Antidepressant-associated manic and hypomanic episodes have been reported in bipolar I disorder but are rare in major depressive disorder (MDD). Several lines of evidence suggest that bipolar II disorder is a distinct illness from bipolar I disorder and MDD. The risk of antidepressant-associated mood elevations (AAME) in bipolar II disorder relative to bipolar I disorder and MDD is unknown.
We conducted a computer-aided MEDLINE search encompassing the dates 1949 to February 2008, using the keywords antidepressant and mania, antidepressant and hypomania, antidepressant and bipolar, fluoxetine and bipolar, fluvoxamine and bipolar, sertraline and bipolar, paroxetine and bipolar, citalopram and bipolar, escitalopram and bipolar, venlafaxine and bipolar, mirtazapine and bipolar, bupropion and bipolar, monoamine oxidase inhibitor and bipolar, phenelzine and bipolar, tranylcypromine and bipolar, tricyclic and bipolar, imipramine and bipolar, amitriptyline and bipolar, nortriptyline and bipolar, and desipramine and bipolar.
All prospective English-language studies, including randomized, controlled trials (RCTs), open-label studies, and naturalistic treatment reports, were eligible for inclusion. We located 13 studies, including 7 RCTs, that reported rates of antidepressant-associated mood elevations in bipolar I disorder versus bipolar II disorder, and 5, including 4 RCTs, that reported rates in bipolar II disorder versus MDD.
Data were combined to estimate mean switch rates and subjected to meta-analysis to determine the relative risks of antidepressant-associated mood elevations in bipolar I disorder versus bipolar II disorder and in bipolar II disorder versus MDD.
The mean rates of antidepressant-associated mood elevations in studies comparing bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder were 14.2% and 7.1%, respectively, in acute trials (less than 16 weeks), and 23.4% and 13.9%, respectively, in maintenance studies. The mean rates in reports comparing bipolar II disorder and MDD were 8.1% and 1.5%, respectively, in acute trials, and 16.5% and 6.0%, respectively, in maintenance studies. The relative risk (RR) of antidepressant-associated mood elevations was greater in bipolar I disorder than bipolar II disorder (RR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.24 to 2.58, p = .002), and higher in bipolar II disorder than MDD (RR = 2.77, 95% CI = 1.26 to 6.09, p = .01). Mood elevations occurred almost exclusively into hypomania in MDD and bipolar II disorder, while patients with bipolar I disorder experienced manias and hypomanias with similar frequencies.
The risk of antidepressant-associated mood elevations in bipolar II disorder is intermediate between that in bipolar I disorder and MDD.
"Such negative effects appear to be limited to certain classes of antidepressants [59-61]. Factors which appear to increase the risk of destabilization are: presence of mixed states [62,63], subthreshold manic symptoms at baseline  and BD-I (versus BD-II) [65,66], which suggests that different subpopulations may present different vulnerabilities to affective switching. In the STEP-BD study, approximately 15% of bipolar patients receiving long-term treatment with antidepressants developed a chronic irritable dysphoric state (ACID syndrome). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many new approaches have been adopted for the treatment of bipolar disorder (BD) in the past few years, which strived to produce more positive outcomes. To enhance the quality of care, several guideline recommendations have been developed. For study purposes, we monitored the prescription of psychotropic drugs administered to bipolar patients who had been referred to tertiary care services, and assessed the degree to which treatment met specific guidelines.
Between December 2006 and February 2009, we assessed 113 individuals suffering from BD who had been referred to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (ROMHC) Mood Disorders Program by physicians within the community, mostly general practitioners. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR was used to assess diagnosis. The prescribed treatment was compared with specific Canadian guidelines (CANMAT, 2009). Univariate analyses and logistic regression were used to assess the contribution of demographic and clinical factors for concordance of treatment with guidelines.
Thirty-two subjects had BD type I (BD-I), and 81 subjects had BD type II (BD-II). All subjects with BD-I, and 90% of the BD-II group were given at least one psychotropic treatment. Lithium was more often prescribed for subjects with BD-I (62%) than those with BD-II (19%). Antidepressants were the most frequently prescribed class of psychotropics. Sixty-eight percent of subjects received treatment concordant with guidelines by medication and dose. The presence of a current hypomanic episode was independently associated with poorer concordance to guidelines. In more than half the cases, the inappropriate use of antidepressants was at the origin of the non concordance of treatment with respect to guidelines. Absence of psychotropic treatment in bipolar II patients and inadequate dosage of mood stabilizers were the two other main causes of non concordance with guidelines.
