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Medications

An array of medication is used to treat bipolar disorder. It is not uncommon for an individual to take several different types of drugs and to make frequent changes to achieve an acceptable balance between stability and side effects. Here are resources and information to better understand the drugs prescribed.
  1. Anti-Anxiety and Sedatives (32)
  2. Antidepressants (148)
  3. Antipsychotics (74)
  4. Compliance Issues (12)
  5. Drugs and Pregnancy (2)
  6. Drugs for Side Effects (3)
  7. Financial Assistance (8)
  8. Medication Safety (13)
  9. Medications A to Z (8)
  10. Mood Stabilizers (90)
  11. Other Medications (3)
  12. Side Effects (7)

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...

What Are Generic Drugs? Are They Safe? Why Do They Cost Less?
This article discusses why generic medications can be sold at a far lower cost than their brand name counterparts, what the standards are for production of generic drugs, and why generics may cause problems not experienced with the brand name medication.

Bipolar Disorder Medications A to Z
Links to information on some of the most commonly prescribed medications used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

What Is a Drug?
There are many terms used for the various agents we take to treat and aid the aspects of our health. It is, unfortunately, common for people to confuse various terms –- drug, medication/medicine, prescription, over-the-counter, herbal remedy, dietary supplement –- thinking that some words inherently mean a substance is safe. However, there are rather blurry lines between the various categories of agents so just what do these terms mean?

What Are Antidepressants? Antidepressant Types / Classes
It's obvious from the name that antidepressants are medications to relieve depression, but what are all the different types or classes? There are SSRIs, SNRIs and SSNRIs; there are MAOIs and tricyclics; and then there are a few just lumped into the category of atypical antidepressants. From Prozac to Cymbalta, from Elavil to Parnate, from...

Psychiatric Medications and Violence
Evidence in a review of five years' worth of data shows that for 31 medications, many of them used in psychiatry, there is a greater than normal risk of homicide, physical assault, violence-related symptoms and homicidal ideation. Is there enough evidence to ban any of these medications?

My Doctor Ignores Side Effects - What Should I Do?
You have started a new medication and are experiencing unpleasant side effects. The side effects have not gone away in time and may have gotten worse. Your doctor or psychiatrist who prescribed the medication dismisses your concerns and will not discuss changing medications. What should you do?

What Is a Placebo?
A placebo used to be a sugar pill given by doctors to patients whose symptoms didn't appear to have any medical cause. Physicians discovered that people taking these inert pills often reported feeling better. Today, drug companies are making active placebos for use in clinical trials.

Are My Medications Working?
When you begin taking medications for bipolar disorder, here are some things to for which to watch in order to tell if the medications are working well for you.

Bipolar Journal - Hot, Hot, Hot
Part 9 in an ongoing series tracking one person's life after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. In this installment, the author's meds appear to be causing profuse sweating and hot flashes.

Medicating Upward
From bipolar depression upward toward positive stability via medications - five medication changes in eight weeks - here is the story week by week of the changes and their results. Part of the "I'm Bipolar" series.

Medication Roller Coaster
Ride the med-induced roller coaster! From the “I’m Bipolar” series, the author is still optimistic about the future as she and her doctor continue to work toward finding a combination of medications that will control her moods and allow her to lose weight - though there are new restrictions on exercising.

Oh, Those Meds!
From the “I’m Bipolar” series, two weeks after being diagnosed as Bipolar Type I, the writer is struggling with medications and their side effects, and fearful about the future.

On the Medication Carousel
More from the “I’m Bipolar” series, the process of finding the right combination medications is still going on, with little success, but some things have been learned.

Big Pharma Wants Your Attention
"Over the years I have tried more than forty-five different medications to control my manic depression and side effects, and that during some periods I took more than twelve medications at once - sometimes totaling more than thirty pills and capsules throughout the day," says Andy Behrman, author of Electroboy. He learned more about this as a spokesman for a pharmaceutical company.

Tamoxifen - Serendipity for Bipolar Disorder?
Breast cancer research with the drug tamoxifen has provided an unexpected bonus in the research of drugs to treat mania in bipolar disorder.

Are Beyond-Use Dates Different Than Expiration Dates?
US Pharmacopeia recommends the practice of beyond-use dates. A beyond-use date is the date placed on a prescription bottle by a pharmacy noting when that prescription should no longer be used. How does this affect your prescriptions?

June Russell's Health Facts: The Placebo Effect
"Placebos are not always inert; they can have actual ingredients. When a study is reported as being 'placebo controlled' (in addition to being large, randomized, and double blind) - the 'gold standard' - the public is led to believe that the outcome is reliable."

Medications - From National Institute of Mental Health
This booklet is designed to help mental health patients and their families understand how and why medications can be used as part of the treatment of mental health problems. It is important for you to be well informed about medications you may need. You should know what medications you take and the dosage, and learn everything you can about them. You can read online or download a PDF.

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