Treatment of bipolar mania with atypical antipsychotics
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2593, USA. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
(Impact Factor: 2.78).
12/2004; 4(6 Suppl 2):S17-25. DOI: 10.1586/14737175.4.6.S17
Acute manic episodes in bipolar disorder require rapid and effective relief. Pharmacotherapy has traditionally involved mood stabilizers such as lithium or divalproex. Evidence for the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics to treat bipolar mania, either as monotherapy or in combination with traditional mood-stabilizing agents, has increased in recent years. Since the combination of an atypical agent and a traditional mood stabilizer is generally well tolerated, it represents a first-line approach for the treatment of severe and treatment-resistant mania. Atypical antipsychotics have a superior neurological tolerability profile compared with typical antipsychotics and are preferentially recommended in most treatment guidelines. The atypical agents, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone and aripiprazole, have demonstrated efficacy in bipolar mania in large randomized, controlled studies, and offer efficacy across a broader range of symptoms than typical antipsychotics, and may even have mood-stabilizing properties traditionally associated with lithium and divalproex. Olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine have been shown to be effective for manic episodes both as monotherapy and in combination with other agents such as lithium and divalproex. Although the tolerability profiles of atypicals as a class are superior to those of conventional antipsychotics, there are differences among the atypical agents in their propensity to cause certain adverse events such as extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and weight gain, particularly in the long-term. The ultimate choice of the atypical agent will depend on the patient's individual needs, but atypical antipsychotics are clinically effective options for achieving mood stabilization in the treatment of acute bipolar mania.
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