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Antidepressants Show No Benefit For Bipolar, But May Cause Harm

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

Researchers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, found that antidpressant use for Bipolar Disorder showed no benefit. But they were surprised to learn that one antidepressant - venlafaxine (Effexor) - actually caused a 3-fold higher rate of hospital readmissions.

"The study is a good naturalistic look at the use of antidepressants in bipolar depression, and it really shows that in our sample, at our hospital, antidepressants weren't useful," principal investigator Jessica Lynn Warner, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

"We didn't see any benefit in terms of keeping patients out of the hospitals with the use of antidepressants, and this finding is consistent with the literature," she added.

The findings were presented at the American Psychiatric Association's 2013 Annual Meeting.

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