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Combination pharmacotherapy in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder

, : Combination pharmacotherapy in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry 53(11): 978-984, June 1

Background: The purpose of this study was to develop prospective data on the effectiveness of combination pharmacotherapy of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder during a 6-month period of prospective, semi-naturalistic treatment. Methods: Thirty-five subjects, with a mean age of 11 years, were treated in the extension phase of this study after having received 6-8 weeks of acute treatment with a single mood stabilizer. The extension phase of this study lasted for another 16 weeks, for a total of 24 weeks of prospective treatment. During this study phase, subjects were openly treated, and they could have their acute-phase mood stabilizer switched or augmented with another mood stabilizer, a stimulant, an antidepressant agent, or antipsychotic agent, if they were assessed to be a nonresponder to monotherapy with their initial mood stabilizer. Results: During the extension phase of treatment, 20 of 35 subjects (58%) required treatment with one or two mood stabilizers and either a stimulant, an atypical antipsychotic agent, or an antidepressant agent. The response rate to combination therapy was very good, with 80% of subjects treated responding to combination therapy with two mood stabilizers after not responding to monotherapy with a mood stabilizer. Conclusions: This study suggests that children and adolescents with bipolar disorder are similar to adults with bipolar disorder, who also frequently require combination therapy.


PMID: 12788243

DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3223(03)00067-2

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