Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Gabapentin, a relatively new anti-epileptic drug (AED), is emerging as a therapeutic option for treatment refractory and rapid-cycling bipolar illnesses. Pharmacotherapy for bipolar disorders traditionally involves valproate, carbamazapine, or lithium, drugs which are associated with numerous adverse effects. Conversely, gabapentin has an attractive pharmacokinetics profile and relatively few side effects. There are no large randomized controlled clinical trials to date examining gabapentin’s role in mood stabilization. However, informal reports have cited encouraging results in up to 80% of patients and general tolerance to side effects. These findings make the new drug a possible choice for patients who have failed to respond to traditional agents or developed side effects which interfere with medication compliance.

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