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Bipolar disorder in adults: Treating major depression with second-generation antipsychotics

Authors
William V Bobo, MD, MPH
Richard C Shelton, MD
Section Editor
Paul Keck, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD

INTRODUCTION

Although manic and hypomanic episodes are diagnostic hallmarks for bipolar disorder, depressive episodes predominate the lifetime course of illness and result in greater disability and risk of suicide [1,2]. Bipolar major depression is often treated with antidepressants, but their use is controversial because these drugs may not be effective and may cause switches from depression to mania as well as rapid cycling. Other drugs that are widely used for bipolar depression include second-generation antipsychotics [3].

This topic reviews the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of second-generation antipsychotics for bipolar major depression. Choosing a medication regimen for bipolar major depression, mania, hypomania, and the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder are discussed separately, as is the efficacy and safety of antidepressants for bipolar major depression:

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Pharmacotherapy for acute depression".)

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

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Choosing maintenance treatment".)

                   

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Jul 13 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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