Management of Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness that causes periodic shifts in mood through episodes of dysthymia, depression, hypomania, and mania. There are two major types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, which is characterized by the presence of at least one acute manic episode, and bipolar II disorder, which is typified by hypomania and longer depressive episodes and is sometimes misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder. Pharmacotherapeutic options include lithium, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Pharmacists play a role in ensuring proper dosing regimens, checking for drug interactions, and monitoring for potential drug toxicity. When counseling patients, pharmacists should review optimal administration times and potential side effects to make certain that the patient has a comprehensive understanding of how to manage symptoms.


This article was originally published in US Pharmacist, volume 41, issue 11, in 2016.


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