Bipolar disorder is a prevalent disorder that tends to become progressive without treatment and with inadequate treatment. Second generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs have increasingly been used as adjunctive treatment or monotherapy for mania, but they have the potential for significant adverse effects and their role in maintenance treatment remains unclear. Asenapine is a new atypical antipsychotic medication formulated in a sublingual preparation that has been studied for mania but not maintenance therapy. Evidence indicating efficacy, adverse effects, and potential benefits and drawbacks of using asenapine in the treatment of bipolar disorder based on currently available published data are summarized.
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