Introduction: Depression, in the context of bipolar disorder, is more prevalent than hypomania or mania and accounts for most of the disability. Furthermore, the treatment of bipolar depression is more complicated than the treatment of unipolar major depression. Finally, the evidence base for pharmacotherapy of bipolar depression is much smaller than for unipolar depression or hypomania/mania. Areas covered: The article examines the mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics of quetiapine, its evidence base as a treatment for bipolar depression and related issues of safety and tolerability. Expert opinion: In the context of bipolar disorder, quetiapine is the only monotherapy approved for the treatment of hypomania/mania, depression and as an adjunctive maintenance therapy. In addition to its antipsychotic properties, this broad mood stabilizing potential may uniquely benefit and simplify the management of some bipolar patients who can tolerate this agent.
- bipolar depression
- second generation antipsychotic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)