The factors related to treatment not concordant with guidelines should be further explored to determine appropriate strategies in implementing the use of guidelines in clinical practice.
"However, the majority (76.9%) of symptoms considered AS, which require discontinuation of antidepressants, was other than mania/ hypomania. Widely used criteria for antidepressant-associated mood switches today are the definitions based on DSM-IV-TR or the Young Mania Rating Scale score cut-points of ≥8–14 (Altshuler et al., 2006; Amsterdam and Shults, 2010a, 2010b; Bond et al., 2008; Leverich et al., 2006). These would be useful to detect typical mania/hypomania, which comprises euphoria and behavioral overactivities, but may not be sufficiently sensitive to detect AS, in which symptoms are subtle compared with those of typical mania/hypomania, and fundamental mood is almost always dysphoric . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation syndrome (AS) is a cluster of symptoms listed by the US Food and Drug Administration as possible suicidality precursors during antidepressant treatment. We aimed to clarify whether AS is associated with bipolar II disorder (BP-II) and its related disorder, i.e., bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS), which are often mistreated as major depressive disorder (MDD), as well as bipolar suggestive features in outpatients with depression.
The frequency of AS, bipolar suggestive features, and background variables in consecutive outpatients with a major depressive episode (MDE) due to BP-II/BP-NOS or MDD, who were naturalistically treated with antidepressants, were investigated and analyzed retrospectively.
Of 157 evaluable patients (46 BP-II/BP-NOS, 111 MDD), 39 (24.8%) experienced AS. Patients with BP-II/BP-NOS experienced AS significantly more frequently than patients with MDD (52.2% of BP-II/BP-NOS vs. 13.5% of MDD, p<0.01). Univariate analysis revealed that BP-II/BP-NOS diagnosis, cyclothymic temperament, early age at onset of first MDE, psychiatric comorbidities, and depressive mixed state (DMX) were significantly associated with AS development in the entire sample. Multivariate analysis revealed that BP-II/BP-NOS diagnosis and DMX were independent risk factors for AS.
This is a retrospective and naturalistic study; therefore, patient selection bias could have occurred.
Cautious monitoring of AS is needed during antidepressant trials in patients with BP-II/BP-NOS. Clinicians should re-evaluate underlying bipolarity when they confront AS. Antidepressants should be avoided for treating a current DMX beyond the unipolar-bipolar dichotomy. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
"Better understanding the relationship between BD and pain is also vital to control the potentially risky pharmacological side-effects when treating pain in bipolar depressed patients. For example, chronic pain is frequently treated with antidepressants [13,14] which are known to predispose BD patients to manic switches and to increase the risk of suicide, particularly when administered in the absence of a mood stabilizer [15,16]. Anticonvulsants have analgesic properties  and they are commonly prescribed to patients with chronic pain (i.e., neuropathic pain). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
While pain is frequently associated with unipolar depression, few studies have investigated the link between pain and bipolar depression. In the present study we estimated the prevalence and characteristics of pain among patients with bipolar depression treated by psychiatrists in their regular clinical practice. The study was designed to identify factors associated with the manifestation of pain in these patients.
Patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder (n=121) were selected to participate in a cross-sectional study in which DSM-IV-TR criteria were employed to identify depressive episodes. The patients were asked to describe any pain experienced during the study, and in the 6 weeks beforehand, by means of a Visual Analogical Scale (VAS).
Over half of the bipolar depressed patients (51.2%, 95% CI: 41.9%–60.6%), and 2/3 of the female experienced concomitant pain. The pain was of moderate to severe intensity and prolonged duration, and it occurred at multiple sites, significantly limiting the patient’s everyday activities. The most important factors associated with the presence of pain were older age, sleep disorders and delayed diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Chronic pain is common in bipolar depressed patients, and it is related to sleep disorders and delayed diagnosis of their disorder. More attention should be paid to study the presence of pain in bipolar depressed patients, in order to achieve more accurate diagnoses and to provide better treatment options.
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