Category Archives: Medications

A list of medication categories and various medications for Bipolar Disorder

MAOIs – Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOIs have the longest history of all the antidepressant classes. Discover how the recently developed MAOI skin patch for depression works and what side effects and risks MAOIs may cause.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were the first type of antidepressant in use, dating back to the 1950s.

How MAOIs work
Researchers believe MAOIs relieve depression by preventing the enzyme monoamine oxidase from metabolizing the neurotransmitters norepinephrine (nor-ep-ih-NEF-rin), serotonin (ser-oh-TOE-nin) and dopamine (DOE-puh-mene) in the brain. As a result, these levels remain high in the brain, boosting mood.

Antidepressants, in general, may also work by playing a neuroprotective role in how they relieve anxiety and depression. It’s thought that antidepressants may increase the effects of brain receptors that help nerve cells keep sensitivity to glutamate — an organic compound of a nonessential amino acid — in check. This increased support of nerve cells decreases glutamate sensitivity, providing protection against the glutamate overwhelming and exciting key brain areas related to anxiety and depression.
Therapeutic effects of antidepressants may vary in people, due in part to each person’s genetic makeup. It’s thought that people’s sensitivity to antidepressant effects, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor effects, can vary depending on:

* How each person’s serotonin reuptake receptor function works
* His or her alleles — the parts of chromosomes that determine inherited characteristics, such as height and hair color, that combine to make each person unique.

Antidepressant medications are often the first treatment choice for adults with moderate or severe depression, sometimes along with psychotherapy. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can help you achieve remission — the disappearance or nearly complete reduction of depression symptoms.

MAOIs approved to treat depression
Here are the MAOIs that have been specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression, with their generic, or chemical, names followed by available brand names in parentheses:

* Phenelzine (Nardil)
* Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
* Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
* Selegiline (Emsam)

Emsam is the first skin (transdermal) patch for depression. You apply a new Emsam patch to your torso, thigh or upper arm each day, allowing the medication to be absorbed into your bloodstream over a 24-hour period.
Some of these medications may also be used to treat conditions other than depression.

Side effects of MAOIs
Because they can cause serious side effects and safety concerns, MAOIs are usually reserved for people whose depression doesn’t improve with other antidepressant medications they’ve tried first.

Side effects of MAOIs include:
* Drowsiness
* Constipation
* Nausea
* Diarrhea
* Stomach upset
* Fatigue
* Dry mouth
* Dizziness
* Low blood pressure
* Lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
* Decreased urine output
* Decreased sexual function
* Sleep disturbances
* Muscle twitching
* Weight gain
* Blurred vision
* Headache
* Increased appetite
* Restlessness
* Shakiness
* Trembling
* Weakness
* Increased sweating

Safety concerns with MAOIs
MAOIs can cause dangerous interactions with certain foods and beverages. If you take MAOIs, you’ll face dietary restrictions that require you to limit consumption of foods that contain a high level of tyramine, such as many cheeses, pickled foods, chocolates, certain meats, beer, wine, and alcohol-free or reduced-alcohol beer and wine. The interaction of tyramine with MAOIs can cause a dangerously high increase in blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke. Your doctor can give you a complete list of dietary restrictions.

Emsam may offer a way to avoid these dietary restrictions. At its lowest dose of 6 milligrams a day, you don’t need to follow those dietary restrictions. At higher doses of Emsam, you do, though. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider to see if this may be an option for you.

MAOIs can also cause serious reactions when you take them while you’re also taking certain other medications. Examples of medications to avoid include other antidepressants, certain pain medications such as tramadol (Ultram) and meperidine (Demerol) over-the-counter decongestants and herbal weight-loss products, and St. John’s wort. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new prescription medication, over-the-counter medication or supplement while taking MAOIs.

Serotonin syndrome and MAOIs
A rare but potentially life-threatening side effect of MAOIs is serotonin syndrome. This condition, characterized by dangerously high levels of serotonin in the brain, can occur when an MAOI interacts with another type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Because of this, don’t take any MAOIs while you’re taking any SSRIs or within two weeks of each other. Serotonin syndrome requires immediate medical treatment.

Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
* Confusion
* Restlessness
* Hallucinations
* Extreme agitation
* Fluctuations in blood pressure
* Increased heart rate
* Nausea and vomiting
* Fever
* Seizures
* Coma

Stopping treatment with MAOIs
Discontinuation of MAOIs has been associated with nausea, vomiting and malaise. Rarely, discontinuation has caused an uncommon withdrawal syndrome involving vivid nightmares with agitation, psychosis and convulsions. The syndrome is treated with a low-dose MAOI and more gradual tapering off. Talk to your doctor before stopping treatment with MAOIs.

Suicidal feelings and MAOIs
In some cases, antidepressants may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior in those ages 18 to 24. It’s likely to occur in the first one to two months of treatment or when you change your dosage. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any changes in your symptoms. You may need more careful monitoring when beginning or changing treatment, or you may need to stop the medication if your symptoms worsen. Adults age 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thoughts.
To nix your irritability, sadness, guilt or anger, work with your doctor or a mental health provider in considering the use of MAOIs to work when other antidepressant medication types haven’t. Feel good again.

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MASSAs – Melatonin Agonist and Selective Serotonin Antagonist

This is a new type of treatment, and to date there is not much information available on the net.

In the treatment of moderate to severe depression associated with a new drug a novel mode of action is available. This has the melatonergic antidepressant mode of action of the neurotransmitter melatonin, which is responsible for the fine adjustment of biological rhythms.

This “specific melatonin agonist and serotonin antagonist” is its effect directly the melatonergic binding sites (receptors) of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, i.e, the internal clock of man into force. At the same time, it inhibits certain uptake sites for serotonin in the nerve cells, thereby releasing a greater proportion of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain is that the normalization of signal transmission for regulating emotional (limbic) system of the brain provide. It is assumed that the positive antidepressant properties of this drug by the interplay of these receptors arise.

The direct effect of the substance to the internal clock of the human causes a normalization of biorhythms disturbed depressed patients. It is similar to the circadian rhythm of the natural day-night rhythm. Thus helping the new antidepressant for disorders of the sleep-wake rhythm of depressed patients, without directly drowsy effect to have. Sufferers feel on the day overwhelmingly awake, refreshed and active.

The melatonergic antidepressant, in contrast to classical antidepressants less side effects. It affects weight-neutral, generally the patient experience therefore not considered drug related weight gain. Also receiving the drug with sexual function and it occur during therapy usually to no sexual dysfunction.

SNRIs – Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Antidepressant SNRIs are dual uptake inhibitors that work to relieve depression symptoms, such as irritability and sadness. Here’s how dual reuptake inhibitors work and what side effects they may cause.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression, including the neurotransmitters serotonin (ser-oh-TOE-nin) and norepinephrine (nor-ep-ih-NEF-rin). Research suggests that abnormalities in neurotransmitter activity can affect mood and behavior.

How SNRIs work
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a type of antidepressant medication that increases the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine by inhibiting their reabsorption (reuptake) into cells in the brain. Although the precise mechanism of action isn’t clear, it’s thought that these higher levels enhance neurotransmission — the sending of nerve impulses — and so improve and elevate mood. Medications in this group of antidepressants are sometimes called dual reuptake inhibitors.

Antidepressants, in general, may also work by playing a neuroprotective role in how they relieve anxiety and depression. It’s thought that antidepressants may increase the effects of brain receptors that help nerve cells keep sensitivity to glutamate — an organic compound of a nonessential amino acid — in check. This increased support of nerve cells lowers glutamate sensitivity, providing protection against the glutamate overwhelming and exciting key brain areas related to anxiety and depression.

