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South African Journal of Psychiatry

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Reserpine for the treatment of refractory mania

I Eloff, W Esterhuysen

Abstract


We report a case of refractory mania treated successfully with reserpine. The patient was a 26-year-old man with bipolar I disorder, who had recurrent hospital admissions for manic episodes that failed to respond to multiple mood stabilisers and antipsychotics. The patient also suffered from  hypertension. His manic symptoms improved markedly with the addition of reserpine to the treatment regimen. Reserpine is a centrally acting  antihypertensive with anti-adrenergic properties. It has been found to reduce the duration of a manic episode rapidly in a small group of studies. This proved to be the case with this patient. Reserpine used in conjunction with other psychotropic medication may be considered in the treatment of  refractory mania, but controlled trials are necessary to support our finding more generally.



http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/sajp.456
AJOL African Journals Online