Efficacy of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in bipolar depression: Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study

Sophia Frangou, Michael Lewis, Paul McCrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest that increased intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) alleviates unipolar depression. Aims: To examine the efficacy of EPA in treating depression in bipolar disorder. Method: In a 12-week, double-blind study individuals with bipolar depression were randomly assigned to adjunctive treatment with placebo (n=26) or with 1 g/day (n=24) or 2 g/day (n=25) of ethyl-EPA. Primary efficacy was assessed by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), with changes in the Young Mania Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) as secondary outcome measures. Results: There was no apparent benefit of 2 g over 1 g ethyl-EPA daily. Significant improvement was noted with ethyl-EPA treatment compared with placebo in the HRSD (P=0.04) and the CGI (P=0.004) scores. Both doses were well tolerated. Conclusions: Adjunctive ethyl-EPA is an effective and well-tolerated intervention in bipolar depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume188
Issue numberJAN.
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

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