Learning About Different Bipolar Depression Medications

Bipolar depression is a very complicated disease with numerous symptoms associated with both bouts of psychotic mania and episodes of severe depression. This illness can be quite difficult to treat because some people have a more serious case of the condition than others. However in the vast majority of cases bipolar depression medication is needed to reduce the severity and frequency of the episodes of mania and depression. In some cases bipolar depression medication is enough to stop an individual from feeling manic or depressed. Bipolar depressives who do not take medication tend to get worse over time. There are different kinds of bipolar depression medication that are used to treat the condition.

Mood Stabilizers Are First Bipolar Depression Medications

Mood stabilizers are often the first bipolar depression medications prescribed after diagnosis of the illness. Mood stabilizers that are commonly used to treat bipolar depression include lithium carbonate, carbamazepine, diralproex sodium, valproate sodium and lamotrigine. These medications work by balancing certain neurotransmitters in the brain that impact human behavior and emotions. This can effectively prevent or reduce the severity of periods of mania and depression in bipolar patients.

Potential side effects associated with mood stabilizing bipolar depression medications include nausea, trembling, frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight gain and drowsiness. Mood stabilizers should not be taken by women who are pregnant or hoping to conceive a child. People who use mood stabilizers should never stop taking them suddenly. High levels of lithium in the blood can be toxic so frequent tests will be needed by anyone who takes it.

Antipsychotics Are Bipolar Depression Medications Prescribe To Decrease The Symptoms

Antipsychotic bipolar depression medications are prescribed to decrease or eliminate the symptoms associated with phases of psychotic mania by balancing specific neurotransmitters. Antipsychotics such as aripoprazole, ziprasidone, risperidone and quetiapine are often prescribed to treat bipolar disorder. Potential side effects include a dry mouth, drowsiness, muscle spasms, facial tics and rapid weight gain.

Antidepressants Are Frequently Bipolar Depression Medications

Antidepressants are another frequently prescribed bipolar depression medication. These antidepressants are called serotonin reuptake inhibitors and they are used to treat the depressive phases of bipolar disorder. Fluoxetine, sertraline and paroxetine are the antidepressants that are most often prescribed. These antidepressants can cause the onset of a manic phase which is why they must always be prescribed in conjunction with a mood stabilizing drug. The side effects associated with antidepressant bipolar depression medications are sexual dysfunction, rashes, nausea, dry mouth and constipation.

Sedative Medications Are Generally Used To Bipolar Depression Medications

The sedatives that are generally used to treat bipolar depression are benzodiazepines like diazepam and lorazepam. These reduce the symptoms of bipolar depression anxiety that people going through a manic phase can experience. They may also help a manic individual to get some sleep. Sedative bipolar depression medications carry a risk of dependency. Possible side effects include drowsiness, memory disturbance, blurred vision, muscle weakness, slurred speech, stomach upset and unsteadiness on the feet.

Calcium Channel Blockers May Help In Bipolar Depression Medications

Recent research indicates that calcium channel blockers may help people with bipolar disorder. Calcium channel blockers such as verapamil, nimopodene and diltiazem are usually used to treat hypertension, angina and arrhythmia. Calcium channel blockers can be used instead of lithium during pregnancy to subdue manic episodes. They may also help with the side effects associated with antipsychotics. Side effects can include skin rashes, hair loss, increased appetite, weight gain and breathing problems.