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article imageFailures of antidepressants for bipolar disorder

By Tim Sandle     Sep 15, 2015 in Health
A new study demonstrates how antidepressants administered to people suffering with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder led to continuing depression and mood cycling.
The alarming outcome has come from research by scientists at University of Louisville and Tufts University. The research was based on a randomized clinical trial involving patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder refers to a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder (or manic-depressive illness) is a form of brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. The mood swings can be extreme and debilitating.
With the study,patients with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder were examined immediately after an acute depressive episode. Through this analysis it was discovered that patients who continued taking antidepressants after the episode was treated experienced around three times more the number of depressive episodes across a 12-month period compared with patients who stopped taking the drugs.This led the researchers to conclude "antidepressant continuation in rapid-cycling was associated with worsened maintenance outcomes."
Drilling down to the statistics, the findings, PsyPost reports, patients who continued taking antidepressants "were episode-free 52 percent of the time." In contrast, patients who stopped taking the antidepressants "were episode-free 64 percent of the time."
The study supports guidance, published in the British Medical Journal, that suggests in periods of mania antidepressant use is stopped; during periods of depression, antidepressants can be used if recommended by a health practitioner, however If antidepressants are used for periods of depression they should be used with a mood stabilizer.
The research has been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, with the study called "Antidepressants worsen rapid-cycling course in bipolar depression: A STEP-BD randomized clinical trial."
More about Bipolar disorder, Antidepressants, Mental health
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