The Role of Antiepileptic Drugs in Bipolar Depression

  • Juan D. Molina
  • Manuel Durán
  • Francisco López-Muñoz
  • Cecilio Álamo
  • Francisco Toledo-Romero


Bipolar depression, underdiagnosed in relation to unipolar depression, affects both the individual’s affective as well as cognitive areas. On the other hand, its manifestation is more frequent than hypomania/mania, despite which there has been less research into its treatment than manic phases.

Bipolar depression affects the patient’s quality of life and requires suitable treatment, in which, among other factors, tolerability or the risk of suicide must be taken into account. As a result, long-term treatment is important to avoid relapses. In this respect, some anticonvulsants have demonstrated, through diverse action mechanisms, their efficacy for treating bipolar depression.

Clinical guides for the treatment of bipolar disorders, some of which have been updated recently, provide the healthcare professional with the latest clinical evidence in terms of pharmacological management. In the majority of these, anticonvulsants are included as first line, either as monotherapy or adjuvant therapy in combination with lithium or antidepressants.


Bipolar Disorder Maintenance Therapy Depressive Episode Mood Stabiliser Bipolar Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Atypical antipsychotic“+”: adjunctive therapy




British Association for Psychopharmacology


Body Mass Index


Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments/International Society for Bipolar Disorders




Cardiovascular disease












National Institute of Clinical Excellence




Randomised clinical trial


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors






World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan D. Molina
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manuel Durán
    • 1
  • Francisco López-Muñoz
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Cecilio Álamo
    • 5
  • Francisco Toledo-Romero
    • 6
  1. 1.Acute Inpatients UnitDr. R. Lafora Psychiatric HospitalMadridSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesCamilo José Cela UniversityMadridSpain
  3. 3.Neuropsychopharmacology UnitHospital 12 de Octubre Research Institute (i+12)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Portucalense Institute of Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural NeurosciencesPortucalense UniversityPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Department of Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology Area), Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of Alcalá , Alcalá de HenaresMadridSpain
  6. 6.Psychiatry Service“Virgen de la Arrixaca” Teaching HospitalMurciaSpain

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