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What are the Types of Bipolar Medications?

What are the Types of Bipolar Medications?

Treatment for bipolar disorder has come a long way. Medications are an essential part of the treatment plan. They won’t cure you but they can help you keep your moods in balance, allowing you to focus on the things you need and want to.

What are the types of medications used to treat bipolar disorder?

Medical and mental health professionals prescribe several different types of drugs to treat bipolar disorder. Some address the extreme highs of mania and others treat the extreme lows of depression. Some sufferers take one drug at a time, others may take a few at the same time. It’s important enough to mention again—bipolar medications aren’t curative, but used under the proper direction and care, they can be effective in alleviating symptoms.

Mood-Stabilizing Medication

Mood stabilizers treat and prevent highs (mania) and lows (depression). They also help keep your moods from interfering with work, school, or your social life.

Mood-stabilizing medications include:

  • Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol)
  • Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Lithium
  • Valproic acid (Depakene)

Antipsychotic Medications

Drugs called antipsychotic medications are also common in bipolar treatment plans. They can be taken alone or with mood stabilizers to help with symptoms of mania. These drugs include:

  • Haloperidol (Haldol)
  • Loxapine (Loxitane) or loxapine inhaled (Adasuve)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)

Benzodiazepine Medications

If you have sleep problems along with bipolar symptoms, you may be prescribed a type of drug called a benzodiazepine. Often used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, benzodiazepines can sometimes be part of bipolar treatment, too. Common benzodiazepines include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)

Medicines for Bipolar Depression

Doctors will start bipolar treatment by prescribing a mood-stabilizing drug like lithium. But the FDA has approved some medicines specifically for bipolar depression, too:

  • Fluoxetine combined with olanzapine (Symbyax)
  • Quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda).

What types of bipolar medications will work for you?

It’s worth mentioning a third time—bipolar medications are not curative. And they are powerful drugs which must be taken exactly as your doctor directs. Stopping medications or taking more medicine than your doctor prescribed can be very dangerous, even deadly.

The medications that will be right for you will be those prescribed, utilized and monitored as part of a broader, thoroughgoing treatment plan. Medications and dosages may need to be adjusted in finding the perfect balance and approach. It can take time. And it can be frustrating.

If you or someone you love battles bipolar disorder, we understand what you’re going through. We can help.

At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists believe a faith-based approach, addressing all three spheres of our being—body, mind and spirit—is key to life-transformation.

You have questions and concerns. Let us offer you some answers and encouragement.
Don’t wait. Make the call. To learn more or get started today, call Honey Lake Clinic (888) 837-6577 Email or Visit