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What Is The Best Mood Stabilizer For Bipolar

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Can Topamax Make You Manic

Bipolar Disorder and Mood Stabilizers

Topamax may cause mood changes in some individuals. A 2019 case report showed that a patient experienced mania while taking Topamax. This patient has bipolar disorder and a binge-eating disorder. Additional research is needed to better understand the risks of Topamax for those who have bipolar disorder.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

Why Might I Be Offered A Mood Stabiliser

The decision to offer you a mood stabiliser is likely to depend on:

  • your diagnosis and the symptoms you experience
  • your past experiences of taking medication, including what’s worked for you and what hasn’t. For example, if you’ve tried lithium and had lots of problems with it, you may be offered a different mood stabiliser instead
  • your medical circumstances. For example, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a history of kidney or thyroid problems
  • what you want from your treatment. See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem and advocacy for information on having your say in decisions about your treatment, and making yourself heard.

Who can prescribe mood stabilisers?

There are a few different healthcare professionals who can prescribe mood stabilisers to you. It may depend on which type of mood stabiliser you are being offered. It may also depend on whether you are just starting to take it or being given ongoing prescriptions.

The person who prescribes it may be your doctor . Or it could be another specialist healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist. These information pages usually refer to ‘your doctor’ prescribing this medication.

Before you take any medication

Before you decide to take any medication, you should make sure you have all the facts you need to feel confident about your decision. For guidance on the basic information you might want to know about any drug before you take it, see our pages on:

Management Of Bipolar Depression With Lamotrigine: An Antiepileptic Mood Stabilizer

  • Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Pharmacy, Mumbai, India

The efficacy of lamotrigine in the treatment of focal epilepsies have already been reported in several case reports and open studies, which is thought to act by inhibiting glutamate release through voltage-sensitive sodium channels blockade and neuronal membrane stabilization. However, recent findings have also illustrated the importance of lamotrigine in alleviating the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder, without causing mood destabilization or precipitating mania. Currently, no mood stabilizers are available having equal efficacy in the treatment of both mania and depression, two of which forms the extreme sides of the bipolar disorder. Lamotrigine, a well established anticonvulsant has received regulatory approval for the treatment and prevention of bipolar depression in more than 30 countries worldwide. Lamotrigine, acts through several molecular targets and overcomes the major limitation of other conventional antidepressants by stabilizing mood from below baseline thereby preventing switches to mania or episode acceleration, thus being effective for bipolar I disorder. Recent studies have also suggested that these observations could also be extended to patients with bipolar II disorder. Thus, lamotrigine may supposedly fulfill the unmet requirement for an effective depression mood stabilizer.

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Do Mood Stabilisers Affect Other Medication

You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication before starting or stopping mood stabilisers. This includes herbal or complementary medication, such as St Johns Wort.

There are also some common over-the-counter medications which can cause effects, some severe, when taken with mood stabilisers. These include:

  • codeine,

Your doctor can give you advice on whether your mood stabiliser will affect any other medication.

Concept Of Antipsychotic Medications

Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

Another type with Bipolar Disorder treatment is known as antipsychotic medicines. These are often used in conjunction with an antidepressant to treat severe mania, which is one of the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. However, there are many different antipsychotic medicines, including a mixture of benzodiazepines and mood stabilizers. Some of the common side effects include sweating, confusion, slowed breathing, jitteriness, and increased heart rate.

Common medications for Bipolar Disorder treatment include antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants, which are commonly prescribed in combinations. In addition to the common side effects described above, these drugs can cause patients to have driving and insomnia problems.

A few antidepressants, such as clomipramine and fluoxetine , have serious side effects, including mania and hallucinations. Suppose a patient is on an antidepressant and begins to exhibit symptoms of mania or hypomania. In that case, it is important to immediately stop the antidepressant and seek emergency help, as these conditions can be fatal.

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How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Everyday Life

As a result of these varied symptoms, individuals with bipolar may experience significant impairment in their everyday lives. These disorders can affect performance at work or school, not to mention causing problems in personal and professional relationships.

Additionally, depressive downswings may come with serious life changes. These may include withdrawing from loved ones and social situations, or expressing suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

When an individual is manic, on the other hand, they may show increased interest in unsafe sexual activity or a desire to participate in social activities.

Fortunately for those with bipolar disorder mood stabilizers can help tamper these swings.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated

Bipolar disorder can be treated. For best results, medication needs to be combined with therapy sessions and the instigation of good routines.

The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is a mood stabilizing agent. These medications even out the troughs and the peaks of mood swings to keep you on a more even keel. Other treatments may include antipsychotics or antidepressants.

Medications should be combined with nonpharmacological treatments, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This looks into any negative thought patterns you may have and challenges them in order to change your behavior.
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy: This aims to improve disruptions to your biological or social rhythms .
  • Family focused therapy: This involves your family in your treatment, educating them and allowing them to support you fully.

