Bipolar Disorder or manic-depressive disorder is a very common mental illness nowdays. With this fact, bipolar medications have also been made available for patients. However, if you are wondering why you have only heard about it now is because it is often misdiagnosed especially in the past. Sometimes, people perceive the individual having the disorder as lunatic. Today, there are already criteria available that are helpful in diagnosing the disorder.
It is very important to diagnose the condition properly so that the proper treatment will be given to the person suffering from the disorder. The individual needs to be diagnosed with the specific type of dipolar disorder so he can have the right medication and therapy. There are many types of manic-depressive diseases and the two common types are Bipolar I and II.
The treatment that will be given to the patient is based on his symptoms and how long the symptoms have lasted. The therapies will be provided for the patient depending on the severity of the condition. Medication will also be given to address and control the symptoms of the patient especially when the person is undergoing mania and depression. The period of time that medication will be given will also depend on how long the symptoms last and how mild or severe they are.
During the initial phase, antipsychotic medications are given to the patients. There are many antipsychotic medications available but the physician will be the one who is going to decide and prescribe which antipsychotics suit the patient needs. In time, it may be discontinued because if used for a long time, severe side effects can occur.
When a patient is highly active, elated, irritable, and angry he is in the manic stage. The medication that is appropriate for this period of time is mood stabilizers. Again, there are many mood stabilizers available in the market. The most common mood stabilizer that is prescribed to manic-depressive patients is lithium.
In using this drug, it is very important that health care providers watch the patient carefully for several side effects. One must make sure that the patient receives the right dose. If under dosed, it has no effects, therefore the medication is useless. On the other hand, when lithium is given in excessive amounts, it is very dangerous. Lithium is toxic to the body especially if given over-dosed. A patient having this medication will be undergoing blood tests from time to time to determine the lithium level in the blood.
Another type of medication is the anti-depressants. Judging by its name, anti-depressants are prescribed to counteract the patient's depressive symptoms. It will lift the patient's mood to pull him out from extreme depression. This drug is only given usually on the depression stage of the manic-depression disorder.
Before the bipolar medication is prescribed to the patients, doctors make sure that the patients have good kidney function and renal function. Other than that, they also run several tests to be certain that the patients are not pregnant; do not have thyroid problems, etc. This is because such medications can be harmful when given to patients experiencing other diseases. For example, a patient that has impaired kidney can not be given medications because he can not excrete it. If he is given lithium and it can not be eliminated out of the body, the patient can have increased level of lithium in his blood and this is already toxic and dangerous. Medication is also contraindicated to pregnant women because it can cause birth defects. These medications need a lot of planning and history taking.