Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Try Antipsychotic with Mood Stabilizer for Mania. (Monotherapy Often Inadequate)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Try Antipsychotic with Mood Stabilizer for Mania. (Monotherapy Often Inadequate)

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Combining an antipsychotic with a mood stabilizer in acute mania has more research support than using two mood stabilizers, and it's a better strategy when monotherapy is not adequate, Dr. Carlos Zarate said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists.

Despite the lack of data from controlled studies, polypharmacy for bipolar disorder has increased over the years. In the 1970s, 3% of patients were receiving three or more medications at hospital discharge; by 1995, the rate skyrocketed to 44%.

The use of antipsychotics also is widespread. As many as 80% of bipolar patients are on these drugs at hospital discharge following their first episode. And, the longer a patient has been ill, the more likely he is to remain on the medications. Data from five studies found that 25% of patients were on one or more antipsychotic agents 6 months after a first episode, compared with 95% of those who had been ill tor 15 years or longer, said Dr. Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. …

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