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Drug treatments for bipolar disorder: 1 - Acute manic or depressive
  • Relevant BNF sections: 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.3


Bipolar disorder is a severe, chronic mental illness characterised by repeated episodes of mania or hypomania, depression or mixed affective states.1 Depending on the clinical context, treatment may involve drugs, psychological therapies, social interventions and/or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).2,3 Here we concentrate on the role of drug treatments for acute manic or depressive episodes in adults with bipolar disorder. A second article will consider their role as maintenance and preventive therapy, and in special situations such as pregnancy.

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  • Relevant BNF sections: 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.3

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