Antidepressants (ADs) play a valuable role in treating the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. However, 14% of these individuals taking ADs experience AD-associated mania (AAM) within a few weeks of starting treatment. Numerous studies have suggested potential clinical and genetic risk factors. We aimed to conduct a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis that integrates the past literature with the recent studies and identifies important predictors for AAM.
The review was limited to experimentally designed studies that contain the relevant search terms in PubMed and PsychInfo. After removing studies that were in discordance with our criteria, the review included 24 reports examining clinical risk factors and 10 investigating genetic risk factors. Our meta-analysis was conducted on 5 clinical risk factors, each of which had at least 4 articles with extractable data.
The only clinical factors in the literature that have been shown to be more indicative of AAM risk are AD monotherapy and tricyclic ADs. Among genetic factors, the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism may play a minor role in AAM. Our meta-analysis provided support for the number of prior depressive episodes.
Prevention of AAM may be served by early detection of recurrent depression episodes. Further large-scale longitudinal studies are required to determine the underpinnings of AAM.