Psychopharmacology

Clinical Update

Intranasal Esketamine: New Hope for Suicidal Patients?

Topics: Depression | Esketamine | Fast-acting | Free Articles | Intra-nasal | Ketamine | Management | Psychopharmacology | Suicidality

It’s likely your patients have asked you about esketamine. The buzz is that it’s a rapid-acting miracle cure for suicidal depression. Dr. Thomas Insel, former director of NIMH, declared that ketamine “might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades” (www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2014/ketamine

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Expert Q&A

Combination Treatment for Schizophrenia

Topics: Adjunct treatment | Antidepressant | Antipsychotic | Benzodiazepine | CATIE | Combination treatment | Free Articles | Mood stabilizer | Outcomes | Psychopharmacology | Schizoaffective disorder | Schizophrenia | Substance Use Disorder

CHPR: You recently published a study on the use of adjunctive medications in patients with schizophrenia (Stroup TS et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2019;76(5):508–515). Your findings were provocative as you found that adjunctive medications often help improve patients’ outcomes, yet many clinicians avoid polypharmacy because of concern that patients will exp

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Expert Q&A

Medications for Depression

Topics: adolescents | Child Psychiatry | children | Depression | pediatric | Psychopharmacology | teens | treatment

CCPR: You recently published an article reviewing the ­placebo-controlled trials done over the past 10 years on depression in kids (Ignaszewski MJ and Waslick B, J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol 2018;Epub ahead of print). Can you tell us about your findings? Dr. Ignaszewski: Historically, there’s been a lot of controversy about the effectiveness of a

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Expert Q&A

Real-World Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

Topics: Alcohol use disorder | Comorbidity | Dual diagnosis | Psychopharmacology | Psychotherapy

CATR: Please tell us about yourself. Dr. Petrakis: I’m an addiction psychiatrist, professor at Yale School of Medicine, and the Chief of Mental Health for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. I have several research focuses, one of which is the treatment of individuals with comorbid psychiatric illness and alcohol use disorder (AUD). CATR: We kno

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Clinical Update

Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder: An Overview

Topics: Alcohol use disorder | Medication | Psychopharmacology

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the most common substance use disorder by far, with a lifetime prevalence of nearly 30%. It is also vastly undertreated; less than 20% of people with AUD ever receive treatment (Grant BF et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2015;72(8):757–766). To make matters worse, there are only three FDA-approved medications for AUD: disulfiram, ac

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Research Update

Meds for Alcohol Use Disorders

Topics: Alcohol use disorder | Naltrexone | observational study | Psychopharmacology

REVIEW OF: Heikkinen M et al, Addiction 2021;116(8):1990–1998 STUDY TYPE: Cohort study In the US, only 9% of patients diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are prescribed AUD medication (Kranzler HR and Soyka M, JAMA 2018;320(8):815–824). A Swedish study provides evidence that further illuminates the potential harms from this lack of treat

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Research Update

Gabapentin Enacarbil XR Efficacy Less Than Expected for AUD

Topics: Addiction | Addiction Treatment | Alcohol | Alcohol use disorder | Alcoholism | Clinical practice | extended-release | Medication | Novel Medications | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology | Research Update

Review of: Falk DE et al, Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2019;43(1):158–169 Gabapentin enacarbil extended-release (GE-XR) (Horizant) is an extended-release version of gabapentin. GE-XR is a prodrug, meaning that once ingested it is metabolized into gabapentin. It is currently approved for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia and restless legs syndrome. It di

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Article

How to Treat Tardive Dyskinesia

Topics: Amantadine | Austedo | Deutetrabenazine | Ginkgo | Ingrezza | Keppra | Levetiracetam | Melatonin | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Side Effects | Tardive dyskinesia | Valbenazine | Vitamin B6 | Vitamin E | VMAT2 Inhibitors

Your patient is a 56-year-old male who recovered from a difficult-to-treat depression 4 years ago after quetiapine was added to his citalopram. As he talks, you notice that his fingers are tapping in a rapid, random pattern and his feet are wiggling. When questioned, he explains, “I just do that when I’m anxious.” Should you stop the antipsychotic

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Article

Antipsychotic Maintenance: How Long is Enough?

Topics: Antidepressant Augmentation | Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Bipolar Disorder | Deprescribing | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Mania | Metabolic syndrome | Mood Stabilizers | olanzapine | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Risperidone | Side Effects | Tardive dyskinesia

Your 58-year-old patient started risperidone to augment lithium 2 years ago. It got her out of a severe mania, and she has stayed well since then. Now she’s worried about long-term risks and wondering if it’s time to come off. Augmentation with an atypical antipsychotic may offer rapid relief from mania and depression, but antipsychotics’ potenti

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Clinical Update

Trazodone: The Forgotten Antidepressant

Topics: Antidepressants | Depression | Depressive Disorder | extended-release | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Trazodone

If your practice is anything like mine, trazodone is your go-to hypnotic. As an antidepressant, it’s an afterthought, dismissed as ineffective or intolerable since its release in 1981. Four decades and over 200 clinical trials later, it’s a good time to see if we’ve missed any opportunities in this forgotten antidepressant. How trazodone worksTra

