Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of risperidone monotherapy for the treatment of an acute mixed or manic episode in children and adolescents with bipolar I disorder.
Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 3-arm study (N = 169) included children and adolescents (ages 10–17 years) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, experiencing a manic or mixed episode. Study participants were randomized to placebo (n = 58), risperidone 0.5–2.5 mg/day (n = 50), or risperidone 3–6 mg/day (n = 61) for 3 weeks. The primary efficacy measure was change in Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) total score from baseline to end point. Safety assessments included adverse event (AE) monitoring and scores on extrapyramidal symptom rating scales.
Results: Improvement in mean YMRS total score was significantly greater in risperidone-treated subjects than in placebo-treated subjects [mean change (SD) −9.1 (11.0) for placebo; −18.5 (9.7) for risperidone 0.5–2.5 mg (p < 0.001); −16.5 (10.3) for risperidone 3–6 mg (p < 0.001)]. The most common risperidone-associated AEs were somnolence, headache, and fatigue. Mean (SD) weight gain was 0.7 (1.9) kg, 1.9 (1.7) kg, and 1.4 (2.4) kg in the placebo, risperidone 0.5–2.5 mg, and risperidone 3–6 mg groups, respectively, during this 3-week study.
Conclusions: At daily doses of 0.5–2.5 mg and 3–6 mg, risperidone was effective and well tolerated in children and adolescents experiencing acute manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder. Results indicate that risperidone 0.5–2.5 mg has a better benefit–risk profile than risperidone 3–6 mg.