Pharmacological management of mania

by Dr Karine A.N. Macritchie and Professor Allan H. Young


Published: July 2012


In the management of mania, pharmacological treatment plays a key part in any comprehensive package of care. The pharmacological management of mania is a skill essential to the practice of acute general psychiatry.


Over recent years, new agents have joined the armoury of anti-manic treatments and the evidence base for these treatments is increasing. Updated guidelines for evidence-based treatments for mania have been published; however, the management of treatment-resistant mania remains challenging and is informed by few studies.


This module summarises current thinking on the neural mechanisms of mania and the current view of best practice in its pharmacological management, focusing particularly on recently published guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. 


  • The assessment of mania and its context will be discussed.


  • A very brief overview of the neurophysiology of mood regulation and the role of anti-manic agents will follow.


  • Thereafter, the recent British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines for the management of mania and maintenance treatment will be outlined. Strategies for treatment resistant mania will also be discussed.


Start the module


Please note: This module was last updated in 2012. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Pharmacological treatment of resistant depression – an overview

by Professor Philip J. Cowen


Pharmacological management of anxiety disorders by Dr Zia Nadeem and Dr Allan Scott 


Rapid tranquillisation of the acutely disturbed patient by Dr Aileen O’Brien, Caroline Parker and Jules Haste



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