What are the long-term treatment and prophylactic regimens for 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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Treat adult patients who have had an acute manic episode for a minimum of 6 months after the initial episode is controlled; encourage these individuals—as well as those who have had more than 1 manic episode or with 1 manic and 1 depressive episode, or 3 or more depressive episodes—to continue on lifelong prophylactic pharmacotherapy. [3] Following full remission of the depressive episode, consider withdrawing antidepressant treatment after 4-6 months. Discontinuation should consist of a gradual taper over a minimum 2-4–week period, unless medically contraindicated. [3]

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