Bipolar Disorder Medication

Medication in use for bipolar people

From Wikipedia

Bipolar Disorder Medication

Sodium valproate is a common mood stabilizer

Lithium is one of many treatments for bipolar disorder.

A number of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder. The medication with the best evidence is lithium, which is effective in treating acute manic episodes, and preventing relapses, more so for manic than for depressive episodes. Lithium reduces the risk of suicide, self-harm, and death in people with bipolar disorder.

Four anticonvulsants are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Carbamazepine is effective in treating manic episodes, with some evidence it has greater benefit in rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, or those with more psychotic symptoms or a more schizoaffective clinical picture. It is less effective in
preventing relapse than lithium. Carbamazepine became a popular treatment option for bipolar in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but was displaced by sodium valproate in the 1990s, which has become a commonly prescribed treatment, and is effective in treating manic episodes. Lamotrigine has some efficacy in treating bipolar depression, and this benefit is greatest in more severe depression. It has also been shown to have some benefit in preventing further episodes, though there are concerns about the studies done, and is of no benefit in rapid cycling disorder. The effectiveness of topiramate is unknown. Depending on the severity of the case, anticonvulsants may be used in combination with lithium or on their own.

Antipsychotic medications are effective for short-term treatment of bipolar manic episodes and appear to be superior to lithium and anticonvulsants for this purpose. However, other medications such as lithium are preferred for long-term use. Olanzapine is effective in preventing relapses, although the evidence is not as solid as for lithium. Antidepressants have not been found to be of any benefit over that found with mood stabilizers.

Short courses of benzodiazepines may be used in addition to other medications until mood stabilizing become effective.

Alternative medicine

The addition of omega 3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects on depressive symptoms, although studies have been scarce and of variable quality.

Manic Depressive Disorder Medication

12 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder Medication

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