Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meds for Bipolar Disorder

I advise all psychiatric patients and their families to be aware of all the meds out there to treat our conditions. First, you learn THE CATEGORIES of medication, then the varieties within those categories. Not that difficult. We have:

- MOOD STABILIZERS such as lithium, Depakote, Tegretol, Trileptal (a derivative of Tegretol)

- ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS that are USED as mood stabilizers such as Geodon, Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel and the side-effect-laden Zyprexa. (Oh look, they all have side effects, who are they kidding, but Zyprexa, in my opinion, is the worst, linked w/overeating and diabetes.)

- ANTIDEPRESSANTS. These meds are also used to treat anxiety and to treat chronic pain. There are several categories of antidepressants such as:

....SSRIs (Prozac, Lexapro)
....Dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (Wellbutrin)
....Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (Effexor, Cymbalta)

....and the older antidepressants:

....MAO inhibitors (Parnate, Nardil, Seleginine)
....Tricyclics (Elavil, Sinequan)

- ANTIANXIETY MEDS like Klonopin, Ativan, Serax. These are benzodiazepines and work better than any other antianxiety meds.

- STIMULANTS. These work within 24 hours and keep people awake when their depression renders them somnolent. Use with extreme caution. Meds include Ritalin, Provigil, Adderal, Concerta.

WORDS OF CAUTION: Make sure your doctor titrates you on and off many of these meds. If not, harmful or life-threatening side effects may occur. Titrate means "wean."

Some drugs require LAB TESTS to make sure the drug doesn't impair various organs or bodily functions.

If desired, diligently research all your meds online.

Each individual has his/her own reaction to a particular drug. One size does not fit all.

Please contact the author - RuthDeming at - if you spot any errors in the above drug listing. Also feel free to refer to my previous post on Lithium and Its Alternatives.