Depression in bipolar disorder (BPD) is challenging to treat. Therefore, additional medication options are needed. In a recent study, the effect of the neurosteroid pregnenolone on depressive symptoms in BPD was examined.

Adults (n=80) with BPD, depressed mood state, were randomized to pregnenolone (titrated to 500 mg/day) or placebo, as add-on therapy, for 12 weeks. Outcome measures included the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology—Self-Report (IDS-SR), Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HRSA), and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS).

The results suggest that pregnenolone may improve depressive symptoms in patients with BPD and can be safely administered.

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