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Calcium channel antagonists for the treatment of bipolar disorder


Corresponding author: Dr Philip G Janicak, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 West Taylor, M/C 912, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Fax: +1 312 413 4503; e-mail:


Calcium channel antagonists (CCAs) have many clinical applications, including their possible use in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Two justifications for this last application are some overlap in physiological activities of CCAs with those of lithium, and a possible association between bipolar disorder and calcium dysregulation. While the data from earlier studies support the use of verapamil in treating bipolar mania, more recent better-controlled trials have not. This paper reviews the available body of data regarding CCAs in the treatment of bipolar disorder, concluding there is presently limited support for their efficacy.