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Tolerability Profiles of Atypical Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Roger S. McIntyre, MD, FRCPC, and Jakub Z. Konarski, MSc

Published: March 15, 2005

Article Abstract

Atypical antipsychotics have unequivocally advanced the pharmacotherapy of bipolar disorder.These broad-spectrum medications offer efficacy against core symptoms of mania, and evidence supportsthe use of several agents as treatment options in depressed and maintenance phases of the disorder.Atypical antipsychotics also have a reduced propensity for provoking acute or tardive neurologicadverse events compared with their therapeutic predecessors, the conventional antipsychotics. Theseagents are not, however, a panacea and are associated with several problematic tolerability and safetyconcerns. Although classified together, atypical antipsychotics are heterogeneous in their tolerabilityand safety profiles, an issue that is relevant to individualizing treatment selection. This article reviewsrelevant adverse events attributable to the use of atypical antipsychotic agents, with particular considerationof the bipolar disorder population.

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