Bipolar Disorder

Expert Q&A

Who Should Get Lithium?

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Coronavirus | COVID19 | Lithium | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips

TCPR: Lithium has been called the gold-standard treatment in bipolar disorder. Why is it not used more often? Dr. Rybakowski: That is a paradox. On the one hand, lithium is accepted as a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder, but it is also greatly underutilized. And I think there are two main reasons. One is aggressive promotion of branded mood st

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Research Update

Two Augmentation Strategies Compared in Bipolar I

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Lithium | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology | Research | Research Update

Review of: Missio G et al, Trials 2019;20(1):608 STUDY TYPE: Randomized, open-label controlled trial It’s rare to see full recovery in bipolar I disorder with a single medicine, so we often depend on some combination of mood stabilizers and/or antipsychotics. Even then, weight gain and metabolic problems are deal-breakers. Some experts favor the c

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Research Update

A New Antipsychotic for Bipolar Depression

Topics: Antipsychotics | Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Caplyta | Lumateperone | Research Update

Lumateperone (Caplyta) just hit the pharmacy shelves with FDA approval in schizophrenia (see TCPR March 2020), and its manufacturer is pursuing further approval for bipolar depression. So far they’ve completed two phase III trials—one negative and one positive—and the positive one was presented in poster form by Suresh Durgam and colleagues at the

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Clinical Update

The Modafinils in Bipolar Depression

Topics: ArModafinil | Bipolar Disorder | Borderline Personality Disorder | BPD | Modafinil | Novel Medications | Nuvigil | Personality Disorders | Provigil | Psychopharmacology

Your patient has recovered enough from bipolar depression to leave the hospital, but not enough to return to work. He is inactive, he can’t concentrate, and it takes him 4 hours to wake up in the morning. What can you add to his regimen of lithium, lamotrigine, and lurasidone? Modafinil (Provigil) and armodafinil (Nuvigil) are wakefulness-promoting

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Expert Q&A

The Psychopharmacology Algorithm Project

Topics: Antidepressant Augmentation | Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Bipolar Disorder | Bupropion | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Escitalopram | Lamictal | Lamotrigine | Lithium | Mood Stabilizers | olanzapine | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Wellbutrin

TCPR: What would be the biggest change in practice if psychiatrists followed your algorithms?Dr. Osser: One area is bipolar depression. This is a disorder where there is an exceptionally large deviation between what the evidence says and what people are doing, especially when it comes to antidepressants. They are still being used rampantly, even in pati

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Clinical Update

Oxcarbazepine: Close, but no Cigar

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Carbamazepine | Free Articles | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Psychopharm Myths | Psychopharmacology

You are selecting a mood stabilizer for a 29-year-old woman with mania. If it works, she’ll need to take it long term, but with adherence rates hovering around 50% in this illness, that’s not a likely prospect. The FDA-approved options are not very high on tolerability, but what about oxcarbazepine? Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) is often used in bipo

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Expert Q&A

Psychopharmacology in Bipolar II

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Hypomania | Mania | Mixed Features | Mood Stabilizers

TCPR: You’ve carved out a unique practice with difficult-to-treat bipolar disorders. Tell us about the patients you see. Dr. Kelly: I see a lot of bipolar II and “softer bipolar.” Clinically these patients have chronic depression, often mixed with hypomanic symptoms. Nearly all have tried multiple antidepressants that didn’t work, stopped worki

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Highlights

Highlight From This Issue

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Carbamazepine | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Psychopharm Myths | Psychopharmacology

In bipolar disorder, oxcarbazepine is slightly better tolerated than carbamazepine, but less effective. While its medical risks are different, they are by no means safer than carbamazepine’s. Its drug interactions can be a problem as well. On average, higher doses of second-generation antidepressants do not bring greater recoveries in major depress

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Clinical Update

A Practical Guide to Light Therapy

Topics: Alternative treatments | Bipolar Disorder | Complementary treatments | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Light and Dark Therapy | Light therapy | Lightbox | natural treatments | Seasonal Affective Disorder

Outdoor living, morning light, evening darkness, and regular rhythms of sleep and waking all have one thing in common: They prevent depression. That’s the conclusion of many large epidemiologic studies, but for people who work indoors and wake up to dark winter mornings, this isn’t good news (Asai Y et al, J Affect Disord 2018;241:235–240). Here

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News of Note

A New Treatment for Bipolar Depression

Topics: Antipsychotics | Atypical Antipsychotics | Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Depression | News of Note | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology

