Oxcarbazepine in affective and schizoaffective disorders
Dietrich DE, Kropp S, Emrich HM.
Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy,
Hannover Medical School, Germany.
ABSTRACTAnticonvulsants have been successfully used in pharmacopsychiatry after their therapeutic value in affective and schizoaffective disorders had been documented in several clinical trials. As the authorities in several countries registered newer anticonvulsants with fewer side effects, their therapeutic value in psychiatric disorders was studied. Clinical studies from the early 80's onward have demonstrated the efficacy of oxcarbazepine (OCBZ), a keto derivative of carbamazepine, in treating mania in affective and schizoaffective disorders. In addition, OCBZ has a distinct pharmacokinetic profile concerning drug-drug interactions compared to carbamazepine and other anticonvulsants. Therefore, the value of OCBZ in the treatment of affective and schizoaffective disorders needs to be evaluated. We reviewed the literature with regard to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of OCBZ, drug-drug interactions relevant in pharmacopsychiatry, and the clinical effects of OCBZ in the treatment of patients with affective and schizoaffective disorders. According to the literature, OCBZ is regarded as effective in acute mania and appears to reduce the dosage of neuroleptics required for the treatment of affective and schizoaffective disorders. In addition, it has a preferable pharmacokinetic profile with less severe side effects compared to carbamazepine and neuroleptics. Furthermore, since OCBZ does not interact substantially with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, co-administration with neuroleptics or antidepressants appears to be well tolerated in affective disorders. However, despite promising effects of OCBZ, few clinical studies have been published in the last 15 years. We conclude that further studies should validate the efficacy of OCBZ in treating mania and evaluate possible pharmacopsychiatric indications as well as limitations for this psychotropic compound.Mania
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