An open-label trial of olanzapine for corticosteroid-induced mood symptoms

E. Sherwood Brown, Wendy Chamberlain, Nafisa Dhanani, Pooja Paranjpe, Thomas J. Carmody, Michael Sargeant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Prescription corticosteroids are given for a variety of common medical conditions. Psychiatric symptoms including depression, psychosis, and especially mania are common side effects of corticosteroid therapy. However, minimal data are available on the treatment of corticosteroid-induced psychiatric symptoms. In this study, 12 outpatients with manic or mixed symptoms secondary to corticosteroids were enrolled in a 5-week prospective, open-label trial of olanzapine. Psychiatric symptom measures included the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Side effects were monitored with the Simpson Angus Scale (SAS), Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS), and Barnes Akathisia Scale (BAS). Weight and blood glucose were obtained at baseline and exit. Olanzapine dosing was flexible beginning at 2.5 mg/day and titrated upward as necessary to a maximum dose of 20 mg/day. Data were analyzed with Wilcoxon signed rank tests using baseline and exit data on all 12 participants. Participants showed significant reductions in YMRS (primary outcome measure), HRSD, and BPRS scores with no significant change in the SAS, AIMS, BAS, weight, or blood glucose levels. One participant discontinued early due to lack of efficacy. These data suggest that olanzapine is well tolerated and appears to be useful for mood disturbances associated with corticosteroid therapy. Controlled trials seem warranted to confirm these observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Corticosteroid
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Olanzapine
  • Prednisone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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