High Relapse Rates in Bipolar Disorder Confirmed

Results from a naturalistic study show that there is a high risk of relapse among bipolar disorder patients, particularly if their medication is changed or stopped. More than two-thirds (68%) of the 300 individuals with bipolar who were evaluated at least once per year via an outpatient clinic, by telephone, or with their psychiatrist, relapsed within the 4-year follow-up period, with a mean time of 208 days, report the researchers. “We propose that psychiatrists act with caution when replacing or stopping drugs, and explain to patients that stopping their medication carries a high risk of relapse,” said researcher spokesman Benedikt Amann, of FIDMAG Research Foundation, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain.

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