NYMC Faculty Publications

The Treatment of Acute Agitation Associated with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder: Investigational Drugs in Early Stages of their Clinical Development, and their Clinical Context and Potential Place in Therapy

Journal Title

Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs

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Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date



Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Introduction: Acute agitation in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may require pharmacologic management. Ideal medication characteristics for this indication include rapid onset, minimal side effects, and noninvasive administration techniques.Areas Covered: This review summarizes investigational agents in early clinical development for the management of acute agitation in patients with psychosis or mania; it also assesses where these agents may fit with current therapies to provide a clinical perspective. The authors conducted a broad search of clinicaltrials.gov to identify investigational agents for agitation or aggression in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Two medications met the search criteria: dexmedetomidine film (BXCL501) and intranasal olanzapine (INP105).Expert Opinion: Olanzapine is a well-known molecular entity in the psychiatric armamentarium but dexmedetomidine would be a new and unfamiliar agent for mental health providers. Nonetheless, although it is too early to make definitive statements about tolerability and efficacy, their unique administration mechanisms suggest that dexmedetomidine film and intranasal olanzapine may become valuable options for the rapid management of acute agitation in patients who are willing to cooperate with medication therapy.

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