Cariprazine as a treatment across the bipolar I spectrum from depression to mania: mechanism of action and review of clinical data

Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2020 Feb 12;10:2045125320905752. doi: 10.1177/2045125320905752. eCollection 2020.


Cariprazine is one of the newest dopamine-serotonin partial agonists, also known as 'atypical' second generation antipsychotics. Originally approved for acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia as well as for acute mania and mixed mania/depression, cariprazine has now been approved for bipolar I depression. Additionally, post hoc analyses of bipolar I depressed subjects show that both those with and those without concurrent manic features were improved following treatment with cariprazine. Maintenance studies are in progress in bipolar disorder, as are studies to augment antidepressants in unipolar major depressive episodes insufficiently responsive to treatment. Here, we review specifically the efficacy and safety data of cariprazine in bipolar I disorder and discuss the hypothesized mechanism of action of cariprazine and how it could theoretically be linked to caprazine's broad therapeutic actions across the mood disorder spectrum.

Keywords: bipolar depression; bipolar disorder; cariprazine; mania; mixed features.

Publication types

  • Review