Effectiveness and Safety of Long-Term Antidepressant Treatment in Bipolar Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(7):565-569
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: We sought to review research on use
of antidepressants for long-term treatment of bipolar depression.
Method: We conducted a computerized literature
search of the MEDLINE, HealthStar, Current Contents, PsychInfo, and National Library of Medicine databases to
identify studies involving antidepressant, anticonvulsant, or
lithium use in bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness
published from 1966 through 2000.
Results: Only 7 blinded, controlled trials of
long-term antidepressant treatment in bipolar disorders were
found. The available information is not adequate to support the
safety or effectiveness of long-term antidepressant treatment for
bipolar depression, with or without mood-stabilizing cotherapy.
Conclusion: Antidepressant treatment of bipolar
depression is extraordinarily understudied. Controlled trials
comparing specific antidepressants, particularly to compare
mood-stabilizing agents given alone and combined with an
antidepressant, are needed.