Current pharmacotherapy for bipolar disorder is generally unsatisfactory for a large number of patients. Even with adequate modern bipolar pharmacological therapies, many afflicted individuals continue to have persistent mood episode relapses, residual symptoms, functional impairment, and psychosocial disability. Creating novel therapeutics for bipolar disorder is urgently needed. Promising drug targets and compounds for bipolar disorder worthy of further study include both systems and intracellular pathways and targets. Specifically, the purinergic system, the dynorphin opioid neuropeptide system, the cholinergic system (muscarinic and nicotinic systems), the melatonin and serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2C] system, the glutamatergic system, and the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis have all been implicated. Intracellular pathways and targets worthy of further study include glycogen synthase kinase-3 protein, protein kinase C, and the arachidonic acid cascade.