PMID: 11450176Jul 14, 2001

Use of antipsychotic drugs and lithium in mania

The British Journal of Psychiatry. Supplement
John C Cookson

Abstract

Studies highlighting the difficulties associated with lithium suggest that the role of antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers in bipolar disorder should be reconsidered. To review the efficacy and mode of action of antipsychotic drugs in mania, and to consider the differences between official guidelines and routine clinical practice in the use of these agents for mania. Review of research, guideline- and practice-based literature. Guidelines recommend lithium or valproate as first-line treatments for mania, and antipsychotic agents only as 'adjuncts' for agitation, dangerous behaviour or psychosis. However, in routine practice, antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed. The effectiveness of these agents in mania has been established by several studies; newer atypical compounds demonstrate antimanic efficacy with a reduced incidence of neurological side-effects. Antipsychotic drugs are important in the treatment of bipolar disorder and mania. Future studies should evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of newer atypical antipsychotic agents, and the place of anticonvulsants in combination with antipsychotics in bipolar disorder.

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Related Concepts

Manic Disorder
Polychemotherapy
Nervous System Disorder
Antipsychotic Effect
Best Practices
Lithium Compounds
Selection of Subjects
Antimanic Effect

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