Medication Update: Tamoxifen investigated as mania treatment

Medication Update

Tamoxifen investigated as mania treatment

Published: February, 2008

Although tamoxifen is best known as a hormonal treatment for breast cancer, a pilot study indicates that it may also be useful in treating acute mania in patients with bipolar disorder.

Tamoxifen works mainly by inhibiting estrogen, but laboratory experiments indicate that it also inhibits enzymes in the protein kinase C (PKC) family, which are active in the brain as well as other parts of the body. Researchers decided to test tamoxifen as a treatment for mania after laboratory studies indicated that PKC may contribute to manic behavior.

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