Background Information

To obtain credit, read the material and complete the Posttest and Evaluation.

CME Objectives

After completing this educational activity, you should be able to:

Statement of Need and Purpose

According to the current treatment guidelines, the goal of bipolar disorder treatment should be full, functional recovery; however, this goal may be difficult to reach due to the complex nature of the disorder. An effective treatment plan must address all phases of the illness and provide for both acute mood episodes and long-term maintenance treatment. The current pharmacologic armamentarium for bipolar disorder includes mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, yet antidepressant monotherapy is the most prescribed treatment for bipolar disorder, which may cause mood destabilization and illness exacerbation. The inadequate treatment that many individuals with bipolar disorder receive is underscored by the fact that these individuals often fail to achieve full recovery and experience high rates of relapse. Reasons for poor outcomes include treatment nonadherence and discontinuity. Primary care clinicians are becoming increasingly responsible for recognizing and treating bipolar disorder, and, therefore, need more information on tools for completing a differential diagnosis as well as information on strategies for treatment selection, patient monitoring, and establishing a treatment team. This activity was designed to meet the needs of participants in CME activities provided by the CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., who have requested information about accurately diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder.

Accreditation Statement

The CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., designates this educational activity for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Date of Original Release/Review

This Supplement was published in May 2010 and is eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit through May 31, 2013. The latest review of this material was April 2010.


Chair: Larry Culpepper, MD, MPH

Faculty: Terence A. Ketter, MD; J. Sloan Manning, MD; Andrew A. Nierenberg, MD; and Jeffrey L. Susman, MD

Financial Disclosure

The faculty for this CME activity and CME Institute staff were asked to complete a statement regarding all relevant personal financial relationships between themselves or their spouse/partner and any commercial interest. The CME Institute has resolved any conflicts of interest that were identified. No member of the CME Institute staff reported any relevant personal financial relationships.

Faculty financial disclosure appears with each article.

Disclosure of Off-Label Usage

In this Supplement, faculty may be presenting investigational information about pharmaceutical agents that is outside US Food and Drug Administration–approved labeling. This information is intended solely as continuing medical education and is not intended to promote off-label use of any of these medications. Specific disclosures of off-label use can be found at the end of individual articles.

Review Process

The entire faculty discussed the content at a peer-review planning session, the chair reviewed the activity for accuracy and fair balance, and a member of the External CME Advisory Board who is without conflict of interest reviewed the activity to determine whether the material is evidence-based and objective.


This Supplement is derived from the planning teleconference series “Improving the Recognition and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Primary Care,” which was held in September 2009 and was independently developed by the CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., pursuant to an educational grant from AstraZeneca. Editorial assistance and honoraria were provided by Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc. The opinions expressed herein are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CME provider and publisher, the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, or the commercial supporter.