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JAMA Network Insights
October 9, 2019

Evidence-Based Drug Treatment of Acute Depression in Bipolar Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online October 9, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.3012

The development of targeted treatments for depression in bipolar disorder (BD-D) has lagged behind recognition of the prevalence and severity of this condition.1,2 All current medications have been borrowed from treatments for unipolar or major depression, mania, or maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder (BD). Despite many alternatives, few drugs have been tested. In addition, very few studies account for subtypes of illness, including BD type 1 vs BD type 2, mild vs severe depression, or new vs recurrent depression. Differences related to age, sex, or comorbid conditions are rarely addressed.

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