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Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2009 Jan;37(1):27-49, quiz 49-50. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917.37.1.27.

[Pharmacotherapy in bipolar disorders during childhood and adolescence].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum, Aachen, Germany.



Bipolar disorders during childhood and adolescence are rare, but serious and highly recurrent disorders, often associated with negative outcome. Pharmacotherapy, including Lithium, other mood stabilizers and typical antipsychotic agents, is the first-line treatment in bipolar disorders and often necessary for many months or years.


A computerized medline-search (Pubmed) was made for prospective studies and reviews of bipolar disorder in this age-group published during the last 10 years, which were then reviewed for their relevance.


Despite the widespread use of substances whose efficacy for adults is well-established, there is a substantial lack of empirical data regarding the efficacy and safety in the treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Placebo-controlled studies are very rare, and the interpretation of the existing data is complicated by the diagnostic controversy about bipolar disorder in children. Side-effects are more common in children and adolescents than in adults.


Combination therapy may be favoured in cases of severe and psychotic bipolar disorder. Needed are more placebo-controlled studies and long-term studies on the efficacy and safety of mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotic agents in the treatment of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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