Antipsychotic Drug Approved for Bipolar Mania

With less chance of weight gain, maker says

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TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Pfizer's schizophrenia drug Geodon (ziprasidone HCI) has won new U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to treat bipolar mania, a condition characterized by unnatural highs that can lead to impulsive and dangerous behaviors.

In a statement, the company said the drug tends to cause less weight gain than older medications for bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic depression. Pfizer cited a recent Harris Interactive survey that found seven of 10 respondents who used bipolar medications gained an average of 50 pounds. This led many of the survey participants to stop taking the bipolar drugs.

In clinical trials involving 416 patients with acute bipolar mania, Geodon was found to effectively control the symptoms of the disorder without promoting significant weight gain, the company said.

Some patients who took the drug were found to be at increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes, Pfizer said, warning that doctors should carefully monitor users for signs of these conditions.

To learn more about bipolar disorder, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.

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