• bipolar;
  • depression;
  • guidelines;
  • mania;
  • treatment

The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) published guidelines for the management of bipolar disorder in 2005, with a 2007 update. This second update, in conjunction with the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), reviews new evidence and is designed to be used in conjunction with the previous publications.

The recommendations for the management of acute mania remain mostly unchanged. Lithium, valproate, and several atypical antipsychotics continue to be first-line treatments for acute mania. Tamoxifen is now suggested as a third-line augmentation option. The combination of olanzapine and carbamazepine is not recommended. For the management of bipolar depression, lithium, lamotrigine, and quetiapine monotherapy, olanzapine plus selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and lithium or divalproex plus SSRI/bupropion remain first-line options. New data support the use of adjunctive modafinil as a second-line option, but also indicate that aripiprazole should not be used as monotherapy for bipolar depression. Lithium, lamotrigine, valproate, and olanzapine continue to be first-line options for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. New data support the use of quetiapine monotherapy and adjunctive therapy for the prevention of manic and depressive events, aripiprazole monotherapy for the prevention of manic events, and risperidone long-acting injection monotherapy and adjunctive therapy, and adjunctive ziprasidone for the prevention of mood events.

Bipolar II disorder is frequently overlooked in treatment guidelines, but has an important clinical impact on patients’ lives. This update provides an expanded look at bipolar II disorder.