This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
1. To determine the efficacy of any pharmacotherapeutic intervention compared to placebo or an alternative drug:
1.1 in alleviating acute manic episodes of bipolar disorder in the older person;
1.2 in alleviating depressive symptoms in acute episodes of bipolar disorder in the older person;
1.3 in alleviating mixed affective symptoms in acute episodes of bipolar disorder in the older person.
2. To review the acceptability of treatment with medications to patients, measured by numbers and reasons for dropping out of trials, compliance, and by reference to patients' expressed views regarding treatment.
3. To investigate the adverse effects of pharmacological treatments including the general prevalence of adverse effects. All adverse effects documented in the included studies will be extracted where possible.
4. To determine the overall mortality rates on various pharmacological treatments.
5. To prevent relapse of the illness in the medium or long term.