These updated guidelines are based on a first edition that was published in 2003, and have been edited and updated with the available scientific evidence until end of 2008. Their purpose is to supply a systematic overview of all scientific evidence pertaining to the treatment of acute mania in adults. The data used for these guidelines have been extracted from a MEDLINE and EMBASE search, from the clinical trial database clinicaltrials.gov, from recent proceedings of key conferences, and from various national and international treatment guidelines. Their scientific rigor was categorised into six levels of evidence (A-F). As these guidelines are intended for clinical use, the scientific evidence was finally asigned different grades of recommendation to ensure practicability.