Medication for elderly people

What is the evidence on bipolar disorder in older patients?

The prevalence of mania among 65-year-olds ranges from 0.1% to 0.4%. Older people with bipolar disorder constitute between 5 and 20% of patients presenting for acute treatment at geriatric psychiatry services. Although the psychopathologic manifestations of mania are similar in older and younger patients, response to treatment can be extremely variable and the disorder has a greater impact and higher mortality rate in elderly patients than in younger patients.

What is the evidence for treatments for older people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests lithium may be effective and well-tolerated in older patients with bipolar disorder.

November 2021

Image: ©Jeff Baumgart –

Last updated at: 5:33 pm, 15th February 2022
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.