Balanced efficacy, safety, and tolerability recommendations for the clinical management of bipolar disorder

Gin S. Malhi, Danielle M. Bargh, Roger Mcintyre, Michael Gitlin, Mark A. Frye, Michael Bauer, Michael Berk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide practical and clinically meaningful treatment recommendations that amalgamate clinical experience and research findings for each phase of bipolar disorder. Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was undertaken using electronic database search engines (Medline, PubMed, Cochrane reviews) using key words (e.g., bipolar depression, mania, treatment). All relevant randomised controlled trials were examined, along with review papers, meta-analyses, and book chapters known to the authors. In addition, the recommendations from accompanying papers in this supplement have been distilled and captured in the form of summary boxes. The findings, in conjunction with the clinical experience of international researchers and clinicians who are practiced in treating mood disorders, formed the basis of the treatment recommendations within this paper. Results: Balancing clinical experience with evidence informed and lead to the development of practical clinical recommendations that emphasise the importance of safety and tolerability alongside efficacy in the clinical management of bipolar disorder. Conclusions: The current paper summarises the treatment recommendations relating to each phase of bipolar disorder while providing additional, evidence-based, practical insights. Medication-related side effects and monitoring strategies highlight the importance of safety and tolerability considerations, which, along with efficacy information, should be given equal merit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalBipolar disorders
Issue numberSUPPL.2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Acute treatment
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Evidence-based review
  • Guidelines
  • Maintenance treatment
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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