What Medications Work Best for Bipolar Disorder

What type of Medications work best For bipolar disorder

Nowadays, to treat bipolar disorder, many treatments and medications are given to patients. However, these have numerous side effects. The most effective medication for bipolar depression is mood stabilizer drugs

In this type of medication, a health care agent may advise an antimanic drug, lithium or an antipsychotic drug. Sometimes, the medication of the above disorder includes a combination of both drugs. These are proven best to reduce the symptoms of bipolar depression in medical history.

This disease has a significant effect on the lives of patients, and very few treatments are there to treat it well. This article discusses the different bipolar medication lists and treatments for depression.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Manic depression is another name for bipolar disorder is an acute mental illness. The main symptom of this disease is unusual mood changes. The patient suffers from highs and lows, also known as mania and depression, respectively, for a few days or many weeks. 

Which Treatment is Best For Bipolar Disorder?

Mood stabilizers for bipolar such as lithium and anticonvulsants are the off label treatment of this disease. These are considered one of the best treatments to control mood swings/disorders in bipolar disorder. However, none of them is proven first-line treatments through the FDA.

According to specialized doctors of mental illness, mood stabilizers can be made more effective with the addition of antidepressants. In contrast, research shows that adding antidepressants with mood stabilizers is frequently not effective to treat bipolar depression.

The main purpose of mood-stabilizing is to improve social interaction, behaviour and bipolar mood states like depression and mania. FDA approved medications to treat bipolar depression includes lithium, valproate, atypical antipsychotic and carbamazepine. The American psychiatric association recommended these are the effective medications for treating one or more phases of bipolar disorder.

Some patients recover with a single mood stabilizer. At the same time, the depressed mood of many people recovers with the addition of an atypical antipsychotic.

Antidepressants to Treat Bipolar Depression.

It proves effective medication for those who suffer from unipolar disorder. In contrast, antidepressants do not treat bipolar depression well, so they should not be given alone to cure depression and mania.

If the patient is treated with a single antistress medication, it may increase the risk factor of manic episodes. That is why bipolar disorder can not be treated with monotherapy or antidepressants. According to NIMH solo mood stabilizer effectively treats patients with bipolar depression. In contrast, the addition of antistress medication did not boost improvement further.

Antipsychotic Medications to Treat Bipolar Disorders

It is also found that some antipsychotic drugs prove helpful to treat bipolar disorders. 

Short-term treatment of this disease includes a medication named quetiapine. Many other options are considered to cure this mental illness, such as olanzapine with fluoxetine. 

To treat bipolar disorder, atypical antipsychotic lurasidone is sometimes taken alone or combined with lithium or valproate. One of the off-label options to cure this disease is cariprazine. These medications improve the mood and behaviour of patients who have mental illnesses. It works by affecting neurotransmitters, also called receptors.

Central Nervous System Depressants Help With Bipolar Disorder

Benzodiazepines are included in these depressants that act on neurotransmitters. It typically slows down normal brain function. Central nervous system depressants (CNS) cure sleep chaos and apprehension. However, it is also an alternative treatment to cure mania. These bipolar medications names are: 

  • Clonazepam
  • Lorazepam 
  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam

These are only used to cure sleep disorders during acute depression. They are only used to minimize the risk of drug withdrawal.

Electroconvulsive Therapy to Treat Bipolar Depression

American psychiatrists recommend the ECT treatment to cure severe depression. It is the preferred way to adopt this medication for those patients who suffer from psychotic symptoms. It is suggested for those who are at very high risk of suicide.

 Those who are not recovered with other treatments are suggested to treat with ECT. This therapy involves the electrical stimulation of the brain. Most pregnant women who tolerate mania or severe depression benefit from this therapy. You have to discuss the pros and cons of ECT with your doctor.

Psychotherapy to Treat Bipolar Depression

Psychotherapy may prove beneficial in the medication history of bipolar disorders. This therapy aims to inform the patients how they effectively manage their interpersonal problems. This also encouraged the people suffering from bipolar disorder to stay on medication. It also helps to improve the lifestyle habits of patients. According to the STEP-BD study, bipolar medications with different therapy can significantly enhance recovery. This therapy includes:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy 
  • Social rhythm therapy 
  • Family-focused therapy etc


Along with medication, this therapy gives better results as compared to those who did not take it with treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is a special way to change people’s thinking style who suffer from depression and mania.

Social rhythm therapy

It improves the interaction of people with others. It also proves beneficial to schedule the daily routine of patients.

Family-focused Therapy

It trains patients on how to communicate well. Family-focused therapy also helps in various problem-solving techniques.

Side Effects of Bipolar Medications

Some typical side effects of these medications involve:

  • Constipation 
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors 
  • Indigestion 
  • Hair loss
  • Headache 
  • Dry mouth

It is compulsory to discuss with your doctor to regulate your drug therapy. A variety of people have different symptoms of bipolar disorders.

Bipolar and Medications

Wrap Up

There is no secret formula to cure bipolar depression, but various medications are used to treat this problem. The right way to select the effective medication may involve some time. The correct path to treat bipolar disorders depends on your goals. 

However, the purpose of the treatment is to lessen the severity of depression. It also helps to manage patients’ daily activities such that they enjoy the happiness of life. Bipolar medication also reduces the chances of self-harm and suicide. 

Encourage them about medications and treatments if you know any such patients. We hope the medication mentioned above gives you the path of treating bipolar disorders well.

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