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Clinical Update

How to Treat ADHD in Bipolar Disorder

Topics: ADHD | Alpha Agonists | Amphetamines | ArModafinil | Atomoxetine | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Comorbidity | Guanfacine | methylphenidate | Modafinil | Nuvigil | Pharmacology | Provigil | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | stimulant | Stimulants

Patients with bipolar disorder often present with cognitive complaints. Our October 2021 issue laid out a diagnostic plan for these symptoms, and in this article, I’ll cover some treatment approaches for patients with a DSM-based ADHD-bipolar comorbidity (ie, the ADHD symptoms began in childhood and persist after the mood episodes have stabilized). S

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Research Update

Brexpiprazole Ineffective in Mania

Topics: Brexpiprazole | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Psychopharm Myths | Psychopharmacology | Research Update

REVIEW OF: Vieta E et al, J Psychopharmacol 2021;35(8):971–982 TYPE OF STUDY: Phase III randomized controlled trials Brexpiprazole is FDA approved in schizophrenia and as an adjunct for major depression and is one of the better-tolerated antipsychotics. Like aripiprazole, it is a partial D2 and 5-HT1A agonist. Unlike most antipsychotics, brexpiprazo

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Clinical Update

Buspirone: Still Effective After All These Years?

Topics: Anxiety | Anxiety Disorder | Benzodiazepines | Buspirone | GAD | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Lavender | Medication | Melatonin | Pharmacology | Pregnancy | Psychopharmacology | Silexan

When buspirone was released in 1986, it was advertised as providing “a different kind of calm.” Unfortunately, physicians and their patients weren’t ready to accept the kind of calm that required several weeks to take effect, when punchier, quicker benzos were the standard route to tranquility. Although buspirone is FDA approved for generalized an

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Research Update

How to Switch Antipsychotics

Topics: Antipsychotics | Deprescribing | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Psychosis | Research Update | Schizophrenia

Review of: Takeuchi H and Remington G, J Psychopharmacol 2020;34(8):914–919 Type of study: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Antipsychotic switching is a routine part of schizophrenia care, but what’s the best way to go from one medication to another? This article compared three strategies: 1) abruptly stopping the old antipsychotic an

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Clinical Update

How to Use Lamotrigine

Topics: Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Borderline Personality Disorder | BPD | Hypomania | Lamictal | Lamotrigine | Medication | Mood Stabilizers | OCD | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology

Lamotrigine is FDA approved as maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder—that is, for delaying episodes of depression, hypomania, or mania. However, it is not approved for active depression or mania—which has given it a reputation as a “light” mood stabilizer. For patients who appreciate tolerability, that’s a good thing, but it isn’t the f

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How to Select an SSRI

Topics: Antidepressants | Citalopram | Escitalopram | Fluoxetine | Prozac | Psychopharmacology | Psychotropic medication | Serotonin Specific Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) | Sertraline | SSRIs

On March 14, 2012, Lexapro became the last SSRI to lose its patent, closing the book on a quarter century of science and marketing that changed and sometimes confused the way we think about antidepressants. Now that the unpublished studies have come to light and the incentives to favor one drug over another have dried up, it’s a good time to take a so

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Clinical Update

Keeping Up With Trintellix

Topics: Antidepressants | Cognition | Cognitive Decline | Negative Symptoms | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Sexual Dysfunction | Sexual Side Effects | Trintellix | Vortioxetine

In a previous report (TCPR, Feb 2019), we summarized the data on cognitive effects associated with vortioxetine (Trintellix). We found that vortioxetine produced impressive results for cognition based on improvement on the Digital Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and gave Takeda Pharmaceuticals high marks for choosing to compare vortioxetine to duloxeti

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Research Update

Mood Stabilizers: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Them

Topics: Antipsychotics | Aripiprazole | Asenapine | Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Cariprazine | Lithium | Lurasidone | Mania | Medication adherence | Mood Stabilizers | olanzapine | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Quetiapine | Research | Research Update | Risperidone | safety | Saphris | Side Effects

Review of: Bai Y et al, J Clin Psychopharmacol 2020;40(2):167–179 STUDY TYPE: Combined meta-analysis and literature review of placebo-controlled trials Medication adherence is an ongoing struggle in bipolar disorder, and it’s compounded by the fact that our patients often don’t advertise their ­non-adherence. While numbers vary, reviews general

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Research Update

Guanfacine ER for Adults With ADHD?

Topics: ADHD | Alpha Agonists | attention | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder | Guanfacine | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology | Research Update

Review of: Iwanami A et al, J Clin Psychiatry 2020;81(3):19m12979 Study type: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial Stimulants are rapid, safe, and effective first-line treatments for many adults with ADHD. However, there are inevitably patients for whom stimulants are not indicated or tolerated—those with arrhythmias or stimulant use d

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Expert Q&A

Who Should Get Lithium?

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Coronavirus | COVID19 | Lithium | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips

TCPR: Lithium has been called the gold-standard treatment in bipolar disorder. Why is it not used more often? Dr. Rybakowski: That is a paradox. On the one hand, lithium is accepted as a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder, but it is also greatly underutilized. And I think there are two main reasons. One is aggressive promotion of branded mood st

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