis of the available clinical trials concerning the usefulness of aripiprazole in the treatment of the psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder.

          Materials and methods

          A systematic MEDLINE and repositories search concerning clinical trials for aripiprazole in bipolar disorder.


          The meta-analysis of 4 RCTs on acute mania suggests that the effect size of aripiprazole vs. placebo was equal to 0.14 but a more reliable and accurate estimation is 0.18 for the total PANSS score. The effect was higher for the PANSS positive subscale (0.28), PANSS hostility subscale (0.24) and PANSS cognitive subscale (0.20), and lower for the PANSS negative (0.12). No data on the depressive phase of bipolar illness exist, while there are some data in favour of aripiprazole concerning the maintenance phase, where at week 26 all except the total PANSS score showed a significant superiority of aripiprazole over placebo (d = 0.28 for positive, d = 0.38 for the cognitive and d = 0.71 for the hostility subscales) and at week 100 the results were similar (d = 0.42, 0.63 and 0.48 respectively).


          The data analysed for the current study support the usefulness of aripiprazole against psychotic symptoms during the acute manic and maintenance phases of bipolar illness.

          Authors’ Affiliations

          3rd Department of Psychiatry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
          Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy and Department of Psychiatry Kutvolgyi Klinikai Tömb, Semmelweis University
          Bipolar Disorders Program, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, CIBERSAM
          Fethke Professor, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa


          © Fountoulakis et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

          This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.