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The Role of Novel Antipsychotics in Bipolar Disorders

Lakshmi N. Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych

Published: March 1, 2002

Article Abstract

Patients with bipolar disorder frequently receive antipsychotic agents during both the acuteand maintenance phases of treatment. Conventional antipsychotics are effective against mania, butthey may induce depressive symptoms and expose patients with bipolar disorder to increased risks oftardive dyskinesia. Recent studies have shown risperidone to be effective for acute mania, both asmonotherapy and in combination with mood stabilizers; this agent has also shown efficacy as add-onmaintenance therapy in open-label studies as it exhibited both antimanic and antidepressant effects.Olanzapine, another novel antipsychotic, is also effective against both manic and depressive symptomsand in the maintenance treatment as indicated by an open-label study. Data on other novel agentsare more limited.

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