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Introduction: Innovations in the Management of Bipolar Disorders

Lakshmi N. Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych

Published: March 1, 2002

Article Abstract

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Bipolar disorders affect about 1.6% of the population1; they are associated with significant health care costs (including frequent and protracted hospital admissions), as well as a suicide rate of 10% to 15%. Most of the traditional medications used to treat bipolar disorders—lithium, conventional antipsychotics, some anticonvulsants, and antidepressants—often yield incomplete and unsatisfactory responses. Moreover, patients with bipolar disorder usually require multiple medications on a long-term basis to achieve adequate control of symptoms, giving them substantial exposure to adverse events.’ ‹

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