Objective: To study mood stabiliser treatment in patients with bipolar disorder with or without anxiety disorders (ADs) and/or substance use disorders (SUDs).
Methods: Extensive clinical interview and Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview were used to ascertain DSM-IV diagnoses of rapid cycling bipolar I (RCBDI) or II (RCBDII), SUDs and ADs. Previous treatment statuses with a mood stabiliser after the first onset of mania/hypomania (unmedicated, mismedicated and correctly medicated) were retrospectively determined in patients enrolled into four similar clinical trials. T-test and chi-square/Fisher’s exact were used wherever appropriate.
Results: Of 566 patients (RCBDI n = 320, RCBDII n = 246), 46% had any lifetime AD, 67% had any lifetime SUD and 40% had any recent SUD. Overall, 12% of patients were unmedicated, 37% were mismedicated at the onset of first mania/hypomania and 51% were correctly medicated. Presence of lifetime ADs and recent SUDs was associated with fewer mood stabiliser treatments. Patients with RCBDI were more likely correctly medicated than those with RCBDII (OR = 3.64) regardless of the presence (OR = 2.6) or absence (OR = 4.2) of ADs, or the presence (OR = 2.8) or absence (OR = 3.13) of recent SUDs. Presence of lifetime ADs and recent SUDs increased the risk for mismedicated in RCBDI with odds ratios of 1.8 and 1.9, respectively, but not in RCBDII.
Conclusion: In this multi-morbid cohort of patients with RCBD, 51% of patients (64% of RCBDI and 33% with RCDBII) were correctly medicated with a mood stabiliser after the onset of first mania/hypomania. The presence of ADs and SUDs was associated with an increased risk of mismedicated in patients with RCBDI, but not with RCBDII.