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Providing assessable information on effectiveness of maintenance treatments for bipolar disorder to psychiatrists and patients
  1. Charles L Bowden
  1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA;

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ABSTRACT FROM: Miura T, Noma H, Furukawa TA, et al. Comparative efficacy and tolerability of pharmacological treatments in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry 2014;1:351–9.

What is already known on this topic

Randomised studies have established that bipolar disorders (BD) are chronic and that maintenance treatments are needed to minimise subsyndromal symptoms and associated social and functional morbidity.

Methods of the study

The authors identified randomised controlled trials published between 1970 and 2012 that compared active treatments for BD with placebo for at least 12 weeks. The primary outcomes were the number of participants with recurrence of any mood episode and the number of participants who discontinued the trial because of adverse events. The authors considered studies (open and blinded) of mood stabilisers, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants. Secondary outcomes included: the number of participants who had depressive, manic, hypomanic or mixed episodes, respectively; those who discontinued treatment for any reason, including relapse; and the number of …

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  • For related Video Interview on which pharmacological treatments are best in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder, please see

  • Competing interests None.