What is the efficacy of benzodiazepines in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

As outlined in the APA’s 2002 clinical practice guideline, [104] benzodiazepines have sedative effects, which may make them useful adjunctive medications until antimanic medications take effect. With the increased risk of substance use disorder in patients with bipolar disorder, long-term use of benzodiazepines is generally discouraged.  Additionally, the guideline stated that manic symptoms may be treated with chlorpromazine, which was deemed superior to placebo in a randomized trial and was deemed comparable to lithium (for controlling manic and psychotic symptoms) in acute treatment comparison trials.


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