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Bipolar Disorder and Foods to Avoid

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What About Alcohol and Bipolar Disorder?

Instructions for most psychiatric medications warn users not to drink alcohol, but people with bipolar disorder frequently abuse alcohol and other drugs. The abuse is possibly an attempt to self-medicate or to treat their disturbing mood symptoms, and they may also cause mood symptoms that can mimic those of bipolar disorder.

Alcohol is a depressant. That is why many people use it as a tranquilizer at the end of a hard day or as an assist for tense social situations. While some patients stop drinking when they are depressed, it is more common that someone with bipolar disorder drinks during low moods. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with bipolar disorder are five times more likely to develop alcohol misuse and dependence than the rest of the population.

The link between bipolar disorder and substance abuse is explosive. Alcohol is a leading trigger of depressive episodes in many people who are genetically vulnerable for depression or bipolar disorder. About 15% of all adults who have a psychiatric illness in any given year also experience a substance use disorder at the same time. Substance use disorders can seriously disrupt efforts to treat bipolar disorder and often may require their own forms of treatment

Can I Drink Grapefruit Juice While on Bipolar Drugs?

Be careful. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with your bipolar medication. Grapefruit juice may increase the blood levels of certain bipolar medications. This includes some anticonvulsants. Taking benzodiazepines -- Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan -- with grapefruit juice may cause excessive impairment and even toxicity.

 

 

Should I Take Bipolar Medication With or Without Food?

Each bipolar medication is different. So talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking the first dose. Some bipolar drugs can be taken with or without food. Others (such as Latuda or Geodon) are better absorbed into your system when taken with food or are less effective if taken with food (such as Saphris). Your doctor or pharmacist can pull the latest recommendations on taking the bipolar medication so you can safely take the medicine and get the full benefit of the drug.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on September 11, 2014
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