Psychiatry Service, Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oregon.
Mania is a rare complication of prescribed drug use in elderly persons. The drugs most likely to produce mania include corticosteroids and dopamine agonists. It is uncertain if antidepressants cause mania or only increase the propensity for latent bipolar mania to be expressed. Drug-induced mania may promote poor judgment, risk-taking behaviours and medical noncompliance. The majority of episodes of drug-induced mania are short-lived and respond to discontinuation of the drug. Antipsychotic agents may hasten resolution of this psychiatric syndrome. Lithium may prevent corticosteroid-induced mania, but the role of lithium in the treatment of other drug-induced manic episodes has not been studied adequately.