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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:

Recommended Related to Bipolar Disorder

Rapid Cycling in Bipolar Disorder

Rapid cycling is a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. In rapid cycling, a person with the disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year.  It can occur at any point in the course of bipolar disorder, and can come and go over many years depending on how well the illness is treated; it is not necessarily a "permanent" or indefinite pattern of episodes.  

Read the Rapid Cycling in Bipolar Disorder article > >

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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