Therapeutic effects of antidepressants may vary in people, due in part to each person’s genetic makeup. It’s thought that people’s sensitivity to antidepressant effects, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor effects, can vary depending on:

* How each person’s serotonin reuptake receptor function works
* His or her alleles — the parts of chromosomes that determine inherited characteristics, such as height and hair color, which combine to make each person unique

Antidepressant medications are often the first treatment choice for adults with moderate or severe depression, sometimes along with psychotherapy. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can help you achieve remission — the disappearance or nearly complete reduction of depression symptoms.

SNRIs approved to treat depression
Here are the SNRIs approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat depression, with their generic, or chemical, names followed by available brand names in parentheses:

* Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
* Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR)

As with some other antidepressants, venlafaxine is available in an immediate-release form that requires two or three doses a day and in an extended-release (XR) form that allows you to take it just once a day.

These medications may also be used to treat conditions other than depression.

Side effects of SNRIs
All SNRIs have the same general mechanism of action and side effects. However, individual SNRIs have some different pharmacological characteristics. That means you may respond differently to a certain SNRI or have different side effects with a different SNRI. For instance, you may have unpleasant side effects with one SNRI but not another.

Side effects of SNRIs include:
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Dizziness
* Insomnia
* Sleepiness
* Trouble sleeping
* Abnormal dreams
* Constipation
* Sweating
* Dry mouth
* Yawning
* Tremor
* Gas
* Anxiety
* Agitation
* Abnormal vision, such as blurred vision or double vision
* Headache
* Sexual dysfunction

Nausea is less common with the extended-release form of SNRIs.

Serotonin syndrome and SNRIs
A rare but potentially life-threatening side effect of SNRIs is serotonin syndrome. This condition, characterized by dangerously high levels of serotonin in the brain, can occur when an SNRI interacts with antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Because of this, don’t take any SNRIs while you’re taking any MAOIs or within two weeks of each other. Serotonin syndrome can also occur when SNRIs are taken with other medications, including:

* Pain relief medication such as tramadol (Ultram)
* Migraine medications such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) and rizatriptan
* Supplements that affect serotonin levels, such as St. John’s wort

Serotonin syndrome requires immediate medical treatment. Signs and symptoms include:
* Confusion
* Restlessness
* Hallucinations
* Extreme agitation
* Fluctuations in blood pressure
* Increased heart rate
* Nausea and vomiting
* Fever
* Seizures
* Coma

Safety concerns with SNRIs
At high doses, venlafaxine can raise blood pressure significantly. Your doctor might monitor your blood pressure regularly, especially if you already have blood pressure problems. Venlafaxine can also raise cholesterol, so you may need periodic blood tests to check your blood cholesterol. Both duloxetine and venlafaxine should be avoided or used with caution if you have narrow-angle glaucoma or raised intraocular pressure.

Use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), while taking SNRIs may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and should be monitored by your doctor.

Stopping treatment with SNRIs
SNRIs aren’t considered addictive. However, stopping treatment abruptly or missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms, including:

* Nausea
* Headache
* Dizziness
* Lethargy
* Flu-like symptoms

This is sometimes called discontinuation syndrome. Talk to your doctor before stopping so that you can gradually taper off.

Suicidal feelings and SNRIs
In some cases, antidepressants may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior in those ages 18 to 24, particularly during the first one to two months of treatment or when you change your dosage. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any changes in your symptoms. You may need more careful monitoring when starting treatment or changing dosage, or you may need to stop the medication if your symptoms worsen. Adults age 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thoughts.

Talk with your doctor or mental health provider to nix your irritability, sadness or anger and improve your mood with dual reuptake inhibitor SNRIs. Feel good again.

SSRIs – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs, a popular antidepressant type, can help you overcome depression symptoms and feel good again. Discover how Prozac and other SSRIs boost your mood and what side effects they may cause.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a popular class of antidepressant medications. The first drug in this class was fluoxetine (Prozac), which hit the U.S. market in 1987.

How SSRIs work
Precisely how SSRIs affect depression isn’t clear. Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression, including the neurotransmitter serotonin (ser-oh-TOE-nin). Some research suggests that abnormalities in neurotransmitter activity affect mood and behavior. SSRIs seem to relieve symptoms of depression by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin by certain nerve cells in the brain. This leaves more serotonin available in the brain. Increased serotonin enhances neurotransmission — the sending of nerve impulses — and improves mood. SSRIs are called selective because they seem to affect only serotonin, not other neurotransmitters.

