Introduction: Using the Newer Pharmacotherapeutic Agents as Mood Stabilizers in Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

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Bipolar disorder is an episodic psychiatric illness requiring lifelong treatment. As a group of illnesses, bipolar disorder has a prevalence rate of 1.2% to 3.4%1 in the general population, a rate that is half as much as type 2 diabetes mellitus, and yet it is the sixth most disabling medical condition.2 For the fortunate patient with a lithium-responsive biology, life reverts to near normal, but for somewhere between one third to two thirds of bipolar subjects, alternatives to or adjunctive treatment with lithium is needed, especially in the maintenance phase.​

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(suppl 8):3-4