Introduction: The depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder impact health-related quality of life, quality of sleep and functioning. The BOLDER I and II trials demonstrated that quetiapine significantly improves depressive symptoms in patients with acute bipolar depression. Post-hoc analysis of the BOLDER I and II data permits a detailed investigation of the effects of quetiapine on these other measures in this patient population.
Methods: Secondary analysis was performed on data from BOLDER I and II, which were two 8-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies of quetiapine at fixed doses (300 or 600 mg/day) in a total of 1051 patients with acute depressive episodes of bipolar I or II disorder. Measures included the Short-Form Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q SF) in BOLDER I and II, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in BOLDER I, and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) in BOLDER II. Analyses of Q-LES-Q SF score changes were based on data from the combined BOLDER I and II populations, and analyses of PSQI and SDS score changes were based on BOLDER I and BOLDER II populations, respectively.
Results: Assessments at day 57 by mixed-model repeated measures analysis demonstrated that quetiapine relative to placebo provided significant or numerical improvements in rating scale score on the Q-LES-Q SF (10.89 with 300 mg/day and 12.14 with 600 mg/day vs. 7.79 with placebo; p<0.001 for each quetiapine dose), PSQI (-5.34 and -6.00 vs. -3.35; p<0.001, each dose), and SDS (-7.78 and -8.25 vs. -6.49; p=0.156 and 0.054, respectively). Effect sizes at day 57 with quetiapine 300 and 600 mg/day, respectively, were 0.34 and 0.46 for Q-LES-Q SF, 0.59 and 0.79 for PSQI, and 0.17 and 0.23 for SDS. Improvements were evident at first post-baseline assessment on day 29 and were consistent over the majority of rating scale domains. Quetiapine was generally well tolerated and most adverse events were of mild to moderate intensity.
Conclusions: Quetiapine monotherapy is effective in improving impairment in important aspects of life that accompany improvements in depressive symptoms in patients with acute bipolar depression.