Antidepressants, in general, may also work by playing a neuroprotective role in how they relieve anxiety and depression. It’s thought that antidepressants may increase the effects of brain receptors that help nerve cells keep sensitivity to glutamate — an organic compound of a nonessential amino acid — in check. This increased support of nerve cells lowers glutamate sensitivity, providing protection against the glutamate overwhelming and exciting key brain areas related to anxiety and depression.
Therapeutic effects of antidepressants may vary in people, due in part to each person’s genetic makeup. It’s thought that people’s sensitivity to antidepressant effects, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor effects, can vary depending on:

* How each person’s serotonin reuptake receptor function works
* His or her alleles — the parts of chromosomes that determine inherited characteristics, such as height and hair color, which combine to make each person unique

Antidepressant medications are often the first treatment choice for adults with moderate or severe depression, sometimes along with psychotherapy. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can help you achieve remission — the disappearance or nearly complete reduction of depression symptoms.

SSRIs approved to treat depression
Some SSRIs are available in extended-release form or controlled-release form, often designated with the letters XR or CR. These forms provide controlled release of the medication throughout the day or for a week at a time with a single dose.

Here are the SSRIs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically to treat depression, with their generic, or chemical, names followed by available brand names in parentheses:

* Citalopram (Celexa)
* Escitalopram (Lexapro)
* Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly)
* Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
* Sertraline (Zoloft)

Also, an olanzapine and fluoxetine combination (Symbyax) recently received FDA approval for treating bipolar depression. Symbyax is classed as both an SSRI antidepressant and an atypical antipsychotic.
These medications may also be used to treat conditions other than depression.

Side effects of SSRIs
All SSRIs have the same general mechanism of action and side effects. However, individual SSRIs have some different pharmacological characteristics. That means you may respond differently to certain SSRIs or have different side effects with different SSRIs. For instance, you may have unpleasant side effects with one SSRI but not another. Also, they’re less likely to have adverse interactions with other medications and are less dangerous if taken as an overdose.

Side effects of SSRIs include:
* Nausea
* Sexual dysfunction, including reduced desire or orgasm difficulties
* Dry mouth
* Headache
* Diarrhea
* Nervousness
* Rash
* Agitation
* Restlessness
* Increased sweating
* Weight gain
* Drowsiness
* Insomnia

You may experience less nausea with extended- and controlled-release forms of SSRIs.
A rare but potentially life-threatening side effect of SSRIs is serotonin syndrome. This condition, characterized by dangerously high levels of serotonin in the brain, can occur when an SSRI interacts with antidepressants called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Because of this, don’t take any SSRIs while you’re taking any MAOIs or within two weeks of each other. Serotonin syndrome can also occur when SSRIs are taken with other medications, including:

* Pain relief medication such as tramadol (Ultram)
* Migraine medications such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) and rizatriptan (Maxalt)
* Supplements that affect serotonin levels, such as St. John’s wort

Serotonin syndrome requires immediate medical treatment. Signs and symptoms include:

* Confusion
* Restlessness
* Hallucinations
* Extreme agitation
* Fluctuations in blood pressure
* Increased heart rate
* Nausea and vomiting
* Fever
* Seizures
* Coma

Safety concerns with SSRIs
Studies show that Paxil increases the risk of birth defects in women taking the drug during their first trimester of pregnancy. Women who take Paxil during their first three months of pregnancy are nearly two times as likely to give birth to a child with a birth defect — in particular a heart defect — as are women taking other antidepressants.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding Paxil during pregnancy, if possible. If you’re taking Paxil and you’re considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor or mental health provider about switching to another antidepressant or stopping treatment. Don’t stop taking Paxil without contacting your doctor first, though.

