Management of the depressive component of bipolar disorder.Depress Anxiety. 1996-1997; 4(4):190-8.DA
Acute bipolar depression (ABD) and breakthrough depression occurring during maintenance therapy of bipolar disorder are associated with significant morbidity and an increased risk of suicide. Lithium is an effective mood stabilizer for ABD, but its onset of antidepressant action is slow and additional antidepressant therapy is often prescribed. The extent to which other mood stabilizers (e.g., carbamazepine and valproate) have antidepressant activity is unclear. Preliminary initial research suggests three potential advantages that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have over tricyclic antidepressant for ABD: possibly greater efficacy, fewer adverse effects, and a lower frequency of antidepressant-induced mania. Bupropion may also have significant advantages. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are the antidepressant of choice for atypical bipolar depression. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has the highest response rate of all treatments for ABD. Further research is needed to explore combination treatments with mood stabilizers and antidepressants for the effective treatment of ABD.