Drugs & Aging

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 205–224

Assessment and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in the Elderly

  • John H. Eastham
  • Dilip V. Jeste
  • Robert C. Young
Review Article Disease Management

DOI: 10.2165/00002512-199812030-00004

Cite this article as:
Eastham, J.H., Jeste, D.V. & Young, R.C. Drugs & Aging (1998) 12: 205. doi:10.2165/00002512-199812030-00004


The aetiology of late-onset bipolar disorder is heterogeneous because the disease is more likely to have a secondary (i.e. a medical disorder or medication-induced) cause in older than in younger patients. Elderly patients with bipolar disorder typically require lithium dosages that are 25 to 50% lower than those used in younger individuals. Information on the use of valproic acid (sodium valproate) in elderly patients with bipolar disorder is limited but encouraging. In contrast, there is virtually no information regarding the use of carbamazepine or other drugs in this patient group. Electroconvulsive therapy is well tolerated by older people and can be useful for these patients.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Eastham
    • 1
  • Dilip V. Jeste
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert C. Young
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryVeterans Affairs Medical CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryCornell University Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryThe New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Westchester DivisionWhite PlainsUSA
  5. 5.San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center (116A-1)San DiegoUSA