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Bupropion (BUP) may be less likely than other antidepressants to cause switches into mania and rapid cycling, suggesting utility in bipolar disorder.The combination of BUP with the mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants carbamazepine (CBZ) or valproate (VPA) is a strategy that might further lessen the risk of mania. CBZ induces, and to a lesser extent VPA inhibits the hepatic metabolism of various medications, but their effects on BUP have not been previously studied. Inpatients with mood disorders had pharmacokinetic profiles of BUP and metabolites assessed after single, oral, 150-mg doses of BUP while receiving placebo (N = 17) or during chronic blind CBZ (N = 12) or VPA (N = 5) monotherapy. CBZ but not VPA therapy decreased BUP peak concentrations (Cmax) by 87% (p < 0.0001) and 24-h area under the curve (AUC) by 90% (p < 0.0001), threohydrobupropion Cmax by 81% (p < 0.0009) and AUC by 86% (p <0.002), and erythropydrobupropion Cmax by 86% (p < 0.05) and AUC by 96% (p < 0.05). CBZ increased hydroxybupropion (H-BUP) Cmax by 71% (p < 0.007) and AUC by 50% (p < 0.05). VPA increased H-BUP Cmax by 56% (p < 0.09) and H-BUP AUC by 94% (p < 0.02). Thus, CBZ markedly decreased BUP and increased H-BUP concentrations, whereas VPA did not affect BUP but increased H-BUP concentrations. Further studies are required to determine how these differential effects of CBZ and VPA on BUP pharmacokinetics influence the tolerability and efficacy of combination therapies with these agents. (J Clin Psychopharmacol 1995;15: 327-333).