Effective Treatment of Bipolar Depression: Monotherapy and Combination Strategies




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Managing patients with bipolar disorder remains a challenge due to its chronic nature. In addition, bipolar depression remains understudied even though patients spend more time in depressive episodes than in manic ones. Effective treatment requires an accurate and timely diagnosis, psychoeducation, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and implementation of elements of the chronic care model. Pharmacologic strategies for treating bipolar depression differ from those for bipolar mania as well as those for unipolar depression and require knowledge of the efficacy and safety of agents including mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and antidepressants both as monotherapy and in combination.

From the Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Mood Disorders Clinic, Moses Cone Family Practice Center, Greensboro, North Carolina.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76(11):e1481