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    Benzodiazepines for Bipolar Disorder

    Benzodiazepines rapidly help control certain manic symptoms -- such as restlessness, agitation, or insomnia -- in bipolar disorder until mood-stabilizing drugs can take effect. They are usually taken for a brief time, up to two weeks or so, with other mood-stabilizing drugs.

    Benzodiazepines slow the activity of the brain. In doing so, they can help treat mania, anxiety, panic disorder, and seizures.

    Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

    Treatments for Mania in Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder is a serious mood disorder that affects more than 10 million Americans. Unlike unipolar depression, bipolar disorder is equally common in men and women. The onset of the condition typically occurs in the early 20s, but (although rare) the first symptoms can appear in early childhood or late in life. Although some people may have only one episode, bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that usually involves recurrent episodes. It's usually marked by episodes of mania or hypomania...

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    Benzodiazepines prescribed for bipolar disorder include (among others):

    Benzodiazepine Side Effects

    Benzodiazepines act quickly and bring on a sense of calmness. They can sometimes cause lightheadedness, slurred speech, or unsteadiness.

    Possible benzodiazepine side effects include:

    Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming and addictive. It is also dangerous to combine them with alcohol or certain other medications.

    If you have been taking the benzodiazepines in high doses or for a long time, you may suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop the drug suddenly. Talk with your doctor about whether you still need the medication and, if not, how to taper off the drug.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on July 08, 2014

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