Different from lithium, there is little known so far on the effect of (newer) anticonvulsants on suicidality in bipolar patients. We evaluated data of 128 patients with bipolar disorders for suicidal ideation. These patients were treated with various mood-stabilizing medications for at least 3 months. No suicide attempt or completed suicide occurred in this cohort during prospective follow up for an average of 13.3 +/- 12.1 years. Compared to lithium, the relative risk of suicidal ideation was numerically slightly higher for valproate, carbamazepine and a small group treated with either levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine or topiramate, but lower in patients treated with lamotrigine, without reaching statistical significance. Confounding variables in more intensive care of these patients participating in a naturalistic study may blur small differences and contribute to a generally favorable outcome.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Antimanic Agents/therapeutic use*
Bipolar Disorder/drug therapy*