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Treatment Considerations For Comorbid Bd And Ptsd

Patients with comorbid BD and PTSD have a higher risk of psychosis upon hospitalization , personality disorder diagnosis , and suicide attempts ., Poorer quality of life, accelerated illness progression, and high rates of functional impairment also characterize patients with this comorbidity, with a higher symptom burden compared to either illness alone.,,

Non-adherence to treatment in BD increases the risk of rapid cycling, suicide attempts, current anxiety, and alcohol use disorder. Non-adherence at 3 month follow-up is predictive of less improvement in bipolar symptoms than non-adherence at 12 month follow-up. Patients with non-adherence to treatment for comorbid BD and PTSD may have childhood or other trauma that created a negative or distrustful impression of physicians, health care providers, and medication treatment. Traumatic outcomes resulting from dangerous behaviors that occur during a manic episode may trigger the reemergence of PTSD symptoms. Posttraumatic stress disorder nightmares could impact the sleep-wake cycle, leading to decreased sleep and a greater risk for a manic episode.

Addressing Addiction And Bipolar

Mood Stabilizers and Anxiolytics Mnemonics (Memorable Psychopharmacology Lectures 5 & 6)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the psychological and physical impairment caused by bipolar disorder make it the most expensive behavioral health diagnosis, both in terms of health care costs and loss of quality of life. Individuals with bipolar disorder may feel misunderstood, stigmatized, or isolated because of their illness. The disorder can have a negative impact on all aspects of a persons life, from occupational functioning to the quality of relationships. Having the support and concern of a close friend or family member can make a significant difference in the outcome of treatment.

Many people feel uncomfortable about broaching the subjects of mental illness and addiction with a loved one. However, it is important to remember that the course of addiction and bipolar disorder will rarely improve without professional intervention. Expressing concern to a loved one may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but this conversation could make a significant difference in the outcome of the disease.

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Whats The Safest Mood Stabilizer

Medications such as Depakote and lithium may be more invasive in that they require consistent blood monitoring and potentially serious side effects.

The medications that tend to be less problematic in regard to management and side effects include Neurontin and Topamax. Proper monitoring and bloodwork are required to ensure safety, though not that often.

Each medication should be considered in the context of your condition and how it may interact with your existing regimen.

A psychiatrist or other mental health professional who can prescribe medication is the best resource to optimize clinical results and ensure proper use and maintenance for success.

Dr. Jeff Ditzell is a practicing psychiatrist located in the heart of the financial district in New York City. He has a clinical focus on adult ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

Pharmacological Treatment Of Acute Mania

The most widely used medications in the acute setting are lithium, some anticonvulsants , standard antipsychotics , atypical antipsychotics , and benzodiazepines . The choice of initial treatment is influenced by the patient’s current and prior medication history, the need for rapid resolution of agitation and aggression, the characteristics of the manic episode, and the presence of rapid cycling, as well as the patient’s own willingness to accept, particular therapies and routes of administration. Whenever possible, oral therapy should be offered first, but, intramuscular injections are an alternative if oral therapy cannot be reliably administered.

The published consensus, clinical guidelines, and treatment algorithms show some differences in their recommendations for the first- and second-line treatment of acute mania. Although the majority support, the use of monotherapy with lithium, valproate, and in some cases olanzapine and other antipsychotics in mild-to-moderate mania, there is increasing recognition that a significant, number of patients will end up receiving two or more drugs.

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Treating Bipolar Ii Depression With Antidepressants

The studies reviewed above examined either bipolar I depression or a mixture of bipolar I and II patients. As noted, bipolar II disorder may be far more dominated by depression compared to bipolar I patients . But, there are legitimate reasons to consider that the risk/benefit ratio of antidepressants in bipolar II patients may differ markedly from bipolar I patients. As one example, whereas when bipolar I patients switch, they do so almost equally into mania vs. hypomania , bipolar II patients switch into hypomania 90% of the time . Additionally, whether all hypomanias need to be treated is debatable . Finally, bipolar II patients demonstrate TEAS at approximately 50% the rate of bipolar I patients . Thus, switches with bipolar II patients are both less frequent and milder, diminishing the risk of antidepressant treatment considerably.

What Are The Side Effects Of Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers: WPA update

This physiological mechanism of stabilizing membrane systems, promoting conduction delay, would allow you to predict possible therapeutic benefits as well as side effects.

This would apply to most organ systems and could include side effects such as constipation, sedation, or conduction delay.

Each mood stabilizer may have additional side effects unique to the medication, as opposed to the common general class of medications. Examples of this might include:

  • Depakote: potential liver damage
  • Lithium: potential effects on the kidneys and thyroid
  • Lamictal: potential for Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Topiramate: potential for word-finding issues, kidney stones, or altered taste for carbonated beverages

Keep in mind, these arent all of the side effects that can occur with these drugs. Talk with your doctor to learn about other side effects that may occur.

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What Is A Mood Stabilizer

To begin, mood stabilizers are essentially what they sound like: medications that people can take to help with and stabilize fluctuations in their mood. These fluctuations can occur quickly or with days or weeks between them.

Normally, mood stabilizers consist of a few specific anticonvulsant medications as well as lithium. They can be used to prevent future mood fluctuations as well as treat current symptoms, but are commonly taken long term so that they can work most effectively.

The issue with defining a mood stabilizer is that they are not necessarily characterized by the way that they work , but instead by the effect they have on the body.

