To discover the new bipolar treatments, first we must have some background on just what bipolar disorder is and what it entails. Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by the patient experiencing separate episodes of mania and depressions. Unlike people who are not affected by this condition, patients struggling with the bipolar disorder can go through periods of very high, but unsubstantiated, euphoria accompanied by improved cognitive abilities. However, as the manic episode ends, the disorder manifests its dual polarity, and the affected patient may usually experience the opposite symptoms, such as disphoria, lack of motivation, and depression.
While there have been several different types of bipolar disorders observed and documented by mental health doctors, the treatments options used in the previous century had been rather similar. It used to be the common form of treating bipolar disorder has been to prescribe mood stabilizing drugs. The most commonly prescribed medication for the manic episodes has been lithium carbonate, but these episodes are also known to be treated with many different antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medications. The depressive states on the other hand are most often fought with antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, ranging from very popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), to anxiolitics from the benzodiazepine class.
New Bipolar Treatments
However, just because a given pattern of medications has been widely accepted and popular in the medical community, it certainly does not mean it is best of the only treatment option for the bi-polar disorder. Currently, more and more psychiatrists are examining different, and sometimes better, treatments options, paying special attention to the possible “off-label” use of certain already present medications. For example, certain strong anti-convulsant drugs such as carbamazepine and lamotrigine, which have previously been used to treat seizures and epilepsy, are proving to be effective at treating the manic episodes of the disorder.
In addition lamotrigine, sold as Lamictal in the United States, has also been shown to be effective at treating bi-polar induced depressions. Furthermore, the type of medication known as atypical antipsychotics is being examined, with certain ones proving effective in research studies. While olanzapine, sold as Zyprexa, and quetiapine fumarate, sold as Seroquel, have not been able to receive full FDA “label” support in order to be marketed as bi-polar treatments, the studies nonetheless have shown them to be effective at treating the bi-polar disorder and many physicians are prescribing them as “off-label” meds.
Ultimately, there are many other treatment options available, and even cognitive behavioral therapy can be very successful in helping the patient properly deal with and manage their episodes. Therefore, to ensure anyone affected by this disorder receives the proper care they deserve, it is important to select a mental health professional who has both a lot of experience treating bi-polar patients, and is well educated and informed about the current best treatment options.