Bipolar Medication and Possible Side Effects

When dealing with bipolar disorder the doctors will usually suggest that you take some type of medication that will help to control the emotions. There are a number of different kinds that they might suggest, but it is not always easy to know which is going to work with your body. Unfortunately this can be a trial and error process and like with any medication there could be side effects involved. To help with this process we have listed a few of the more popular medications that are prescribed and the possible side effects that could occur.


This is something that many doctors might use when trying to treat mania. In fact this medicine has been around for fifty years. The best time to use this is when the disorder has been spotted early on in the stages of development. In that way it is going to be much more effective. Medical research shows that this is very effective when being used in someone whose family has a history of this illness or those patients who are in the Bipolar I sequence and bounce between mania and depression. Possible side effects of this drug include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Weight gain
  • Hand tremors
  • Constant thirst
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Acne
  • Retention of water
  • Hair loss
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Problems with kidney function


This type of medicine was approved by the FDA in 1995. Medical research showed that this was proven to be as effective at treating bipolar disorder as lithium. This is also able to be given in larger doses when trying to treat severe episodes in people. There is a generic version that people can use, called valproic. However, this generic medicine has been known to cause gastrointestinal distress.


This has been known to help the most with people suffering from bipolar disorder. In certain cases it has been used together with lithium to control relapse and recurrence. The possible side effects include:

  • Sedation
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Weight gain
  • Liver problems
  • Pancreatic problems