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Activity Dates: 06/19/2015 - 04/19/2018

Target Audience

This course is designed for pharmacists, nurse practitioners or other healthcare professionals involved in the comprehensive medication management of psychiatric and/or neurological patients.

Session Summary

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a recurrent and severe illness characterized by substantial symptomatic burden, comorbidity, functional impairment, and suicide risk. Childhood-onset and adolescent-onset BD may be even more severe and may have an even worse prognosis compared to adult-onset BD. Overlapping symptomatology in child and adolescent psychiatry sometimes makes the diagnosis of BD difficult to determine. Although case descriptions of mania in children have been available for almost a century, it is only within approximately the past 15 to 20 years that rigorous research on this topic has been conducted. Over the last 20 years, there has been a dramatic—up to 500%—increase in the diagnosis of BD in children and adolescents in the United States. At the same time, there was a steep rise in antipsychotic prescriptions in the United States, raising concerns that children were overdiagnosed and overprescribed potentially harmful medication. The observed increase is proposed to be unlikely because of a genuine increase in the prevalence of the disorder, but rather reflect changes in diagnostic practice. 

Sandra Mullen, PharmD, BCPP, will discuss the current controversies regarding the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, differentiate the symptoms from other mental health disorders, and present the latest evidence for the use of pharmacotherapy regimens.

Course Requirements

You will proceed through the following steps to satisfactorily complete this course:

  • Review the full content of the activity and reflect upon its teachings.
  • Complete the post-test at the end of the activity no later than the closing activity date. (login first)
  • Complete the evaluation at the end of the activity. (login first)
  • If necessary, complete the post-test retest no later than the closing activity date. (login first)
  • Receive a passing grade (70%).
  • Provide the necessary details in your profile to ensure correct reporting by CPNP to CPE Monitor. (login first)

This course is provided online at cpnp.org and consists of the speaker audio and slides. A PDF file of the slides is also provided and access is available to participants indefinitely although ACPE credit is available only through the course expiration date.

Participants in this course must complete an examination and achieve a score of 70% or greater. Successful completion of the course also requires the completion of a course evaluation. ACPE statements of credit can be retrieved by participants online at cpnp.org immediately upon successful completion of the course.

Faculty Information and Disclosures

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain current controversies regarding the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.
  2. Differentiate bipolar disorder from symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and disruptive behavioral disorders.
  3. Evaluate evidence of efficacy of mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics in treating bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.
  4. Recommend a treatment and monitoring plan for pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapy for a child or adolescent diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Continuing Education Credit and Disclosures

Activity Dates: 06/19/2015 - 04/19/2018
ACPE Contact Hours: 1.0
ACPE Number: 0284-0000-15-003-H01-P (Application)
Nursing Credit Reminder: Note that ACPE credit is accepted for certification renewal.

ACPEThe College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This self-study course provides 1.0 contact hours (0.10 CEUs) of knowledge-based continuing education credit from CPNP approved programming. The ACPE universal program number assigned to this course is 0284-0000-15-003-H01-P (1.0 contact hours).

Grant Support

This activity is partially supported by an educational grant from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.