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Tricyclic Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder

Older tricyclic antidepressants used for treating bipolar disorder may be more likely to trigger a manic episode or rapid cycling than other depression drugs. They are prescribed with mood stabilizers to minimize this chance.

Tricyclic antidepressants include:

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WebMD’s Bipolar Support Group Living with bipolar disorder? Share your tips on coping with heightened feelings of well-being and depression, as well as common medication and treatment options. Depressed & Bipolar Kids: Family Support Does your child suffer from depression or bipolar disorder? If so, you both need support from family and friends. Join other parents and family members here to discuss treatments and challenges of raising a child who has depression...

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Tricyclic antidepressants work by increasing levels of the mood chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. However, because they increase the risk of mania or rapid cycling -- as well as heart problems if you take heart medication -- these drugs are not always recommended for bipolar disorder.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on October 02, 2012

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