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Educational Activity

Acute and Maintenance Treatments for Bipolar Depression

Terence A. Ketter, MD

Published: April 15, 2014

This CME activity is expired. For more CME activities, visit
Find more articles on this and other psychiatry and CNS topics:
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders

Article Abstract

Patients with bipolar disorder are symptomatic about half of the time, experiencing depression more often than mania/hypomania. Because patients usually seek treatment during a depressive episode (rather than a manic episode), bipolar depression is commonly misdiagnosed as unipolar depression. Providing an accurate and timely bipolar depression diagnosis is critical for the proper treatment of the patient. Some FDA-approved treatments are helpful during acute and maintenance phases of therapy, but there is a significant unmet need for effective bipolar depression treatments with favorable side-effect profiles. Newer agents offer the promise of improvements in tolerability, but additional research is needed to actualize this promise into better treatments for patients struggling with bipolar depression.


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