Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Finding the right bipolar medication regimen can be challenging for you and your doctor. For most people with bipolar disorder, two or more medications are used in combination to address the varied symptoms that are often involved.  Find information here about coping with side effects and tips for sticking to your treatment plan.

Bipolar Medications


Lithium for Bipolar Disorder

Lithium has been used for years for bipolar disorder. Find out what to expect if you’re taking lithium.

Lithium for Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar Disorder and Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants were originally used to treat seizures. Find out how they can help bipolar disorder, too.

Bipolar Disorder and Anticonvulsants


Antipsychotic Drugs for Bipolar Disorder

Did you know that some people with bipolar disorder get short- and long-term help from antipsychotic medications? Learn more here.

Antipsychotics for Bipolar Disorder


Calcium Channel Blockers for Bipolar Mania

Here’s where to learn why doctors sometimes prescribe certain of these blood pressure drugs for bipolar mania.

Calcium Channel Blockers for Bipolar Mania


Benzodiazepines for Bipolar Disorder

For short-term relief of manic symptoms, benzodiazepines can be very helpful. Here’s where to learn when, and how, they are used.

Benzodiazepines for Bipolar Disorder


Electroconvulsive Therapy for Bipolar

Current techniques are much gentler than what you’ve seen in the movies. Discover why doctors sometimes recommend this treatment for bipolar disorder.

Electroconvulsive Therapy for Bipolar Disorder


Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder

Find out how antidepressants can help bipolar disorder — and when they shouldn’t be used.

Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder


Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft for Bipolar Disorder

The so-called SSRI antidepressants are sometimes used to treat depression in people with bipolar disorder, although their safety and efficacy in bipolar disorder is controversial.

Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft for Bipolar Disorder


MAOI Antidepressants and Bipolar Disorder

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are unique antidepressants — including Emsam, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate — that are often avoided yet under-utilized for depression associated with bipolar disorder. Here’s more information about how they work and their unique safety concerns.


MAOI Antidepressants and Bipolar Disorder


Effexor, Remeron, and Wellbutrin for Bipolar Disorder

The “atypical” antidepressants may have a role in treating bipolar depression. Find out more.

Effexor, Remeron, Wellbutrin for Bipolar Disorder


Tricyclic Antidepressants and Bipolar Depression

The older tricyclic antidepressants are only rarely recommended for patients with bipolar depression. Learn more about these drugs.

Tricyclic Antidepressants and Bipolar Depression


Maintenance Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Once a depressive or manic phase is under control, people with bipolar disorder often continue treatment that keeps them on an even keel. Learn more here.

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