Saturday, August 9, 2014


PSYCHCENTRAL on BIPOLAR DISORDER  full article from Feb 2014

Assessing the Drug Burden of Bipolar Disorder By Rick Nauert PhD  Senior News Editor

In a new study, investigators followed 230 patients with bipolar I disorder whose symptoms were severe enough to warrant admission to a Rhode Island psychiatric hospital.

Additionally, many individuals were taking additional medicines for other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or metabolic disorders. In total, the average patient admitted to a hospital is on six different drugs.

“The study quantifies a difficult outcome for many patients with this difficult-to-treat disorder,” said study lead author Lauren Weinstock, Ph.D.

Weinstock found bipolar patients accrue a high burden of prescriptions each with their own side effects, with often unknown interactions, and with a complexity that can result in not taking the medications as prescribed.

This medication burden also includes high overall cost to patients and the healthcare system.

“Yet for those patients who’ve needed to come to the hospital, these complex combinations of drugs haven’t proven sufficiently effective,” Weinstock said.

The study, published online in the journal Psychiatry Research, also reports the likelihood of a high medication burden was significantly greater for women than men."

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