Treating Bipolar Disorder With Medication

There are a number of things that are able to be used when doctors are trying to treat patients that have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If counseling and group therapy is not enough to keep their moods under control than the doctors will often prescribe medication. The hard part is knowing which one is going to work for each patient.

Mood Stabilizers

Lithium was the first (and is still the most popular) mood stabilizer that was used to treat bipolar disorder. This was first discovered back in 1817. The doctors of this time first began to experiment with its uses on patients and noticed the effect that it would have.

It was not until 1950 that the facts and findings of how it was used to treat bipolar disorder became published and it was developed in a way that doctors could more easily prescribe it to patients. This particular drug has certain antidepressant effects that helps to treat mania and hypomania. The drug is still used today despite how old it is.


Anticonvulsants, also known as anti epileptic drugs, were first made to treat seizures and problems associated with them. However, they have recently been used to help and can be used to stabilize the moods of people with bipolar disorder by controlling the electric discharges in the brain that can attribute to this problem.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Research has shown that a few types of calcium channel blocker drugs are effective when being used to control severe mood changes. These are often used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. As helpful as these can be they have not yet been added as an official drug of choice for treating bipolar disorder.


It is not uncommon for people suffering from mania to have psychosis. That is why doctors will prescribe antipsychotics to stabilize their moods and to help fight the symptoms of the mania. These can be used for long time symptoms if the doctor feels it is necessary.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

This type of medication will be used to gain control of manic symptoms before they can do damage to the patient’s personal life. These help with sedation, to relieve anxiety, and to control muscle spasms. They will also help the patient to have a normal sleeping schedule.