Case scenario

Danielle is a 45-year-old Australian who approaches the counter with a box of hypocaloric meal replacements. You know from previous interactions with Danielle that she is currently managing her bipolar disorder with olanzapine for maintenance therapy of bipolar I. From her dispensing history you see the last time Danielle was supplied with olanzapine (10 mg orally, once daily) was more than six weeks ago.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the challenges of diagnosing bipolar disorder.
  • Discuss the effective use of medicines in the management of bipolar disorder including treatment algorithms.
  • Counsel people with bipolar disorder about the importance of medicine adherence, treatment expectations, and potential adverse effects of their medicines.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.6, 2.1, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6

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Introduction

Bipolar disorder, previously referred to as manic depressive illness or manic depression, is a chronic, recurring mental disorder characterised by pronounced fluctuations in mood and energy. It is an episodic illness with distinct episodes of mania or depression, however s

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