They are also frequently misunderstood, as people think that they stop all fluctuations in mood. Even on a mood stabilizer, you will still be able to feel your feelings. The medication just stops those feelings from being too overwhelming and intense. When combined with supplements and therapy, moods are kept in check so that life can be managed effectively.

Mood stabilizers are just one tool in the anxiety and depression treatment toolbox.

Results Of The Second Network Meta

Results of the second NMA are shown in . Aripiprazole+LIT/VAL, lurasidone+LIT/VAL, quetiapine+LIT/VAL, and ziprasidone+LIT/VAL were superior to placebo+LIT/VAL in the recurrence/relapse rate of any mood episode. Moreover, lurasidone+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were superior to olanzapine+LIT/VAL. Lurasidone+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were superior to placebo+LIT/VAL in the recurrence/relapse rate of depressive episodes, and lurasidone+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were superior to aripiprazole+LIT/VAL and ziprasidone+LIT/VAL. Aripiprazole+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were superior to placebo+LIT/VAL in the recurrence/relapse rate of manic/hypomanic/mixed episodes, and lurasidone+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were associated with lower all-cause discontinuation compared with placebo+LIT/VAL. Quetiapine+LIT/VAL was associated with a higher incidence of somnolence compared with placebo+LIT/VAL. Olanzapine+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were associated with a lower incidence of insomnia compared with placebo+LIT/VAL. Olanzapine+LIT/VAL and quetiapine+LIT/VAL were associated with a higher incidence of increased weight compared with placebo+LIT/VAL and aripiprazole+LIT/VAL. We did not examine local heterogeneity, and global and local inconsistency for any outcomes in the second NMA due to insufficient data. The confidence in evidence of the second NMA was very low.

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Olanzapine As Mood Stabilizer

Olanzapine is known to be one of the most famous antipsychotic as well as a mood stabilizer.

As long as it came out as antipsychotic by the FDA, psychiatrists started trying to figure its effects for mood stabilizing properties.

Now the FDA has also approved it as a mood stabilizer. It means that you can take this antipsychotic without any symptoms of psychosis at all.

The main reason to offer antipsychotic for mood stabilization is the fact that it has been found extremely effective in reducing the effects and symptoms of bipolar disorder.

It even may help antidepressants work in people who dont clearly have bipolar disorder.

Olanzapine for anxiety is unbelievably effective, and has rather fewer side effects than any other medicines.

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Efficacy Of Lamotrigine: Dysfunction Of Neural Network In Bipolar Depression

Mood Stabilizer

The detailed investigations in the study showed that anticonvulsant activity of the antiepileptic drugs such as lamotrigine and valproic acid is conferred to the inhibition of the brain activation caused by the reduced excitability of the motor cortex induced by TMS stimulation. However, lamotrigine exerts a different action in the prefrontal corticolimbic system on TMS stimulation which shows that lamotrigine differs from valproic acid in molecular mechanisms of action as increased TMS-induced BOLD response was observed in corticolimbic circuits when TMS was applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex . This contrasting neurological effects of lamotrigine on the excitability of prefrontal and motor circuits shows some relevance to the drugs efficacy in the treatment of bipolar disorder and epilepsy respectively . Thus, lamotrigine, anticonvulsant drug, was found to exert a positive effect on the activity of the corticolimbic circuits in patients with bipolar disorder.

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Treatment Options For Bipolar Disorder

If a person is not treated, episodes of bipolar-related mania can last for between 3 and 6 months.

Episodes of depression tend to last longer, often 6 to 12 months.

But with effective treatment, episodes usually improve within about 3 months.

Most people with bipolar disorder can be treated using a combination of different treatments.

These can include 1 or more of the following:

  • medicine to prevent episodes of mania and depression these are known as mood stabilisers, and you take them every day on a long-term basis
  • medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they happen
  • learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
  • psychological treatment such as talking therapies, which help you deal with depression and provide advice on how to improve relationships
  • lifestyle advice such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, and advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep

Most people with bipolar disorder can receive most of their treatment without having to stay in hospital.

But hospital treatment may be needed if your symptoms are severe or you’re being treated under the Mental Health Act, as there’s a danger you may self-harm or hurt others.

In some circumstances, you could have treatment in a day hospital and return home at night.

What Mood Disorders Are Mood Stabilizers Used To Treat

In the vast majority of cases, mood stabilizers are used to treat bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, more than most of the other mood disorders out there, is defined by extreme fluctuations in mood . According to some statistics, bipolar disorder affects around 4% of the population in the United States.

Mood stabilizers can also be used to help treat other mood disorders as well, in addition to generalized mood instability. Common mood disorders treated by mood stabilizers include:

  • Cyclothymia A milder mood disorder defined by less intense mood fluctuations.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder A personality disorder defined by mood instability.
  • Schizophrenia A prominent mood disorder where the way the person interprets reality is skewed.

However, mood stabilizers are not commonly used to treat mild depression and anxiety. In a lot of situations, the potential side effects outweigh the advantages of treatment. Other medications, as well as holistic approaches and therapy, are preferred.

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