Bipolar Disorder Medication

Which types of bipolar disorder medications are best? The answer is, it depends. The severity of ones condition as well as how often they experience episodes will help determine which type of medication is best. The types of symptoms a person has will also have an effect on which medications a doctor or psychologist will prescribe. For example, a person who has become delusional and who is experiencing hallucinations will likely be given some sort of antipsychotic drug, such as Abilify and Thorazine, to get the under control.

Classes of Bipolar Disorder Medications


A person with bipolar disorder will experience extremely high highs and low, lows. They might be extremely exuberant, energetic, bouncing off of the walls and unable to focus or concentrate one day and a short time later, unable to get out of bed, intensely morose and unmotivated. It is when an individual’s behavior is characterized by the latter that an antidepressant may be of help. When antidepressants are successful, they help to improve a person’s mood so that it is not as dark and down.


Some people when experiencing a bipolar episode will experience either such intense manic or depression that they begin to hallucinate or become delusional. This is quite dangerous when either behavior occurs. It is, thus, important to manage these symptoms. Individuals may be immediately given antipsychotics or may be asked to take them on a continual basis if they are prone to this particular mood disorder (psychosis) or have experienced some type of episode in the past.


Anticonvulsants may not have been specifically designed to treat individuals with bipolar disorder but doctors have found that it can sometimes be effective. Anticonvulsants, for some reason, tend to act as mood stabilizers, helping individuals not to get too high or too low, which is exactly what happens to a person with bipolar disorder. They have intense mood swings between feelings of great happiness and great sadness. Anticonvulsants can sometimes help to stabilize a person’s mood.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers help bring someone down who has become manic. Again, a manic episode is one which is characterized by extreme energy, positive mood, the inability to focus on one thing. Individuals are often willing to take more risks during this period. They might also begin to entertain feelings of grandiosity. Calcium channel blockers can sometimes help to flatten out a person with bipolar disorder’s emotions. This type of medication is not prescribed a great deal for this purpose but sometimes it is.

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers help to prevent a person from psychologically getting too high or too low. The most popular mood stabilizer prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder is lithium. It was the first medication created specifically for bipolar disorder and is one of the primary drugs used today for the bipolar disorder treatment.

Medication is one of the strongest weapons in a doctor’s arsenal is the war against bipolar disorder. Medication is almost always a part of a treatment plan for someone with manic depressive disorder. Common types of medication utilized include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and sometimes calcium channel blockers.