Medication Compliance Among Patients With Bipolar Disorder and Substance Use Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(4):172-174
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Background: This study examined patterns of
medication compliance and reasons for noncompliance among
patients with bipolar disorder and substance use disorder.
Method: Forty-four patients with current bipolar
disorder and substance use disorder were administered a
structured interview regarding lifetime compliance with
prescribed psychotropic medications.
Results: Patients who were prescribed both
lithium and valproate were significantly (p=.03) more likely to
report full compliance with valproate than with lithium. Side
effects were the most common reason for lithium noncompliance,
but were not cited as a reason for valproate noncompliance. Also,
a common pattern of noncompliance among patients prescribed
benzodiazepines, neuroleptics, and tricyclic antidepressants was
the use of more medication than prescribed.
Conclusion: Valproate may have greater
acceptability than lithium among patients with bipolar disorder
and substance use disorder. Clinicians should also be aware that
these patients may take higher doses of medication than