There are three main types of drugs used to treat Bipolar affective disorder; the type prescribed will depend upon the symptoms and type of bipolar diagnosed.
Of these Lithium, a metallic element discovered to affect mood disorders in 1949, is considered to be the gold standard.
10% of people taking Lithium will experience:
Less than 1% of people taking Lithium will experience:
If you are prescribed Lithium for Bipolar your consultant will advise you on the dosage you should take. It is thought 40% of people prescribed the drug do not take it as prescribed and this can have a large impact on the efficacy of the drug as well as the side effects.
You will be closely monitored to check that the drug is working and to review the impact on your body and mental health. It is vitally important that you discuss any changes to the dosage of your drug with your consultant before making changes.
Antidepressants can be useful in helping deal with the depressive state often associated with bipolar, which can be long lasting and chronic.
Sometimes antidepressants can be prescribed with a mood stabiliser as well because it has been found that if used on their own antidepressants can negatively affect the mood of the patient.
Antipsychotic drugs can be used to deal with delusions or hallucinations which can be experienced in severe depressive or manic states.
They can also be used as a sedative to help deal with insomnia, anxiety and agitation and can increase the effect of mood stabilizing drugs. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) suggests four types of antipsychotic should be prescribed; your clinician may try you on one and move you to another if it does not seem to work for you.
At Clinical Partners we know how scary it can be when you or someone in your family is showing the symptoms of an illness like Bipolar. We can help guide you through the process of getting a diagnosis and treatment plan, including follow ups.
To talk to someone today about seeking treatment for Bipolar Affective Disorder please call 0203 326 9160. You do not need a GP referral and we can usually arrange an assessment within a few days.