What is carbamazepine for bipolar disorder?

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant used primarily in the treatment of seizure disorders such as epilepsy. Anticonvulsant medications influence the actions of neurotransmitters leading to a decrease in brain cell (neuron) excitability. Carbamazepine can also be used for the treatment of mania.

What is the evidence for carbamazepine as a treatment for bipolar disorder?

Moderate quality evidence suggests medium-sized effects of greater improvement in acute mania symptoms with carbamazepine than with placebo or topiramate. There was a large effect of greater improvement in acute mania symptoms with tamoxefin than with carbamazepine. There was more discontinuation of treatment with carbamazepine than with olanzapine.

Low quality evidence is unable to determine the benefits of carbamazepine over placebo for acute depression.

Also see the topic on relapse prevention.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 1:29 pm, 15th February 2022
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