After receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder one is likely to be subjected to a number of medications but which are the most effective mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder? There are a number of medications out there that millions of people are prescribed. Some are known to work better than others at treating certain types of bipolar disorder.
This can depend greatly on the severity of the bipolar disorder that someone is experiencing, as well as the type of bipolar disorder. What works for one patient’s psychosis during a manic episode may not work for another, which is why it is important to consider all the factors involved when starting a mood stabilizer regimen. Of all the mood stabilizers for bipolar that are on the market today three in particular stand out as the most commonly used.
The Go-To Mood Stabilizer for Bipolar Disorder
Lithium is one of the oldest and most common mood stabilizers used for treating bipolar disorder. It has been shown to be quite effective when it comes to preventing the onset of a manic episode and the psychosis associated with it. Lithium has also shown that it can prevent the other aspects of the bipolar disorder, such as depressive episodes leading to thoughts of suicide. Since lithium is such as old treatment however, many doctors have begun moving away from it in favor of other, new mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder. However, it still tends to be the first mood stabilizer prescribed for bipolar disorder as well as a number of other psychological disorders.
When prescribed depakote bipolar patients tend to experience less of the rapid cycling aspects of their disorder, as well as having a better chance of managing “mixed episodes” in which both mania and depressive tendencies are present. Since lithium tends to fall short in treating these mixed episodes as well as the rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder depakote is routinely prescribed for patients experiencing these symptoms. While it does take time for depakote to take full effect in the body, once it has done show it has been shown to be effective in treating the acute mania associated with bipolar as well as other psychological disorders 43-50% of the time. This is a marked improvement from lithium, which can be used for treating mania but does not tend to have the same success rate.
Another of the newer mood stabilizers used for psychological disorders including bipolar disorder is known as Tegretol. Tegretol has also been shown to be effective in the prevention of mania and depressive episodes leading to thoughts of suicide. It is sometimes coupled with lithium, much like depakote is, however this practice is becoming increasingly uncommon as the drug’s labeling states that using Tegretol in conjunction with lithium has a chance of increasing the neurotoxic side effects of the drugs. Nevertheless, Tegretol, having been shown effective in helping an untold number of patients treat their symptoms has become and is likely to remain one of the most widely prescribed mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder.