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Bipolar Disorder Cheat Sheet by

Bipolar Disorder I Criteria

1 or more manic/ mixed episode
Elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and increased goal-d­irected activity or energy lasting ≥1 week (any duration if hospit­ali­zed), present most of the day, nearly every day

Bipolar II Criteria

Never had a full manic episode
At least 1 hypomanic episode and at least 1 major depressive episode
Distinct period of abnormally and persis­tently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and increased goal-d­irected activity or energy lasting ≥4 but <7 days, and clearly different from usual nondep­ressed mood, present most of the day, nearly every day
Not severe enough to cause marked impair­ment, not due to substance or medical condition, and no psychosis

Bipolar I and II- 3 or more of the following

Less sleep
Pressured speech
Racing thoughts
Increase activity
Excessive pleasure taking/ risky activities
4 required if irritable mood only


Increased activity
Decreased judgment and sleep
Non- attentive
Elevated mood and euphoria
Speedy speech
Speedy thoughts


0.7% population at risk
2.3 million adults
Age of onset in 20s normally
= in males and females

Treatment Guidelines

Treat to remission regardless of the number of medica­tions
Mood stabilizer or mood stabilizer + SGA
Discon­tinue antide­pre­ssants
Relapse risk is highest in first few months after treatment initiation
Lithium gold standard- but less effective in rapid cycling and mixed episodes


SGAs (acute mania or psychosis)


Normal level 0.5- 1.2 in acute phase
Normal level 0.6- 1.0 in mainte­nance phase
Dose 1,200- 2,400mg in acute phase; 900- 1,200mg in mainte­nance phase
SEs: weight gain, fine hand tremors, nausea, increased urination, thirst
Intera­ctions: ACEs. ARBs, diuretics, NSAIDs, Topamax
Increase water intake
Antisu­icidal properties
Toxicity: confusion, slurred speech, coarse hand tremors, severe GI effects
Avoid in pregnancy (espec­ially 1st trimester)


Normal level 50-125
Dosage 15- 50 mg/kg/ day
SEs: nausea diarrhea, abd cramps, sedation tremor, alopecia, liver issues
Rare: Stevens Johnson
Avoid in pregnancy
Intera­ctions: Topamax (increased ammonium), tegretol (decreases levels of both drugs)
Increases levels of lamictal and SGAs
Monitor LIVER


Normal level 6- 12
Dose 10- 20 mg/kg/ day
SEs: nausea, dizziness, sedation, headaches, dry mouth, consti­pation, skin rash, liver issues
Rare: agranu­loc­ytosis/ aplastic anemia, Stevens- Johnson (In asians especially due to HLA-B 1502 allele)
Avoid in pregnancy
Monitor LIVER


No level
Dosage 25- 600mg/ day
SEs: dizziness, ataxia, somnol­ence, diplopia, nausea, headache liver issues
Rares: Stevens- Johnson
Mainte­nance only
Helps in depressive phases
Titrate super slow- 25mg q day x 2 weeks, then 50mg q day x 2 weeks etc
When added to depakote, lamictal level doubles
When added to tegretol, it is metabo­lized quicker
Often added to Lithium, SGAs or antide­pre­ssants


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