An overview of recent research findings shows that Aripiprazole is more and more often used in the treatment of not only schizophrenia, but also other psychiatric disorders. In the paper psychopharmacological and clinical aspects of Aripiprazole use are discussed regarding the management of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder; the prevention of relapse into depression in stabilized patients with bipolar or unipolar affective disorder; potentialization of antidepressant treatment efficacy in patients with drug-resistant major depressive disorder; the treatment of core symptoms of borderline personality disorder, as well as psychotic symptoms in the course of Alzheimer’s disease or acute confusional states (delirium).
Aripiprazole turned out to be an effective normothymic agent in manic episodes treatment and relapse prevention in bipolar disorder. However, in clinical trials no beneficial effect of Aripiprazole monotherapy was found as regards either the reduction of depression severity or prevention of relapse into depression in bipolar disorder. On the other hand, combined Aripiprazole and antidepressant treatment turned out to ameliorate depressive symptoms in non-responding patients with unipolar affective disorder.
In the treatment of patients with borderline personality disorder Aripiprazole was reported to reduce depressive and anxiety symptoms, readiness to respond with aggression, and paranoid thinking. Since Aripiprazole is safe and well tolerated, it can be used to treat psychotic symptoms in the course of dementing syndromes or persistent confusional states of various etiologies in different somatic diseases. However, further research involving large-size patient populations is needed to verify Aripiprazole efficacy in the treatment of the latter two conditions.