Normothymic, antidepressant and antipsychotic pharmaceutics are, in accordance with international guidelines, employed both in the therapy and the prevention of bipolar disorder (BD). Long-term studies on the mechanisms of action of such medications, as well as on the pathogenetic background of BD, have led to the discovery of effective, albeit unconventional pharmacotherapeutic approaches. These methods have the potential to successfully treat mania and depression, as well as to counter affective episode relapse. Allopurinol - commonly used to treat gout, secondary hyperuricemia and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, acts by inhibiting the synthesis of uric acid, levels of which are often increased in manic patients. Due to this, an evaluation of the potential effect of allopurinol on the reduction of mania symptoms seems to be reasonable. Additionally, the numerable research papers coming out of research regarding the role of purine neurotransmitters in mood alterations, indicate that adenosine agonists act analogously to dopamine antagonists.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a supporting agent in the pharmacotherapy of depressive episodes in bipolar disorder, substantially accelerates mood stabilization in patients. In turn, memantine, known for its procognitive effect, not only has antimanic and normothymic properties, but also boosts the neuroprotective action of traditional lithium therapy.
In view of the latest opinions, the subtle pro-inflammatory process is typical for the pathophysiology of bipolar disease. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) (a popular analgesic, antipyretic and antiphlogistic agent) may be useful in BD therapy. This is because that, via its effect upon cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), ASA modulates leukocyte recruitment in neuro-inflammation.
Apart from the above-mentioned medications, this article introduces the results of recent investigations of ketamine, modafinil and tamoxifen, including their receptor mechanisms, as well as certain genetic aspects or elements of their pharmacodynamics, for use in BD therapy. We put forward that, possibly, more insightful cognition of these drugs will allow significant enrichment in the range of pharmacotherapy for BD in the near future.
1. Amrollahi Z. et al.: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled 6-week study on the efficacy and safety of the tamoxifen adjunctive to lithium in acute bipolar mania. J. Affect. Disord., 129, 327, 2011.
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