Efficacy and safety of antidepressant’s use in the treatment of depressive episodes in bipolar disorder – review of research
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Oddział Chorób Afektywnych IPiN w Warszawie
Submission date: 2014-12-06
Final revision date: 2015-01-28
Acceptance date: 2015-01-31
Publication date: 2015-12-31
Corresponding author
Anna Zofia Antosik-Wójcińska   

Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2015;49(6):1223-1239
The use of antidepressants in treatment of depression in course of bipolar disorders (BD) is controversial. In case of no improvement during monotherapy with mood stabilizer, the use of antidepressants is often necessary. The safety of this group (in context of phase change, mixed states and rapid cycling) is essential and is the subject of many research. In the paper, the authors review the literature concerning efficacy and safety of use of antidepressants in the treatment of affective disorders and long-term impact on the course of the disease. Selection of articles have been made by searching the Medline and Pubmed databases using keywords: antidepressant drugs, bipolar depression, bipolar disorder, efficacy, safety, mania, hypomania. The risk of mania is greater in bipolar disorder type I, than in type II or during treatment with Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and treatment with venlafaxine. The use of SSRIs and bupropion is associated with a relatively small increase of phase change risk. There are different opinions concerning recommended duration of antidepressant treatment. Generally antidepressant use should end after 2–3 months of remission, the risk of recurrence of depression after discontinuation of antidepressants is, however, higher than in case of continuation. In BD type II or BD spectrum, antidepressant monotherapy is allowed in severe depression. In bipolar disorder type I and in case of phase change after antidepressants use in the past, use of antidepressants should be very cautious. Antidepressants are contraindicated in rapid cycling and in mixed episodes. Further work is needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of antidepressants use.
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