Abstract and Keywords
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a recurrent and often chronic condition that is characterized by episodes of mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed affective states. BD affects up to 5% of the population, ranks sixth as a cause of worldwide disability among persons 15 to 44 years old, and has an estimated lifetime suicide rate of 10–20%. Pharmacotherapy remains one of the most important interventions for initial and long-term treatment of BD. In this chapter, pharmacological interventions for acute manic episodes, for acute depressive episodes, and for the prevention of recurrent affective episodes of either type are systematically presented, with special emphasis on the use of first-generation and second-generation mood-stabilizing drugs and antidepressant drugs. Special issues related to pharmacotherapy of BD are also discussed such as rapid cycling BD, mixed affective states, psychiatric comorbidity, and pregnancy and the postpartum period.
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