The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Drugs for Bipolar Disorder
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Bipolar disorder is characterized by intermittent episodes of mania and/or depression.1 Even with maintenance treatment, recurrences of manic or (more frequently) depressive episodes are common. Some of the drugs and dosages recommended here have not been approved by the FDA for use in bipolar disorder.

TREATMENT OF MANIA — Second-generation antipsychotics, lithium, and valproate are effective for treatment of acute manic episodes.2 Both lithium and valproate may take days to weeks to have a full therapeutic effect; treatment of an acute manic episode with these agents generally requires addition of an antipsychotic drug.

TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION — The second-generation antipsychotics quetiapine and lurasidone and the combination of olanzapine and fluoxetine have been shown to be effective in treating bipolar ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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Title: Drugs for Bipolar Disorder
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