Bipolar Pharmacotherapy Options

Doctors and mental health professionals have a lot of pharmacotherapy options at their disposal when they are attempting to treat individuals with bipolar disorder. Some of the most common include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic, anti-depressant and anticonvulsant drugs. Calcium channel blockers may be used as well.

Depression Medication Options

Mood Stabilizers: Mood stabilizers are used to help stabilize a person with bipolar disorders mood, hence the name. They are especially effective in tempering manic. This is the portion of the condition characterized by extreme amounts of energy, happiness, grandiosity, intense optimism. It is during this time that individuals may make decisions that they end up regretting once they “come down.”  Mood stabilizers also have some anti-depressant effects as well, which helps to lift the person’s mood.

Antipsychotic Drugs: Antipsychotic drugs help to relieve psychotic behaviors that sometimes occur when a person experiences extreme feelings of manic and depression. Examples of psychotic experiences include delusions and hallucinations. Psychosis doesn’t always occur but it does sometimes. When it does, it is crucial that individuals be treated or they are at a greater risk for doing harm to themselves or someone else. Examples of antipsychotic drugs used for this purpose include Abilify, Seroquel and Sumbax.

Anti-depressant: Antidepressants are sometimes used in concert with mood disorders. While the latter mainly help temper mania, anti-depressants can help treat a person with manic depressive disorder when they are experiencing a depressive episode. The classes of anti-depressants used to treat bipolar disorder include SSRIs, MAOIs, Tricyclics SNRIs and Atypical antidepressants.

Calcium Channel Blockers: Calcium channel blockers are not regularly given to individuals with bipolar disorder. In fact, they tend to be only a small part of a treatment plan for this condition, if used at all. When they are utilized, they are given to help prevent the manic part of the disorder. Calcium Channel Blockers sometimes used for this purpose include Norvasc, Calan and Nimotop.

Anticonvulsants: Anticonvulsants are designed to treat individuals that suffer from seizure disorders. However, it has been discovered that they can also effectively treat individuals with bipolar disorders. They act as mood stabilizers and help to temper or control the highs and lows a person with this disorder experiences. Anticonvulsant drugs which may be used for this purpose include Gabitril, Topamax and Lamictal.

A doctor treating a patient with bipolar disorder will have many pharmacotherapy options. This is quite advantageous for those with the mental condition because it means that the doctor will have lots of options when it comes to bipolar medication. If one thing or medication doesn’t work, something else can be prescribed. Because not everything will work for everyone, having a wide range of options improves the likelihood that the doctor will be able to come up with something that works.  Some combinations of medications will prove effective for some people but not for everyone. It will often take some experimentation before a doctor is able to find a combo that works for a particular patient. Common types of medication for a person with bipolar disorder include anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, anti-depressants, antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers.