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What are some of the drugs that help treat bipolar disorder?

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Valproic acid (Depakote) is a mood stabilizer that is helpful in treating the manic or mixed phases of bipolar disorder, along with carbamazepine (Equetro), another antiepileptic drug. These drugs may be used alone or in combination with lithium to control symptoms. In addition, newer drugs are coming into the picture when traditional medications are insufficient. Lamotrigine(Lamictal), another antiepileptic drug, has been shown to prevent depression and, to a lesser degree, manias or hypomanias.

Other antiepileptic drugs, such as gabapentin(Neurontin), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or topiramate (Topamax), are regarded as experimental treatments that sometimes help with symptoms of bipolar disorder or other conditions that often occur with it.

Haloperidol (Haldol Decanoate) or other newer antipsychotic medications, such as aripiprazole (Abilify), asenapine (Saphris), olanzapine (Zyprexa, Zyprexa Relprevv, and Zyprexa Zydis) or risperidone(Risperdal), are often given to patients as an alternative to lithium or divalproex. They also may be given to treat acute symptoms of mania -- particularly psychosis -- before lithium or divalproex (Depakote) can take full effect, which may be from one to several weeks. Another antipsychotic, lurasidone (Latuda), is approved for use in bipolar I depression as is the combination of olanzapine plus fluoxetine (called Symbyax). The antipsychotic quetiapine (Seroquel) is approved to treat bipolar I or II depression. Preliminary studies also suggest that the atypical antipsychotic cariprazine (Vraylar) also may have value for treating bipolar depression

SOURCES: 

American Psychiatry Association: 5.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Kupfer, J. (editor). ., Current Psychiatry, 2004.  Bipolar Depression The Clinician's Reference Guide

Geddes, JR. , 2004.  American Journal of Psychiatry

McElroy SL. 2004. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 

Sidor, MM. 2012 Dec. Curr Psychiatry Rep.,

Tohen, M. , 2003Arch Gen Psychiatry

Tränkner, A. ., 2013.Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat

Salvi, V. , 2008. J. Clin Psychiatry

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

 

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 8, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Psychiatry Association: 5.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Kupfer, J. (editor). ., Current Psychiatry, 2004.  Bipolar Depression The Clinician's Reference Guide

Geddes, JR. , 2004.  American Journal of Psychiatry

McElroy SL. 2004. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 

Sidor, MM. 2012 Dec. Curr Psychiatry Rep.,

Tohen, M. , 2003Arch Gen Psychiatry

Tränkner, A. ., 2013.Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat

Salvi, V. , 2008. J. Clin Psychiatry

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

 

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 8, 2017

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Can the drugs that are used to treat bipolar disorder be dangerous?

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