A pilot study of brexpiprazole for bipolar depression

E. Sherwood Brown, Neusha Khaleghi, Erin Van Enkevort, Elena Ivleva, Alyson Nakamura, Traci Holmes, Brittany L. Mason, Chastity Escalante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Past studies suggest that brexpiprazole is an effective adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder and schizophrenia; however, no studies have examined brexpiprazole for bipolar depression. In this study, we examined the effects of brexpiprazole on mood, cognition, and quality of life in outpatients with bipolar depression. Methods: Twenty-one adults with bipolar disorder (most recent episode depressed) and scoring at least a 25 on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) were recruited. Brexpiprazole was titrated up to 4 mg/day over the 8-week period. Depressive symptoms were measured using MADRS and Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-report (IDS-SR 30 ). Manic symptoms were measured using Young Mania Rating Scale, quality of life with the Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder (QOLBD), and cognition with Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Stroop Color Word Test, and Trail Making Test. Results: MADRS and IDS-SR 30 scores decreased from baseline at weeks 4 and 8. YMRS and cognitive scores did not change significantly. QOLBD scores increased from baseline to week 8. Limitations: A limitation to this study is the open-label design. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of brexpiprazole on bipolar depression. We found a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and an increase in quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-318
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of affective disorders
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brexpiprazole
  • Cognition
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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