What factors affect treatment response in bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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The patient’s response to treatment may depend on the number of previous episodes of bipolar disorder. In a report that analyzed pooled data, the importance of early intervention was demonstrated with better treatment responses in individuals who had earlier stages of illness. [76] Bipolar patients who experienced fewer previous mania episodes (1-5) displayed a twofold increase in the treatment response rate to olanzapine relative to those who had already experienced more than 5 previous episodes. [76] In patients with depression, the response rates were also significantly higher in patients with fewer episodes, although the findings were only for 2 of the measured responses. In the maintenance studies, groups with fewer previous episodes (1-5 or 6-10) experienced a 40-60% reduction in the risk of relapse to either mania or depression compared to the group that had more than 10 previous episodes. [76]

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