Introduction: Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood instability, which can be challenging to manage. First-line pharmacological approaches usually involve lithium, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics. Over the past fifteen years, several second-generation antipsychotics have demonstrated benefits for various phases of this disorder. Areas covered: This article examines the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of quetiapine; its evidence base as an acute and maintenance monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for bipolar manic or mixed episodes is also discussed, along with the related issues of its safety and tolerability. Expert opinion: In the context of bipolar disorder, quetiapine is the only agent approved as a monotherapy or adjunct therapy for acute manic/mixed episodes in adults and adolescents; as a monotherapy for acute depressive episodes in adults; and as an adjunctive maintenance therapy for bipolar I and II disorder in adults. In addition to its antipsychotic properties, this broad mood-stabilizing potential may simplify the management of select patients.
- Acute and maintenance therapy
- Bipolar manic/mixed episode
- Second-generation antipsychotic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)