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Good results for bipolar drug

Patients suffering from bipolar disorder could soon benefit from a new drug, Seroquel XL, which has shown positive performance during clinical trials
Patients suffering from bipolar disorder could soon benefit from a new drug, Seroquel XL, which has shown positive performance during clinical trials.

Manufactured by AstraZeneca and originally released in 1997, Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) has already been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in 88 countries, bipolar mania in 77 countries and bipolar depression in 11 countries including the US. It is hoped that the drug will receive approval for use in the UK as therapy for bipolar depression and mania.

Patients involved in the double-blind, placebo-controlled studies experienced significant reduction in their symptoms during he first week of treatment that lasted the course of both trials.

Results of two studies conducted to test the efficacy of the candidate drug, which is a once-daily monotherapy, were presented at the 8th International Review of Bipolar Disorder (IRBD).

Professor Patricia Suppes of Southwestern Medical School in Houston, Texas, said: "Quetiapine XL provided a reduction in symptoms for patients with bipolar disorder across mixed, manic and depressive episodes. That is encouraging for patients and physicians alike as a single medication that, if approved, can address the spectrum of mood episodes in bipolar disorder as a once-daily monotherapy is an attractive idea."

14th April 2008

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