New research presented today shows that hospital stays for people with Bipolar Disorder cost taxpayers Â 207 million a year [i]. According to the research, sponsored by AstraZeneca, the NHS spends just 7% (Â 25 million) of the total costs for Bipolar Disorder on medicines versus 60% on hospital admissionsi. The findings of the research are important as the NHS has been told to identify Â 15-20 billion of cost savings by the end of the 2013-14 financial year. The research was led by Professor Allan Young in collaboration with AstraZeneca. Professor Young, formerly of Newcastle University and currently of the University of British Columbia, said of the research: "The main reason for hospitalisations in Bipolar Disorder is relapses suffered by patients in which they experience extreme mood changes [ii].
Today, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is proud to announce the release of the new Parents' Medication Guide for Bipolar Disorder in Children & Adolescents. The guide was developed by AACAP to give reliable information about medication used to treat bipolar disorder in children and adolescents to parents whose children have been diagnosed with the illness. "It is not yet clear how many children and adolescents diagnosed with bipolar disorder will continue to have the disorder as adults. What is very clear is that obtaining a careful clinical assessment is utmost and critical to diagnosing bipolar disorder, " advised Larry Greenhill, M.D., President, AACAP. The guide reflects what medications child psychiatrists currently use when treating bipolar disorder during childhood and adolescence.
A single intravenous dose of the anesthetic agent ketamine appears to reduce symptoms of depression within 40 minutes among those with bipolar disorder who have not responded to other treatments, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "Bipolar disorder is one of the most severe psychiatric disorders and ranks in the top 10 causes of medical disability worldwide, " the authors write as background information in the article. About 4 percent of Americans will develop bipolar disorder in their lifetimes, and depressive symptoms dominate for most of the course of the illness. Several treatments for bipolar depression are currently approved, but some patients do not respond to these therapies despite adequate trials. In addition, existing treatments are associated with a lag of onset;
Each month, PSA releases an online presentation, developed with experts in the specific clinical area covered to ensure the latest evidence is brought to PSA members using these education tools. The modules are delivered in four 15-minute units and are specifically designed for the busy pharmacist to allow flexibility in what and when they access the information. This month's module deals with bipolar disorder and is presented by Dr Chris Alderman. Dr Alderman points out that atypical antipsychotics were medications that were initially developed for the treatment of psychosis, in general, and schizophrenia. "These are now used increasingly in the treatment of bipolar disease, " Dr Alderman said. "Medications such as olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone have become important tools for the clinician in helping to stabilise acutely ill bipolar patients and preventing them from becoming ill again.
Lamictal (Lamotrigine), a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of seizures and bipolar disorder, can cause aseptic meningitis, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has announced. Aseptic meningitis is inflammation of the meninges - the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, not caused by bacterial infection. The FDA and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the makers of the drug, are working together to update the prescribing information and patient medication guide to include this risk. Aseptic meningitis has many possible causes, some of which include: viruses Toxic agents Some vaccines Some autoimmune diseases Some drugs (including Lamictal ) Signs and symptoms of aseptic meningitis include: Headache Fever Chills Nausea Stiff neck Vomiting Photophobia - sensitivity to light In some cases patients with aseptic meningitis need to be hospitalized.