Medications for Bipolar Disorder You Should Know
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Finding the proper medicine to treat your bipolar disorder might be as important as finding the right pair of eyeglasses. Your perception of yourself and the world around you may become distorted as a result of having bipolar disorder; nevertheless, the drugs may assist you in regaining your sense of perspective.
Medication is typically an important component of any treatment plan that is developed. They won’t be able to cure you, but they will assist you in maintaining a healthy mood so that you can carry out the activities that are necessary and those that you desire.
Which Medicine Is the Best for Bipolar Disorder?
The condition known as bipolar disorder can be treated with a wide variety of different medications. Some people seek treatment for the intense highs of mania, while others try to alleviate the symptoms of sadness. You might take the medicine one at a time or you might take several of them all at once.
The treatment for bipolar disorder that is most effective for the patient is considered to be the best. Collaborate with your healthcare provider to choose the drug regimen that will be most beneficial to your recovery.
Even if a significant amount of time has passed since the last manic or depressive episode that you experienced, it is possible for you to continue taking the drugs prescribed to you for years or even decades. This kind of treatment is known as maintenance therapy, and it helps to stop symptoms from returning.
What exactly is meant by the term “mood-stabilizing medication”?
Medications that treat and prevent extreme highs (mania) and lows are referred to as mood stabilizers (depression). They can also help you keep your moods in check so that they don’t get in the way of your work, school, or social life.
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol)
- Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Valproic acid (Depakene)
Some of these medications, such as carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and valproic acid, are classified as anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants are medications that are also used to treat seizure disorders.
However, not all of these substances produce the same side effects. Some, like lithium, are more effective than others in treating manic episodes. Some, like lamotrigine, may be more effective than others in treating depression.
It is important to keep in mind that the term “mood stabilizer” can sometimes be deceiving. Even if you take one, you may find that your mood shifts unexpectedly throughout the day. These medications are used to treat complete episodes of mania or depression, which can last anywhere from several days to many weeks at a time.
Other Mood-Stabilizing Medicines
Antipsychotic medicines are another type of drug that is frequently used in the treatment of the bipolar disorder. You can take them by themselves or in combination with mood stabilizers to get help for manic symptoms. Among these medications are:
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Loxapine (Loxitane) or loxapine inhaled (Adasuve)
Today, doctors may prescribe newer antipsychotic drugs, including:
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Asenapine (Saphris)
- Cariprazine (Vraylar)
- Lumateperone (Caplyta)
- Lurasidone (Latuda)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Olanzapine/samidorphan (Lybalvi)
- Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)
- Risperidone (Risperdal)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon)
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Medicines for Bipolar Depression
The majority of the time, mental health professionals will begin treating a bipolar disorder by providing medicine that stabilizes mood, such as lithium. However, the FDA has also given its approval to the following medications for the treatment of bipolar depression:
Combinations of fluoxetine and the antipsychotic medications olanzapine (Symbyax), lumateperone (Caplyta), and lurasidone (Latuda). You might take it by itself, or you could take it in combination with lithium or valproic acid.
Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)
Traditional antidepressants have been known to bring on episodes of mania in certain patients. If you take one, your primary care physician needs to keep a careful eye on you because of the danger involved.
Will the Medicine Work for Me?
Your mental health professional will not be able to tell you how well a certain medication for bipolar disorder will work for you. To find the method that works best for you, it is possible that you will need to experiment with a number of various sorts as well as varying doses. And doing so may take some time.
It may be difficult, but you shouldn’t give up on it. Together with your physician, you should eventually be able to come up with a prescription that is effective for you.
Hints Regarding Medication
If you suffer from bipolar disorder, making sure you take your medicine on a consistent basis is really important. Always remember to take it at the same time each day. It will be much simpler for you to remember if you incorporate it into one of your regular routines, such as brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or getting ready for bed. You can check to determine if you have skipped a dose by using a weekly pillbox.
Make sure you discuss the optimal time of day to take your medication for bipolar disorder with either your pharmacist or your primary care physician. It is recommended to take some of them first thing in the morning or before going to bed, while others should be taken with meals or after meals.
Make sure you are familiar with the protocol to follow in the event that you forget to take a dosage. Ask your doctor. Do not automatically believe that increasing your efforts would be beneficial.
Side Effects of Medications for Bipolar Disorder
Medication for bipolar disorder, like any other type of medication, may induce unwanted side effects. They are different for everyone because of the many medications that people take. These potential adverse consequences include, among others:
- Nausea \sTremors
- Hair loss
- Sexual troubles
- Gain in weight
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Ache in the guts
- Reactions on the skin
Certain drugs have the potential to alter the function of your liver as well as the number of white blood cells and platelets in your blood. In order to guarantee your continued good health, you might need to submit to testing on a regular basis. The antipsychotic medication known as ziprasidone (Geodon) has been associated with a rare but potentially life-threatening cutaneous reaction known as DRESS syndrome (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms).
After a few weeks of treatment, the majority of adverse effects will no longer be present. Visit a physician if you continue to feel unwell after doing it. Do not automatically think that you have no choice but to bear the negative repercussions. Your primary care physician may be able to adjust your dosage, provide you with a different drug to help reduce the adverse effects, or suggest that you try an entirely different medication.
Maintain the Course of Your Treatment.
The medications used to treat bipolar illness are powerful pharmaceuticals, and it is imperative that you take them in accordance with your physician’s instructions. You should never discontinue taking a medication without first getting clearance from your primary care physician. It’s not always safe to do so.
It’s possible that as you start to feel better, you’ll make the decision that you no longer need to take your prescription. However, you should not do it unless it is recommended by your physician. If treatment is only given during manic episodes, it is possible that this will not be enough to prevent symptoms from returning.
The majority of people find that taking maintenance medication between manic and depressive episodes reduces the frequency and severity of manic and depressive episodes. If you’ve been feeling better as of late, it’s probably because the medication you’ve been taking is doing its job. Therefore, do not give up.