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Are traditional antidepressants used to treat bipolar depression?

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The use of traditional antidepressants for bipolar depression is experimental. That’s because they haven’t been proven effective for treating it. No research shows they have any greater benefit than taking a mood stabilizer alone.

But antidepressants are sometimes used to treat depression in people with bipolar disorder. If one is effective, it usually takes at least 4-6 weeks for people to respond to it. Sometimes a doctor will try several different medicines before finding one that works.

From: Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." 

WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment. 

National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies." 

Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program. 

MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)." 

WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." 

American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on January 15, 2017

SOURCES:

WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." 

WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment. 

National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies." 

Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program. 

MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)." 

WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." 

American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on January 15, 2017

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What are warnings about children and adolescents using antidepressant medicines?

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