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The Role of Pharmacologic Treatment Guidelines for Bipolar Disorder

Roy H. Perlis, MD

Published: March 15, 2005

Article Abstract

With the growth in the number of pharmacologic options available for the treatment of bipolar disorder,clinicians face a challenge in appropriately selecting and sequencing newer and older treatments.Because evidence-based practice has been suggested as a way to improve outcomes across specialtiesin medicine, a number of practice guidelines and treatment algorithms for bipolar disorderhave been developed to aid clinical decision-making. Most of these guidelines and algorithms arebased on detailed reviews of the medical literature, with an emphasis on systematic reviews and randomized,controlled trials. Some guidelines incorporate a consensus of expert opinion when the literaturedoes not provide clear evidence. This review examines areas of overlap and discordance inpractice guidelines issued by the American Psychiatric Association and the British Association forPsychopharmacology, as well as treatment algorithms developed by the Expert Consensus GuidelineSeries and the Texas Medical Algorithm Project.

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