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Keywords:

  • agitation;
  • bipolar I disorder;
  • clinical trial;
  • inhaled loxapine;
  • loxapine;
  • placebo-controlled;
  • randomized;
  • rapid acute treatment;
  • Staccato®

Kwentus J, Riesenberg RA, Marandi M, Manning RA, Allen MH, Fishman RS, Spyker DA, Kehne JH, Cassella JV. Rapid acute treatment of agitation in patients with bipolar I disorder: a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with inhaled loxapine. Bipolar Disord 2012: 14: 31–40. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objective:  The present study evaluated inhaled loxapine for the acute treatment of agitation in patients with bipolar I disorder.

Methods:  A Phase 3, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group inpatient study was performed at 17 psychiatric research facilities. Agitated patients (N = 314) with bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes) were randomized (1:1:1) to inhaled loxapine 5 mg or 10 mg, or inhaled placebo using the Staccato® system. Following baseline assessments, patients received Dose 1 and were evaluated for 24 hours. If required, up to two additional doses of study drug and/or lorazepam rescue medication were given. The primary efficacy endpoint was change from baseline in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale-Excited Component (PANSS-EC) score two hours after Dose 1. The key secondary endpoint was the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement score at two hours after Dose 1. Additional endpoints included the changes from baseline in the PANSS-EC from 10 min through 24 hours after Dose 1. Safety was assessed by adverse events, vital signs, physical examinations, and laboratory tests.

Results:  For the primary and key secondary endpoints, both doses of inhaled loxapine significantly reduced agitation compared with placebo. Reduced agitation, as reflected in PANSS-EC score, was evident 10 min after Dose 1 with both doses. Inhaled loxapine was well tolerated, and the most common adverse events were known effects of loxapine or minor oral effects common with inhaled medications (dysgeusia was reported in 17% of patients receiving active drug versus 6% receiving placebo).

Conclusions:  Inhaled loxapine provided a rapid, non-injection, well-tolerated acute treatment for agitation in patients with bipolar I disorder.