What is the role of atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of 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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Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly being used for the treatment of both acute mania and mood stabilization. The broad range of antidepressants and ECT are used for an acute depressive episode (i.e. major depression). However, ECT may also be considered for patients with severe mania or treatment-resistant mania, those who prefer ECT, and pregnant women with severe mania. [3] Ansari and Osser developed a very useful algorithm for the Harvard South Shore Program to treat a bipolar patient in a depressed phase through “an organized, sequential, and evidence-supported approach.” [90] Finally, another set of medications is chosen for the maintenance and preventive phases of treatment.

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