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How do you treat bipolar disorder?

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Typically, bipolar disorder treatment is a combination of medication -- at least one mood-stabilizing drug or atypical antipsychotic -- plus psychotherapy.

Because it's hard to predict how you'll react to a drug or what the dosage should be, your doctor will often need to try several different medications when you start treatment. Two widely used drugs are lithium carbonate and valproic acid (divalproex or Depakote).

Other treatments include:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Vagus or vagal nerve stimulation (VNS)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Light therapy

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 08, 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 08, 2017

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

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