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Educational Activity

Long-Term Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Children

Karen Dineen Wagner, MD, PhD

Published: September 15, 2010

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


Bipolar disorder has been shown to have a chronic course of illness, and children with this disorder are likely to need long-term treatment. Although limited data exist on the efficacy of long-term pharmacotherapy for pediatric bipolar disorder, 5 medications are approved as monotherapy for mixed or manic episodes and 2 are approved as adjunctive treatment. Clinicians should be vigilant in monitoring adverse events in children and adolescents taking psychotropic medications and should consider implementing psychotherapeutic interventions, which can improve youths’ symptomatic and functional outcomes.


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