Study summary

Bipolar disorder (BD) occurs in about 2.5% of people, over a lifetime. There are currently limited treatment options available for patients with depressive symptoms. BD does not always respond to these treatments, and it can get even worse. Some of these drugs also have side effects such as sleeping too much and gaining weight.

Pramipexole is a drug that is already approved for use in the NHS as a treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease or Restless Legs Syndrome. The safety and side effects of pramipexole are well known. It has some of the same effects as a chemical called dopamine, which occurs naturally in your body. Results from some research studies have shown that pramipexole improved the symptoms of depression in patients with Parkinson’s, and in patients with BD when taken with mood stabilisers. However, these studies have been done with small numbers of patients and for short periods of time.

We want to find out if pramipexole is a beneficial treatment to patients with BD who have depression that has not responded to other treatments.

To do this we are looking for around 290 patients with BD who are currently depressed, from up to 40 different mental health Trusts across the UK to take part.

Below is a flow diagram of the study activities.