Bipolar Depression Treatment Options and Medication

Help With Bipolar Depression Treatments

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is marked by the rapid and frequent fluctuations of a person’s mood swings between mania and depression.

Bipolar disorder can be very difficult to live with…not only for the individual but also for their family.

The person may be extremely jubilant and hyperactive one moment and deeply depressed the next.

Bipolar Treatment Medications

The most common form of bipolar depression treatment is medication or mood stabilizers. Antidepressants are among the most frequently prescribed medications, followed closely by anticonvulsants, which are also used as mood stabilizers.

  • Antidepressants

Antidepressants may be administered by your doctor to treat symptoms of bipolar depression. A few examples are Fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft).

  • Anticonvulsant Medications

Experts find that antipsychotic drugs may play a role in the treatment of bipolar depression. Seroquel and Seroquel XR are used for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Another effective drug with rapid onset for the treatment of bipolar depression is Symbyax, a combination medication of the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa ( olanzapine) and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Prozac ( fluoxetine), an antidepressant.

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CNS depressants are commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders and may be an effective alternative or adjunctive therapy in some bipolar patients with acute mania.

Some commonly used benzodiazepines include clonazepam ( Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium). These drugs are all habit-forming/addictive and must be used only during the acute phase of the illness and not as long-term medications. Source

Before your doctor can prescribe any form of treatment, they will need to conduct a thorough examination, including a physical checkup and an interrogation of the patient’s family or close friends regarding recent behaviors.

Once you start taking any sort of depression medication as part of your treatment, it is crucial that you keep taking the medication and be monitored closely by your doctor. Abrupt cessation of usage can result in severe side effects.

During the first two days of using the medication, your doctor may ask you to be very observant about your own reactions to any prescribed medication.

It is also important to note that most bipolar depression treatments do come with negative side effects. Some medications used for treating bipolar disorder have been linked to unique and serious symptoms, which are described below.

For example Lithium can cause several side effects, and some of them may become serious. They include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blackouts
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Fast, slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Changes in vision
  • Itching, rash
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs. Source

Just remember that if you wish to stop taking a particular medication you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes.

  • Therapy

Anyone suffering with bipolar depression disorder will also be recommended to visit with a psychiatrist. Counseling sessions are extremely beneficial, also for the family. Therapy and medication are the two main treatments used for this disorder.

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.

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