Also, the FDA warns that infants whose mothers took SSRIs while pregnant may be at an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension. This risk is increased in women who take SSRIs at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy. This rare but serious lung problem occurs when a newborn’s circulatory system doesn’t adapt to breathing outside the womb.

Use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin), while taking SSRIs may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and should be monitored by your doctor.

Recent studies have shown that Symbyax and other antipsychotics should not be prescribed to older people for treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Symbyax and other antipsychotic drugs raise the risks of heart failure, sudden death and pneumonia in older people with dementia-related psychosis.

Stopping treatment with SSRIs
SSRIs aren’t considered addictive. However, stopping treatment abruptly or missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms, including:

* Nausea
* Headache
* Dizziness
* Lethargy
* Flu-like symptoms

This is sometimes called discontinuation syndrome. Talk to your doctor before stopping so that you can gradually taper off.

Suicidal feelings and SSRIs
Antidepressants may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior in those ages 18 to 24. These symptoms or thoughts are most likely to occur during the first one to two months of treatment or when you change your dosage, but they can occur at any time during treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any changes in your symptoms. You may need more careful monitoring when starting treatment or changing dosage, or you may need to stop the medication if your symptoms worsen. Adults age 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thoughts.

Talk with your doctor or mental health provider to nix your irritability, sadness or anger and boost your mood with SSRIs. Feel good again.

Tetracyclic Antidepressants

Tetracyclic antidepressants

Tetracyclics are an antidepressant type that relieves depression symptoms and boosts mood. Discover how they work and what side effects they may cause.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression, including the neurotransmitters serotonin (ser-oh-TOE-nin) and norepinephrine (nor-ep-ih-NEF-rin). Research suggests that abnormalities in neurotransmitter activity can affect mood and behavior.

How tetracyclic antidepressants work
Instead of inhibiting the reabsorption of certain neurotransmitters, as other antidepressants do, tetracyclic antidepressants prevent neurotransmitters from binding with nerve cell receptors called alpha-2 receptors. This indirectly increases the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. In turn, that may improve and elevate mood.

Antidepressants, in general, may also work by playing a neuroprotective role in how they relieve anxiety and depression. It’s thought that antidepressants may increase the effects of brain receptors that help nerve cells keep sensitivity to glutamate — an organic compound of a nonessential amino acid — in check. This increased support of nerve cells lowers glutamate sensitivity, providing protection against the glutamate overwhelming and exciting key brain areas related to anxiety and depression.

Therapeutic effects of antidepressants may vary in people, due in part to each person’s genetic makeup. It’s thought that people’s sensitivity to antidepressant effects, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor effects, can vary depending on:

* How each person’s serotonin reuptake receptor function works
* His or her alleles — the parts of chromosomes that determine inherited characteristics, such as height and hair color, which combine to make each person unique

Antidepressant medications are often the first treatment choice for adults with moderate or severe depression, sometimes along with psychotherapy. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can help you achieve remission — the disappearance or nearly complete reduction of depression symptoms.

Tetracyclic antidepressants approved to treat depression
Here’s the tetracyclic antidepressant approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically to treat depression, with its generic, or chemical, name followed by available brand names in parentheses:
* Mirtazapine (Remeron, Remeron SolTab)

Side effects of tetracyclic antidepressants
Side effects of tetracyclic antidepressants include:
* Drowsiness
* Weight gain
* Dry mouth
* Dizziness
* Lightheadedness
* Thirst
* Muscle or joint aches
* Constipation
* Increased appetite
* Increased cholesterol

Safety concerns with tetracyclic antidepressants
Because of a potential drug interaction, don’t take mirtazapine with another type of antidepressant called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). You may have increased drowsiness if you take mirtazapine with other medications or substances that also cause drowsiness, such as antihistamines, sedatives or alcohol.

Rarely, mirtazapine can cause a potentially dangerous drop in white blood cell counts (agranulocytosis). This condition can make you vulnerable to infection. Talk to your doctor if you develop a sore throat, fever, inflammation of the mouth, flu-like symptoms or other signs of infection.

