Medications for Bipolar Disorder
Anticonvulsant MedicationsOther types of medications for this disorder include anticonvulsants, which are medications originally (and currently) used to treat seizures. It is not known exactly why some anticonvulsants work for bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsants used to treat the condition include:
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro™, Tegretol®)
- Divalproex sodium (Depakote®, Depakote ER®)
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal®)
- Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®)
- Topiramate (Topamax®)
- Valproic acid (Depakene®).
Of all the anticonvulsants, lamotrigine appears to be the most useful for treating bipolar depression.
Antipsychotic MedicationsAntipsychotic medications are also used to treat bipolar disorder. They are especially useful for treating mania (which often has some features that resemble psychosis). In particular, newer "second-generation" antipsychotics are especially useful for bipolar mania. Bipolar disorder medications in this category include:
- Aripiprazole (Abilify®)
- Clozapine (Clozaril®, FazaClo®)
- Lurasidone (Latuda®)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa®)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel®)
- Risperidone (Risperdal®)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon®).
Sometimes, older "first-generation" antipsychotic medications are used to treat bipolar mania, although they are typically not tried first. These medications can include:
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine®)
- Fluphenazine (Prolixin®)
- Haloperidol (Haldol®)
- Loxapine (Adasuve™, Loxitane®)
- Molindone (Moban®)
- Perphenazine (Trilafon®)
- Pimozide (Orap®)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine®, Compro®)
- Thiothixene (Navane®)
- Thioridazine (Mellaril®)
- Trifluoperazine (Stelazine®).
Of all the antipsychotic medications, quetiapine appears to be the most useful for treating bipolar depression.