The Role of Second-Generation Antipsychotic Monotherapy in the Rapid Control of Acute Bipolar Mania




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A key goal of the pharmacologic treatment of acute bipolar mania is rapid symptom improvement. Medications commonly used to attain this goal include lithium, several anticonvulsants, and both first- and second-generation antipsychotics. Second-generation antipsychotics, which are associated with substantially lower rates of extrapyramidal side effects than first-generation agents, are becoming a mainstay in the treatment of acute mania. Although their efficacy appears to be comparable, second-generation antipsychotics may differ in time to onset and in their side effect profiles. Therefore, selecting a second-generation antipsychotic requires consideration of how an agent’s efficacy, onset of action, and adverse events profile influence its appropriateness for each patient.

J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(suppl 3):5-11