The drug Ebselen was originally developed for strokes,but destined for the scrap heap. It has been rescued by Oxford scientists, who may have found it a new role in treating bipolar disorder.
A team from Oxford University used a database of ‘failed’ drugs, found to be safe but ineffective for their proposed use, to identify Ebselen as a possible alternative to Lithium, the main treatment for people diagnosed as bipolar.
Lithium has been used for over 60 years and remains the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder, but suffers from toxicity and has many side effects. Ebselen is showing fewer side effects, and has a higher safety profile, both of which may also lower the risk of patients going off of their prescribed drug.