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What are disadvantages of antidepressants for bipolar disorder in dementia?

Sarah N. Mourra, MD
Neurology
Starting antidepressants in individuals with dementia and depression who may have an underlying bipolar disorder that has not been diagnosed can cause a switch into a more manic or hypomanic state. This may be characterized by irritability, mood swings and insomnia. Individuals with underlying bipolar disorder spend approximately 75% of the time depressed. Keep this in mind for people who may have gone under the radar for some time, particularly if they have the lesser bipolar disorder called bipolar II.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.