Switching medications

Why switch medications for bipolar disorder?

Achieving an optimum pharmacological response may require switching medications. Reasons for switching include individual differences in response, sensitivity to side effects, and peculiarities of bipolar disorder such as changes in mood over time.

What is the evidence for switching medications?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests switching to lithium from quetiapine due to having had an affective event resulted in less time to recurrence of a mood episode (particularly depression) compared to patients who stayed on quetiapine. Switching to oral olanzapine from risperidone long-acting injections found time to recurrence of any mood episode was significantly longer with olanzapine, particularly for depressive episodes.

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefits of switching between other medications.

November 2021

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Last updated at: 12:15 pm, 30th November 2021
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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.