First of all, bipolar disorder is defined as a disorder where there are alternating periods of elevated or irritable moods, called mania, with periods of depression. These periods between mania and depression don’t have a defined time and can be very abrupt.
It’s also called manic depressive illness, and is treated with mood stabilizers.
Generally antidepressants and antipsychotics are used with mood stabilizers.
One mood stabilizer is Lithium and it was one of the first mood stabilizers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1970’s for treatment of depressive and manic episodes.
Some Mood Stabilizers are:
- Anticonvulsant medications- developed for treating seizures
- Valproic Acid- These are also called as Divalproex Sodium (Depakote)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
These are used to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder:
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)– which helps people with severe or psychotic depression,
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)– which can be taken as a pill or as a shot
- Risperidone (Risperdal)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon) * Clozapine (Clorazil)– often used for people who do not respond to anticonvulsants or lithium
These are used to treat symptoms of depression in bipolar disorder. Some of them which are used include:
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
People having bipolar disorder should not consume antidepressants on their own. If done, it can result in anything from depression to mania. This is dangerous and very harmful. In order to lower these dangers, doctors give antidepressants with either mood stabilizers or an antipsychotic.
Not all have the same side effects, but some of them include:
- Excessive Thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Slurred Speech
- Itching, rash
- Changes in Vision
- Heartbeat could be slow, fast or even irregular
- Swelling of body portion
- Itching, rashes
Therefore, if a person is treated with Lithium then they must visit their doctor for a proper check-up of the kidneys and thyroid.
Some Side Effects Valproic acid/Divalproex sodium:
- Stomach Pain
- Changes in Weight
- Loss of Appetite
Valproic Acid could be dangerous as it may damage the pancreas or liver, so people must visit their doctor for any such symptoms. Valproic Acid can result in PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in women. PCOS affects fertility, making menstrual cycles irregular. These symptoms vanish when Valproic Acid is stopped.
Lamotrigine can cause skin rashes. These rashes can cause permanent disability or be life-threatening. In addition, Lamotrigine, Valproic acid, Oxcarbazepine Carbamazepine, and other anticonvulsant medications have a FDA warning. The warning states that their use may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Medications- Bipolar Disorder
You must consult your doctor to get proper treatment, as it may vary from person to person. There is no cure, but treatment can help some people. The treatment works well when it is continuous, and not inconsistent. It is mandatory to maintain a chart so you can watch the patterns and events happening in day to day life.
Medications for bipolar disorders are serious and can affect person to the maximum. A regular check up is a must so that if there is any possibility of disease then that also could be cured.