The Role of Polypharmacy in Bipolar Disorder Treatment Guidelines

  • Heinz Grunze


Polypharmacy is rather the rule than the exception in the real world treatment of bipolar disorder. Guidelines do support combination treatments, but with a solitary focus of efficacy. This leads to an apparent discrepancy between the recommendations of combination treatment in guidelines and the treatment plan in clinical patient samples where factors influencing choices are more complex and not resembled by randomised controlled studies (RCTs). This article highlights the treatment recommendations of three major, up- to date guidelines and the positioning of combination treatments in acute mania, bipolar depression and maintenance treatment.


Bipolar Disorder Combination Treatment Bipolar Patient Bipolar Depression Acute Mania 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Atypical antipsychotic




Antimanic agent


Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie (Surveillance study of drug safety in Psychiatry)


British Association of Psychopharmacology


Bipolar Disorder


Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments


International Society for Bipolar Disorders




Randomised Controlled Studies


Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder


Treatment emergent affective episodes




World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Neuroscience, Academic Psychiatry, Campus of Aging and Vitality, Wolfson Research CentreNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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