Treatment resistance

What is treatment-resistant bipolar disorder?

Medications provide symptom relief and improvement in quality of life for many people with bipolar disorder. However, for some, medications do not provide adequate relief from symptoms. A broad definition of treatment resistance includes those patients whose symptoms have not responded adequately to medications, or only partially responded after four or more weeks of treatment with appropriate doses.

What is the evidence for treatment-resistant bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests non-response to antipsychotic medications in people with bipolar disorder in an acute mania phase is around 41%, and non-remission is around 65%. Early non-response in week one and two of treatment significantly predicted non-response and non-remission in week three, regardless of antipsychotic characteristics. Please also see the topic regarding the best medications for treatment-resistant bipolar disorder.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 2:27 pm, 1st November 2021
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