On May 28, 2019, cariprazine (Vraylar) became the fourth atypical antipsychotic to receive FDA approval for bipolar depression. The approval was based on two randomized controlled trials involving 1,051 patients and lasting 6–8 weeks. These studies grouped patients into fixed doses from 0.75–3 mg/day. The sweet spot seems to be 1.5 mg/day, which was

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Research Update

Mood Stabilizers and Stroke Risk in Bipolar Disorder

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Lithium | Medical Comorbidities | Mood Stabilizers | Pharmacology

Review of: Chen PH et al, Br J Psychiatry 2018;1–6. doi:10.1192/bjp.2018.203 Study Type: Case-crossover study People living with bipolar disorder already have a decreased life expectancy of 10+ years compared to the general population (Crump C et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2013;70:931–939). Most of these years of lost life have been attributed to cardiov

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Expert Q&A

Light and Darkness in Bipolar Disorder

Topics: Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Jim Phelps is the author of a textbook on bipolar spectrum disorders, A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders: Not Fully Bipolar But Not Unipolar—Practical Management (W. W. Norton & Company) as well as two self-help books on bipolar disorder. He conducted some of the early studies on dark therapy out of his private practice in Oregon, and we ca

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Article

Does Mania Follow the Sun?

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Free Articles | Mania

TABLE : SPRINGTIME MANIA Click here for the full PDF table showing sunlight peaks.   If dark nights can treat mania, can too much sunshine destabilize it? Yes and no. Mania is linked to rapid changes in sunlight, but not to the amount of light itself. Mania peaks in early spring when there’s a steep rise in sunlight. By the time the longe

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Article

Evaluating and Treating Co-Occurring ADHD and Bipolar Disorder

Topics: ADHD | Bipolar Disorder | Child Psychiatry

Early into the evaluation of a 10-year-old boy, you note the following symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, sleep problems, racing thoughts, and moodiness. The boy’s parents came to your office convinced that their son has ADHD, but thinking through the case, you recognize that the same symptoms could signal bipolar disorder (BD). You ha

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Research Update

Probiotics for Bipolar Disorder

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Research Update

Review of: Dickerson F et al, Bipolar Disord 2018. doi:10.1111/bdi.12652 [Epub ahead of print] Type of study: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial Probiotics, the so-called “good” bacteria in the gut flora, have become popular as a natural treatment for various disorders. They are taken as capsules or through food sources like yogu

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Article

Treatment-Resistant Depression: Some Introductory Tips

Topics: Antidepressants | Bipolar Disorder | Depressive Disorder | Registered Articles

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) has a fairly low barrier of entry. Failure of 2 full antidepressant trials—lasting 6 weeks at a minimally effective dose—is enough to qualify. In this month’s issue of TCPR, we’ll highlight pharmacologic advances that are underutilized and debunk a few that are unlikely to be effective for TRD. But first, we

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Research Update

Celecoxib as Adjunctive Treatment in Acute Mania

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Child Psychiatry | OCD | Research Update

Review of: Mousavi et al, J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol 2017; 27(6):494–500 Emotional stress can trigger an inflammatory cascade response and increase blood levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including IL-1, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). These same inflammatory markers intensify in acute episodes of depression and mania. So, would

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Article

Note From the Editor-in-Chief

Topics: Bipolar Disorder

When I was training in the 1990s, diagnosing bipolar disorder seemed straightforward. These patients often came to our attention because of a flagrant manic episode. You may still remember the first time you treated a manic patient—I certainly do. He was a man in his 20s with flowing red hair and a messianic beard, who was admitted after police found

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Article

The Bipolar Spectrum: Practical Tips for Diagnosis and Treatment

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Free Articles

Bipolar disorder has long been controversial in the field. Is it overdiagnosed or underdiagnosed? Does a “bipolar spectrum” truly exist, or is it a marketing tool for pharmaceutical companies that want you to prescribe more atypical antipsychotics? At a minimum, the bipolar spectrum includes those patients who meet criteria for both bipolar I and

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Expert Q&A

Understanding the Bipolar Spectrum: Tips on Diagnosis

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Practice Tools and Tips

TCPR: Dr. Aiken, before we get into some of the controversies about the bipolar spectrum, can you give us a brief history of bipolar disorder? Dr. Aiken: Certainly. The modern conception of bipolar disorder dates to the early 20th century, mainly to German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, who was a very astute observer. Kraepelin noticed that some patien

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