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A Critical Appraisal of Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2010;12[suppl 1]:23–29
10.4088/PCC.9064su1c.04

Recovery—the absence of all abnormal mood symptoms—is the goal of treatment for bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, a minority of people suffering from bipolar disorder achieve sustained recovery. Improving recovery rates for this population will require clinicians in the primary care setting to be familiar with appropriate treatments for acute bipolar mania and depression and for the maintenance phase. Efficacy and tolerability of pharmacotherapeutic and psychotherapeutic options for all phases of treatment and each type of mood episode are discussed. Primary care physicians are encouraged to avoid prescribing antidepressant monotherapy for any patient with depression and a history of mania or hypomania.