BACKGROUND The efficacy of depot antipsychotic drugs in the prophylaxis of bipolar affective disorder was investigated.
METHOD Life charts were constructed for 18 outpatients with bipolar disorder receiving prophylactic treatment with depot medication. The durations of affective episodes were compared during periods on or off medication.
RESULTS The subjects suffered fewer relapses and spent significantly less time in hospital (P = 0.001) for treatment of manic, depressive and mixed affective illness during treatment with depot antipsychotics.
CONCLUSIONS Depot antipsychotic medication may be a useful prophylactic treatment for certain patients with bipolar affective disorder.