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Bipolar Medication: Types, How Bipolar Meds Work

July 20th, 2012 8:28 am

Bipolar medication is often a major part of a treatment plan for bipolar disorder. Medication is the main way psychiatry knows to treat bipolar disorder at this time. A comprehensive plan will also include bipolar therapy, support and education, but bipolar meds are still likely to play a big role.

Types of Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex illness with many parts of the brain implicated in its presence. Neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, two types of chemical messengers in the brain, are typically targeted by bipolar medications. The primary types of medication for bipolar disorder treatment are:

  • mood stabilizers
  • anticonvulsants
  • antipsychotics

Mood Stabilizer Medication for Bipolar Disorder

The only true “mood stabilizer” medication is lithium. Lithium is a chemical salt and typically lithium carbonate is prescribed. Lithium is still the first bipolar disorder medication treatment of choice in many circumstances and is known to effectively treat mania and prevent future bipolar episodes. Lithium also has a unique antisuicide effect. When lithium is used, blood levels must be carefully monitored as too much lithium can be toxic.1

(In-depth information: Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder)

Anticonvulsant Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Anticonvulsants are sometimes called mood stabilizers when used to treat bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsant bipolar meds were initially created as anti-seizure medication but were later found to be effective at preventing mood swings. Several anticonvulsants have been shown to be very effective at treating bipolar disorder both acutely and long-term. Common anticonvulsant medication for bipolar includes:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Valproate (Depakote)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Topiramate (Topamax) and oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)

Antipsychotic Medication for Bipolar Disorder

Antipsychotics have been used in the treatment of bipolar disorder since the 1950s and the advent of the typical antipsychotic, chlorpromazine (Thorazine). Now, newer atypical antipsychotic bipolar medications are mostly used. Antipsychotics can be very useful for mood stabilization and treatment of bipolar mania, whether psychosis is present or not. Often used antipsychotic medications for bipolar disorder include:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)

(In-depth information: Antipsychotic Medications for Bipolar Disorder)

Medication for Bipolar Mania

Acute hypomania is often not considered an emergency while bipolar mania generally is. The specific bipolar medication choice is based on the presence of aggression, psychosis, agitation and sleep disturbance. Often, patients will be prescribed more than one medication. Common bipolar meds for the treatment of mania include:

  • Antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), ziprasidone (Geodon), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidon (Risperdal)
  • Valproate (Depakote)
  • Benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin) and lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Lithium

Medication for Bipolar Depression

Acute depression can be tremendously dangerous if the person is suicidal or has lost the ability to take care of themselves. Degree of depression severity, including likelihood of suicide, and presence of psychosis is taken into account when choosing medication for bipolar depression. Common medications for bipolar depression treatment include:2

  • Antipsychotics like quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Anticonvulsants like lamotrigine (Lamictal)

Antidepressants can be prescribed but, typically, only with other mood stabilizing medication. For some patients, antidepressants may be considered too destabilizing to risk at all (antidepressants may induce mania). For very severe or treatment-resistant depression, electroconvulsive therapy is often considered a frontline approach.

(In-depth information: Bipolar Depression Medications)

Bipolar Meds as Long-Term Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Most of the bipolar medications used during acute treatment can be used long-term. Common long-term bipolar meds include:

  • Lithium – still typically the number one choice for future episode prevention
  • Anticonvulsants like valproate (Depakote) and lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Antipsychotics like aripiprazole (Abilify) and olanzapine (Zyprexa)


Study in Canada

July 2nd, 2012 1:11 pm

With increasing globalization the competition for a good career in large companies has also become globalized, most of the MNCs today prefer to recruit candidates who have exposure to diverse cultures of the world, high level of tolerance, independent thinking and qualifications from top Institutions of the world. Canada is one of the top countries of world that attract international students and have a high degree of educational standards. To get an opportunity to study in Canada is a great thing, it gives a chance to avail great facilities, world class infrastructure and a globally acknowledged degree.

Top Universities of Canada like Algonquin College, Georgian College, Humber College, Seneca College, Sheridan College, Brock University, University of Waterloo and University of Victoria provide high quality education in diverse fields like Science, Engineering, Humanity, Law, IT and Business. Canadian students consistently rank among the best in the world on international tests of reading, science and mathematics, proclaimed international leaders in government, business and academic circles have studied language skills and/or academic subjects in Canada. To study in Canada also means to experience a high level of cultural intermingling which broadens the horizon of a person about the peoples and places of the world. A person acquires skills to communicate effectively with people from different places of the world and work as a team with which in turn increases the opportunity of landing that dream job in the MNCs.

Canada is ranked as one of the best five countries to live in the world by UNO, it has a high level of living standard with excellent infrastructure, health care system, effective government and world class education system. This country also ranks among the top in per capita income, to study in Canada also means to get an opportunity to work while studying, students studying full term courses in Canada with a valid work permit can do part time jobs and earn while they learn. Many of the Universities offer scholarships on the basis of academic success, community involvement, athletic excellence, references from instructors or employers and financial need.

Canada is also a very beautiful country, by land area Canada ranks 2nd among all the countries of the world whereas the population is just above 35 million, which means it is very sparsely populated. A lot of space to live with abundant greenery and varied landscapes make Canada an ideal destination for the pursuit of one’s academic goal. The sparsely populated swathes of land outside of the population centers are destinations for holiday and adventure, skiing, cycling, hiking, camping, sightseeing, or even ice sailing are regular activities among students in weekends and holidays. With a world class standard of education oriented towards research and application of the knowledge, wonderful infrastructure and life changing opportunities study in Canada is highly rewarding for one’s career and promises a richer and better life ahead..

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