Skip to content

    Bipolar Disorder Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Bipolar Disorder - Medications

    Medicines, when taken as prescribed, can help control bipolar mood swings. Your doctor will vary the amounts and combinations of your medicines according to your symptoms, which type of bipolar disorder you have, and how you respond to the medicines.

    About 1 out of 3 people will be completely free of symptoms of bipolar disorder by taking mood stabilizer medicine, such as carbamazepine or lithium, for life.5

    Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

    Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

    People with bipolar disorder often have cycles of elevated and depressed mood that fit the description of "manic depression." When a person's illness follows this classic pattern, diagnosing bipolar disorder is relatively easy. But bipolar disorder can be sneaky. Symptoms can defy the expected manic-depressive sequence. Infrequent episodes of mild mania or hypomania can go undetected. Depression can overshadow other aspects of the illness. And substance abuse can cloud the picture. Taken together,...

    Read the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder article > >

    Taking medicines during pregnancy for bipolar disorder may increase the risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor. You may need to keep taking medicine if your bipolar disorder is severe. Your doctor can help weigh the risks of treatment against the risk of harm to your pregnancy.

    Medicine choices

    Several medicines are used to treat bipolar disorder. It may take time to find the treatment that works best for you. The most common medicines used are:

    Medicines and your lifestyle

    When you and your doctor are discussing your medicines, think about whether your lifestyle allows you to take medicines on time every day. A medicine you only take once a day may work best for you if you have a hard time remembering to take your medicines.

    During your doctor's appointment, ask about:

    • The side effects of each medicine.
    • How often you will need to take the medicines.
    • How the medicines may interact with other medicines you are taking.
    • Whether it's important to take the medicines at the same time every day.
    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    lunar eclipse
    Signs of mania and depression.
    Pills on blank prescription paper
    Learn about this popular bipolar disorder medication.
     
    serious looking young woman
    Assess your symptoms.
    teen girl in bad mood
    How is each one different?
     
    Feeling Ups and Downs
    ASSESSMENT
    Bipolar or Schizo
    Article
     
    Foods to Avoid
    Article
    Man being scolded by his shadow
    Article
     
    lunar eclipse
    Slideshow
    depressed man
    Article
     
    young women not speaking
    Article
    man talking with therapist
    Article