Bristol-Myers Schizophrenia Drug Abilify Approved for Bipolar Mania

NEW YORK (Reuters) Oct 01 - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said on Friday U.S. regulators will allow the company to market its atypical antipsychotic drug Abilify as a treatment for bipolar disorder.

Abilify may now be used to treat the manic stage of bipolar I disorder, the most acute form of the disease. It can also be used to treat phases in which mania and depression are mixed.

Other antipsychotics approved to treat bipolar disorder include Pfizer Inc.'s Geodon, Eli Lilly and Co.'s Zyprexa, Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal and AstraZeneca Plc's Seroquel.

Many of the newer atypical antipsychotics have been linked to weight gains deemed likely to put patients at risk of developing diabetes. Abilify has become popular since its recent launch because it has not caused weight gains in clinical trials.