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Typical Versus Atypical Antipsychotics for Acute Mania

Medici, Clara Reece MD*,1,2; Kai, Linda Marie MD1; Kristensen, Simon Bang MSc3; Kirkedal, Christian MD1,2; Munk-Jørgensen, Povl MD, PhD4; Straszek, Sune MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000871
Original Investigation: PDF Only

Background: Mania is challenging to treat. Typical antipsychotics may be more efficient compared with atypical antipsychotics, however, with unfavorable side effects.

Study Question: To investigate the courses of acute manic episodes and correlations between changes of severity during manic episodes and type of antipsychotic treatment.

Study Design: This case record study included patients admitted with mania (International Classification of Diseases 10th revision code F30, F31.0, F31.1, F31.2 or F31.6) at the Department of Affective Disorders, Aarhus University Hospital from June 1, 2013 to April 1, 2016.

Measures and Outcomes: The doses of typical and atypical antipsychotics were standardized as defined daily dose according to the World Health Organization's guidelines. The severity of mania was measured up to 3 times daily with the Modified Bech–Rafaelsen Mania Scale (MAS-M), a nurse administered scale. We applied a linear regression in a mixed model approach to compare MAS-M score over time under the influence of typical plus atypical antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics only. We further analyzed by mania with and without psychosis and by concomitant use of lithium and/or antiseizure medication.

Results: We included 56 admissions on 46 patients. The courses of the manic episodes measured by MAS-M varied between patients—both daily variations and changes over time. Patients receiving typical antipsychotics had higher baseline MAS-M, more recent admissions, and were mechanically constrained more often compared with patients receiving atypical antipsychotics only. Adjusted for age, gender, mechanical constraint, and dosage of antipsychotics, the difference in reduction of mania was −0.02 MAS-M points/d (95% confidence interval, −0.05 to 0.01) higher in the group receiving atypical antipsychotics only; however, it is not statistically or clinically significant.

Conclusions: The rate of improvement of mania was similar in the two groups which supports that atypical antipsychotics can be recommended over typical antipsychotics to reduce risk of severe side effects.

1Department of Affective Disorders Q, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark;

2Psychiatric Research Academy, Department of Affective Disorders Q, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark;

3Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Risskov, Denmark; and

4Psychiatric Department, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.

Address for correspondence: Department of Affective Disorders Q, Aarhus University Hospital, Skovagervej 2, Risskov 8240, Denmark. E-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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