Polypharmacy; Rational VS. Irrational

Polypharmacy; Rational VS. Irrational


Multiple medications, used together, are inappropriate in the treatment of bipolar disorder.


Using multiple medications is considered to be the minimum standard of good medicine in individuals who do not respond fully to older, more traditional therapies.  In these individuals, failing to use multiple medications is dangerous to the individual’s long-term quality of life and even survival.  The failure to deliver more sophisticated treatments to individuals who need them is contrary to theses patient’s needs.

In the intramural program to treat people with refractory affective disorders at the National Institute of Mental Health, the average number of discharge medications in the late 1990’s was 3.3 and in 2001 many were being discharged on 6 – 12 medications.


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