Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder: Effects and Side Effects

Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder are much needed to reduce or completely manage the symptoms and effects of the condition.

Many experts generally point to neurotransmitter or chemical imbalance in the brain as the primary reason why patients go through the different mood swings and changes. Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder will be very useful in helping patients deal with the effects and live normal and healthy lives. There are several to choose from so be sure to know the effects and side effects. Here are the general tips.

Description of Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder are generally described as psychiatric or psychological drugs or medications that are primarily taken to manage mood and personality disorders. These are very effective in reducing or controlling the effects of extreme mood swings. These medications are primarily used for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder or BD.

The changes between the state of depression and mania are sufficiently suppressed and controlled. Mood stabilizing medications are also used for other problems like borderline personality disorder or dependent personality disorder.

Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder are licensed and regulated drugs that require a doctor’s prescription. The prescription is needed because improper use and dosage can lead to a variety of side effects including death. The drugs are taken to treat a very of psychiatric or mental conditions in different severities and states. These are generally made of artificial or synthetic chemical compounds. Some of the ingredients are actually derived from natural sources. Many experts rely on these because of the reliable effects.

Getting Familiar with Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

There are a number of mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder recommended by doctors depending on the condition and severity. Lithium is the most recommended drug. This is available in capsules and tablets and is proven to be very useful for people with the bipolar condition.

However, just over half of the patients treated with the drug actually exhibit significant improvements. The list of mood stabilizers for bipolar mood disorder also includes carbamazepine, lamotrigine, valproate and divalproex. These are available in syrups, chewable tablets and capsules.

The list of mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder functions by balancing and controlling the neurotransmitters or brain chemicals to ensure that the person can deal with his feelings, behavior and emotions properly.

Acute or short term mania among bipolar patients can adequately be controlled by divalproex and valproate. For people diagnosed with long term bipolar disorder, lamotrigine is a good drug to use to cope with the chronic debilitating effects. Some individuals take the drugs to manage seizures because these are also categorized as anti-convulsant or anti-seizure medications.

Choosing from the List of Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

Lithium is the number of drug recommended to bipolar patients because it is shown to improve and manage episodes of mania as well as prevent the recurrence of either pole.

Other medications in the list of mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder include valproate, lamotrigine, carbamazepine and divalproex which keep the person from going from one state to the next or mood cycling per se. These can also be helpful for adult patients who frequently experience shifts between the two states. As the patient grows older, the mood swings become more frequent and the regular mood interval between the two poles becomes shorter.

More Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

Valproate can also be ingested together with lithium carbonate and other known antidepressant drugs to prevent the person from falling into severe depression. These are also useful for some individuals experiencing mania but do not experience adequate and productive effects from lithium carbonate only.

Mania is also treated by carbamazepine and can be effective among individuals who do not find valproate or lithium helpful. Lithium is effective in dealing with manic patients, not of the mixed type. Suicidal tendencies are also reduced significantly with the intake of lithium. Lithium carbonate can help patients going through short term episodes or depression or mania. This can also be useful in terms of preventing the manic or depressed state from happening.

Divalproex is known to minimize the fast cycles between moods and is very useful for people who are addicted to drugs or have anxiety problems. Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder will help patients cope with the effects and other possible risks and complications. Lamotrigine is also useful for the treatment of either depression or mania that stems from bipolar disorder. Some of the things that will improve in patients include mental alertness, mood and relationship with other individuals. Lamotrigine is generally taken independent of other drugs.

The Side Effects of Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

Individuals should follow the prescription, dosage and instructions provided by their doctors for the list of mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder to ensure safety and efficacy. Some of the possible side effects that might come from lithium intake include trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, drowsiness, weight gain during the initial months, frequent urination, constant thirst, changes in kidney function, changes in thyroid function and a metallic taste that develops in the mouth that won’t go away.

Some of the more serious risks that should be attended to immediately include fainting, changes in heart beat and pulse, rise in white blood cell count, slurred speech and dizziness. Valproate can lead to drowsiness, changes in the digestive system, changes in the liver, changes in the way the platelets work, headache, vertigo, temporary weight loss and vomiting.

Seeking Help from the List of Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder

If you browse through the list of mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder, you will find several literatures and notes that will guide you on the proper ways to take the medication. Never self-medicate and always ask for guidance before and after treatment. Risks and side effects should be reported to the doctor immediately. It is also advised to share with the medical practitioner your full medical history, if you have any underlying disease or if you are currently taking other drugs or supplements. Watch out for signs and observe the relative effects of each. The timing and dosage should be followed carefully to ensure health and safety.