SPD 417, an extended-release formulation of carbamazepine, is effective and well tolerated in patients with bipolar disorder, according to new data presented at the 157th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association [New York, US; May 2004]. The findings come from two randomised controlled studies and two retrospective chart reviews. In the controlled studies, 21 days' therapy with SPD 417 was effective in patients with manic and mixed episodes, and adverse events were mild to moderate in nature and generally typical of those associated with carbamazepine. The chart reviews included records of adult and paediatric patients with bipolar disorder who were treated with SPD 417. The drug appeared to be effective in both adults and children with a broad spectrum of bipolar disorder and had a low incidence of adverse events.