(HealthDay News) – Pediatricians should play a collaborative role in the care of adolescents with bipolar disorder by maintaining familiarity with diagnostic guidelines and providing assistance in monitoring and managing medications, according to a clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online Nov. 26 in Pediatrics.

Benjamin N. Shain, MD, PhD, and colleagues from the AAP Committee on Adolescence review the role of pediatricians in the diagnosis and management of adolescents with bipolar disorder and provide case examples to illustrate these issues.

The authors recommend that pediatricians have some familiarity with diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder and be in contact with child and adolescent psychiatrists as well as other mental health professionals. Pediatricians should maintain familiarity with adverse effects and protocols for medications used to treat bipolar disorder and assist in monitoring and managing adverse effects, including weight gain, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus.

“Despite the complexity of diagnosis and management, pediatricians have an important collaborative role in referring and partnering in the management of adolescents with bipolar disorder,” the authors write.

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