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J Psychiatr Pract. 2003 May;9(3):181-94.

When do antidepressants worsen the course of bipolar disorder?

Author information

1
Zucker Hillside Hospital/North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Glen Oaks, NY 11002, USA.

Abstract

Bipolar disorder may be more prevalent than previously believed. Because a substantial number of patients with bipolar disorder present with an index depressive episode, it is likely that many are misdiagnosed with unipolar major depression. Even if a correct diagnosis is made, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder are notoriously difficult to treat. Patients are often treated with antidepressants, which, if used improperly, are known to induce mania and provoke rapid cycling. This article explores diagnostic conundrums in bipolar depression and their possible solutions, based on current research evidence. It also elucidates current evidence regarding the risks and benefits associated with antidepressant use and evaluates alternative treatment regimens for the depressed bipolar population, including the use of traditional mood stabilizers such as lithium, novel anticonvulsants such as lamotrigine, and atypical antipsychotics.

PMID:
15985931

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