Bipolar Drugs for Managing Bipolar Disorder

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Also known as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression, bipolar disorder is an illness that can make daily functioning difficult because of the severe mood extremes, referred to as mania and depression.  Manic refers to extremely elevated moods whereas the depression is an abnormally depressed state.  Outside normal responses, these periods often last for extensive periods.  Bipolar disorder can affect a person’s behaviour, perceptions, feelings and thoughts.

It can even affect how an individual feels physically.  The goal of using bipolar drugs and therapy in the treatment and management of bipolar disorder is for the patient to live as normal and fulfilling a life as possible.

Bipolar disorder is extremely complex so can require a diverseness of bipolar drugs in treatment, with each set used to treat a particular group of symptoms.  Unfortunately, the side effects from bipolar medications are very common.  Some of these side effects become tolerable or disappear over time.  Some patients will discontinue taking their medications because of the terrible side effects.  In addition, the adverse effects from some of these drugs are very dangerous.

Drug therapy shapes the foundation for nearly all bipolar disorder treatments.  When patients enter into a stable or balanced period, some start to believe that they no longer require the drugs, which is not true.  Scientific studies show that remaining on the drugs throughout stable periods helps prevent further bipolar disorder episodes, while treating the depression and hypomania.  Both self-management and psychotherapy are crucial in helping to manage bipolar disorder.

People diagnosed with a bipolar disorder usually take several medications to treat the illness effectively because doctors do not use the same drugs to treat both depression and mania.  In addition, patients often require additional drugs to lessen the symptoms of these medications or for other bipolar problems.  The proper mix of bipolar drugs varies because the medications affect everyone differently.

Some of the more common medications used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs.  Doctors use these drugs to help prevent new mania and depression episodes, help the patient’s body discover a natural balance and allow the individuals to live as symptom free as possible. The types of bipolar drugs a patient is prescribed depends upon the doctors preference and each individual case. It is extremely important for bipolar patients to take their medications as prescribed and report any troublesome or unusual side effects immediately.

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