What is asenapine?

The treatment of bipolar disorder is complex due to the presence of varying configurations of symptoms in patients. The primary treatments for bipolar disorder are pharmacological, and often involve second generation antipsychotic drugs, such as asenapine. Based on its high affinity for seratonin receptors, asenapine has been proposed as a treatment for bipolar disorder.

What is the evidence for asenapine as a treatment for bipolar disorder?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests small to medium-sized effects of greater improvement in mania and depression symptoms with asenapine monotherapy than with placebo. However, there were more extrapyramidal side effects, somnolence, dizziness, sedation, blood glucose, and weight gain with asenapine.

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests no differences between asenapine monotherapy and olanzapine monotherapy for mania symptoms. There was no analysis of depression symptoms. There was more dizziness and parkinsonism with asenapine, and more weight gain and higher prolactin levels with olanzapine.

Also see the topic on relapse prevention.

November 2021

Image: ©cassis –

Last updated at: 12:59 pm, 1st December 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.