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Bipolar disorder in adults: Choosing maintenance treatment

Robert M Post, MD
Section Editor
Paul Keck, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Following remission of a bipolar mood episode, patients generally require maintenance treatment to delay or prevent another episode. Standard maintenance treatment consists of pharmacotherapy plus adjunctive psychotherapy. However, if psychotherapy is not available or is declined, pharmacotherapy alone is reasonable.

Selecting maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder is reviewed here. The use of adjunctive psychotherapy for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder; management of poor adherence to maintenance pharmacotherapy; pharmacotherapy for acute bipolar mood episodes; teratogenic risks and neonatal issues involved in pharmacotherapy; and the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of bipolar disorder are discussed separately:

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Psychoeducation and other adjunctive maintenance psychotherapies".)

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Managing poor adherence to maintenance pharmacotherapy".)

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Pharmacotherapy for acute mania and hypomania".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Aug 29, 2016.
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