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What medications are used as maintenance therapy for bipolar disorder?

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Aripiprazole (Abilify), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lithium, olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) Consta, and quetiapine (Seroquel) or ziprasidone (Geodon), (either one in combination with lithium or valproate) are the only drugs that have been approved by the FDA specifically for maintenance therapy for bipolar disorder. These medications can differ in their ability to prevent manic versus depressive episodes, as well as in their side effects. However, many other drugs used to treat manic episodes are also used for maintenance treatment.

These drugs include:

A combination of these drugs may also be used.

  • Antipsychotic medication
  • Antidepressants
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Valproate (Depakote)

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

SOURCES: WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)." WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment.  National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."   Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.  MedicineNet: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."  WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression." American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."






Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on November 7, 2017

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What drugs used to treat manic episodes are also used as maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder?

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