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Results of a head-to-head study showed fewer patients reported side effects with the mood stabilizer Depakote (divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets) compared to patients taking the antipsychotic olanzapine (Zyprexa), according to a study released at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In addition, for bipolar patients with acute mania, researchers found that there was no difference in the efficacy of the two drugs even though the cost of treating a patient with divalproex tablets is 50% lower than the cost of treating a patient with olanzapine.
The 12-week clinical trial included 120 patients randomized to receive either divalproex or olanzapine. During the trial, fewer divalproex patients experienced side effects than patients taking olanzapine. Clinically significant findings include:
The mean cost of 12 weeks of outpatient treatment was $550 for the divalproex group and $1,100 for the olanzapine group. Efficacy was similar in the two groups.