Bipolar Mania Medications: Which Drugs for Mania Help?
Bipolar mania medications can help people manage and prevent the effects of a manic episode. The drugs come in various forms, and what works for one person with bipolar disorder may not work for another. In most cases, finding the right medication to help you control your mental health condition is a process of trial and error, and your doctor will want to work with you to find the best possible treatment for your symptoms. When it comes to advocating for your mental health, however, it helps to know your options. Here’s what you need to know about bipolar mania medications.
How Many Bipolar Mania Medications Are There?
There are several bipolar mania medications, but the most commonly prescribed drugs include antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. These drugs help to control mood swings and prevent the symptoms of psychosis that often occur in mania, such as delusions and hallucinations.
According to the National Institute of Health, there is substantial evidence that supports the use of the following drugs in acute bipolar mania:
- Mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid, Camcolit, Liskonum, Priadel, Lithonate, Litarex)
- Anticonvulsants, such as valproate (Depakote, Epilim) and carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine, Largactil) haloperidol (Haldol), Risperidone (Risperdal) and others
While medications can be prescribed to treat the acute symptoms of mania, most people with bipolar type I disorder decide to take medication long-term. What’s more, “combination therapy” (which includes various forms of medication and/or psychological counseling) is usually recommended to help people manage the ongoing effects of this condition. Sometimes, compulsory admission to a mental health hospital may be required if mania is severe, especially if your safety is at risk ("Bipolar Mania Stories: What Is Bipolar Mania Like?").
Do Medications Stop or Cure Bipolar Mania?
The goal of bipolar mania medications in an acute episode is to alleviate symptoms and allow the brain to return to normal levels of functioning. These medications work by rapidly controlling the areas of the brain that trigger agitation, aggression and impulsivity. In long-term use, bipolar medications can reduce the symptoms of mania and even prolong the onset of manic episodes. Most mood stabilizers also work to reduce the symptoms of bipolar depression.
There is currently no medication that can cure bipolar disorder or stop the symptoms completely, and many people with bipolar disorder have to take medication indefinitely. It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Some people choose to take bipolar mania medications during particularly stressful periods of their lives while refraining from long-term use. Others rely on daily medication to control their symptoms and lessen the likelihood of future episodes.
If You Think You Need Bipolar Mania Drugs
If you think you need medication to help you manage the symptoms of mania, your doctor can help you determine the right treatment for you. Before you can be prescribed a bipolar mania drug, you will need to meet the diagnostic criteria of bipolar disorder and receive a formal diagnosis from a specialist. Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will explore the various medication options while looking at your family history, tolerance levels, current medications and general health.
If you have bipolar disorder, your path to treatment and recovery may not be the same as anyone else’s – and that’s okay. You may begin taking bipolar mania drugs, or you may decide to take a different treatment route. Either way, it can take months or years to find a strategy that helps you control the effects of mania, so it’s important to establish a therapeutic alliance and to communicate openly and honestly with your doctor.
Remember: you should never stop taking bipolar mania medications without guidance from a medical professional.
Smith, E. (2019, May 27). Bipolar Mania Medications: Which Drugs for Mania Help?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-treatment/bipolar-mania-medications-which-drugs-for-mania-help