In recent years, bipolar disorder (BD) has been diagnosed with increasing frequency in the pediatric population. BD requires a multimodal treatment plan to address complex symptoms and the associated comorbidities. Pharmacological intervention assists the core symptoms of the illness and psychotherapeutic intervention may be beneficial as an adjunctive treatment. Controlled studies corroborate the comparable short-term efficacy of several second generation antipsychotics and mood stabilizers for treating mania, but major dissimilarities exist with respect to the kind and severity of side effects. The selected treatment option is determined by the tolerance and safety. In addition, data suggests that youth may be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of psychotropic medications than adults. More clinical trials, that focus on risk-benefit ratios of these medications and that clarify assessment and management of their comorbidities are needed to find safer and more effective treatment options for long-term treatment.
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