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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2008;10(2):165-79.

Acute and long-term treatment of mania.

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  • 1Bipolar Disorders Program, University of Barcelona, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, CIBER-SAM, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


The treatment of mania starts with a correct diagnosis and elementary measures to prevent risks for the patient, relatives, and others. Sometimes, compulsory admission and treatment may be required for a few days. Patients with psychotic or mixed mania may be more difficult to treat. At the present time, there is solid evidence supporting the use of lithium, the anticonvulsants valproate and carbamazepine, and the antipsychotics chlorpromazine, haloperidol, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone, aripiprazole, and asenapine in acute mania, and some evidence supporting the use of clozapine or electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-refractory cases. However, in clinical practice, combination therapy is the rule rather than the exception. The treatment of acute mania deserves a long-term view, and the evidence base for some treatments may be stronger than for others. When taking decisions about treatment, tolerability should also be a major concern, as differences in safety and tolerability may exceed differences in efficacy for most compounds. Psychoeducation of patients and caregivers is a powerful tool that should be used in combination with medication for optimal long-term outcome. Functional recovery should be the ultimate goal.

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