If you have phenylketonuria, tell your doctor before taking Remeron SolTab. The orally disintegrating tablet contains phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many high-protein foods, which is limited in the diets of those with phenylketonuria.

Suicidal feelings and tetracyclic antidepressants
In some cases, antidepressants may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior in those ages 18 to 24. These symptoms are likely to occur in the first one to two months of treatment or when you change your dosage. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any changes in your symptoms. You may need more careful monitoring when beginning or changing treatment, or you may need to stop the medication if your symptoms worsen. Adults age 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thoughts.

Talk with your doctor or mental health provider to nix your sadness, irritability or anger and improve your mood with tetracyclic antidepressants. Feel good again.

ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

Antidepressant medications are also used to treat bipolar disorder. An important thing to remember about antidepressants is that if they are not taken along with a drug that combats mania/hypomania, antidepressants can actually cause these conditions to appear. Many people who seem to be suffering only from clinical depression are diagnosed with bipolar disorder after taking an antidepressant and experiencing mania or hypomania as a result.

There are several antidepressant classes. The names of these classes reflect either their chemical structure or, more commonly, their effect on brain chemistry. The best known at present are the SSRIs and SNRIs which are, respectively, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Serotonin and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters – chemicals in the body that help the nerves pass along messages, and these medications help make more of these chemicals available.

Other classes of antidepressants include the MAOIs – monoamine oxydase inhibitors – and tricyclics, which are named for their chemical structure. There are also a few that do not fit into any of these classes and are thus called “atypical” antidepressants.

ANTIPSYCHOTICS, ANTI-ANXIETY & SEDATIVE DRUGS

ANTIPSYCHOTICS

Antipsychotic medications can eliminate or lessen the severity of symptoms like hallucinations and delusions; some also can decrease the symptoms of mania and/or help depression. There are two classes of these drugs: typical (the first-generation meds) and atypical (the second-generation meds). One has to wonder what the third generation, when developed, will be called!

ANTI-ANXIETY & SEDATIVE DRUGS

Anxiety and difficulty sleeping often go hand in hand with bipolar disorder. Anxiety can be a part of any type of episode – manic, mixed or depressive. The meds that treat anxiety are formally called antianxiolytics.
Most of the medications used to treat anxiety or promote sleep are classed as benzodiazepines, which include familiar brand names like Xanax and Valium, along with several others. Some drugs in other categories, such as antidepressants, may also have a sedating effect.

MOOD STABILZERS FOR MANIA & HYPOMANIA

MOOD STABILZERS FOR MANIA & HYPOMANIA

Mood stabilizers are the main treatment available for mania and hypomania. The first mood stabilizer to be used was lithium, and it is the only drug that was developed specifically for use in bipolar disorder. Today it is still mostly prescribed for bipolar patients, although it may be added to antidepressants for patients who suffer from clinical depression (no mania symptoms).

Most the other drugs classified as mood stabilizers are medications that were first used to treat seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. They are known as “anticonvulsants,” since they are designed to inhibit or reduce the frequency of seizures. Interestingly, they also help stabilize mood swings.

Finally, some heart-related medications called calcium channel blockers are being studied for use in treating bipolar disorder as mood stabilizers.

Some of these drugs also have a positive effect on depression, but their primary purpose is to reduce the frequency and severity of mania and hypomania.

Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Medications for Bipolar Disorder – An Overview

Medications are the standard and proven treatment for bipolar disorder. Sometimes a patient can be stabilized on a single prescription drug, but more often a combination of medications – often called a “med cocktail” – is needed. The drugs included in that combination depend on each person’s unique symptoms, body and brain chemistry, and other factors including such things as what prescriptions the patient is taking for other conditions.

Bipolar disorder medications fall into several categories:
* Mood stabilizers
* Antidepressants
* Antipsychotics
* Antianxiety drugs (antianxiolytics)
* Sedatives
More information below (click to go to page)
Description of Medication Types
Different types of Medications
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Tetracyclic Antidepressants
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors