Mood stabilizers have evolved considerably over the past decade. Lithium, divalproex, and olanzapine are currently Food and Drug Administration-approved for the treatment of acute mania. A number of new and traditional medications have also been tested and are commonly used in clinical practice. Several strategies for managing treatment-resistant mania have been suggested, but few have been rigorously tested. Emphases on rapid stabilization and fewer side effects have raised the bar for what is expected from mood stabilizers and the successful treatment of mania involves a delicate balance between swiftness, short-term tolerability, and long-term safety.