A Roundup of the Latest Research and Drug News in Psychiatry

May 18, 2009

Here's a quick update on what's been happening in psychiatry.

Trial Drugs "Reverse" Effects of Alzheimer's

Researchers at MIT say they have reversed the effects of Alzheimer’s disease with HDAC inhibitors—currently on the market for the treatment of some cancers—that work by targeting and boosting the function of the newly pinpointed HDAC2 gene. Specifically, the drugs “reshape the DNA scaffolding that supports and controls the expression of genes in brain,” thus acting upon HDAC2, which “regulates the expression of a plethora of genes implicated in plasticity—the brain's ability to change in response to experience—and memory formation.”

FDA Approves Fanapt for Schizophrenia Treatment

On May 6, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc announced that the FDA granted marketing approval of the mixed dopamine D2/serotonin 5HT2a receptor antagonist Fanapt (iloperidone) for the acute treatment of adult patients with schizophrenia. The atypical antipsychotic is expected to be available later in the year.

No Data Supporting Antipsychotic Drug for Low-IQ Kids with ADHD

In the face of what the authors of a new Cochran review say is a common prescribing pattern, no evidence can be found to support the use of risperidone for treating ADHD in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Generic Depakote Extended-Release 250mg Tablets Approved

A new, cheaper treatment option for your patients who suffer from bipolar disorders has come about with the recent FDA approval of Impax Laboratories, Inc’s ANDA for a generic version of Depakote (divalproex ER) 250mg Extended-release Tablets. Impax expects approval of the 500mg dosage in mid-August.

Lamictal ODT Approved for Bipolar I Disorder

The FDA on May 11 approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Lamictal ODT (lamotrigine) Orally Disintegrating Tablets for the long-term treatment of bipolar I disorder to lengthen the time between mood episodes in people 18 years or older who have been treatment for mood episodes with other medicine. The agent is hoped to provide a pleasant administration option for patients who have difficulty swallowing medications.