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July 11, 2020

A study on Antidepressants and Bipolar Disorder

What do you mean by Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a state which results in unexpected alterations in your mood, from depression to mania. A person suffering from bipolar disorder might undergo an exceedingly increased mood and disturbing thoughts. A person with bipolar disorder can be easily annoyed, have a fast-paced talk and they tend to prolong the conversations. They might employ dangerous methods such as spending unreasonable amounts of money or taking part in risky sexual intercourse.

According to the publication by the American Psychiatric Association, there are 6 types of bipolar disorders that are registered in “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5). These include bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, substance-induced bipolar and related disorders, bipolar and related disorders due to another medical condition, and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.

A person experiencing bipolar I disorder has manic occurrences that will last for at least 7 days. These are accompanied by depressive occurrences that will last for at least 2 weeks or more. A person who’s experiencing bipolar II disorder has combined feelings of depression and manic occurrences. When a person is suffering from the symptoms of mania or depression for a longer period of time, it is considered a Cyclothymic disorder. Following are the other medical conditions that can contribute to bipolar disorder are

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

It will be difficult for the doctors to treat bipolar disease, they may advise you to change your lifestyle and also prescribe you different types of medication before you start feeling better.

What do you mean by antidepressants?

You may get suicidal thoughts if you are suffering from depression along with the bipolar disorder. Antidepressants can improve your mood by treating depression but it is not effective for treating bipolar disorder.

Antidepressants work by increasing the number of feel-good chemicals in the brain such as

Studies related to Antidepressants and Bipolar Disorder

A study on antidepressants whether it can treat bipolar disorder or not conducted by the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). They are recommending not to use antidepressants to treat bipolar disorders after conducting 173 studies on antidepressants and bipolar disorder.

They have also found that tricyclic antidepressants can cause manic occurrences compared to other drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and bupropion.

Can antidepressants treat bipolar disorder condition?

Antidepressants are not the first choice your doctor would prescribe you to treat bipolar disorder. Following are the first group of drugs your doctor may prescribe to treat a bipolar disorder such as

  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Atypical antipsychotic drugs

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers are the first choice of drugs to treat bipolar disorder. Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant and mood stabilizer together and it reduces the risk of manic occurrences.

Anti-Seizure Medication

It is also used to treat bipolar disorder. Following are the drugs belongs to anti-seizure medication. These include

  • Divalproex
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Oxcarbazepine

These drugs work by preventing the release of neurotransmitters, which helps patients who are suffering from bipolar disorder.

Atypical antipsychotic drugs

These drugs work by affecting the various neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and can make people sleepy. Following are the drugs belong to atypical antipsychotic drugs

  • zyprexa
  • Risperdal

What are the antidepressants that are used to treat bipolar disorder?

Antidepressants are not the best choice in the treatment of bipolar disorder, but they are prescribed along with mood stabilizers, anti-seizure medications, and atypical antipsychotic drugs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and bupropion are the first types of antidepressants that doctors should prescribe to bipolar disorder patients according to the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have a higher risk of triggering mania, but doctors may prescribe these medications to patients only in the case of other antidepressants didn’t work.

What after-effects can be experienced by bipolar disorder patients with the use of antidepressants?

Sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, agitation, headaches, and nausea are the several side effects caused by antidepressants to bipolar disorder patients.

For people fighting bipolar disorder, consuming medication on a daily basis is a challenging job. One might experience the feeling of being normal and consider not needing medicine anymore. They might undergo really sad or hyper that they are not in a position to take their medicine or to consume. The situation can be worsened with the abrupt stoppage of using antidepressants during the treatment.

Conclusion

Antidepressants can be considered as an option to cure bipolar disorder. However, they cannot be utilized as the only medicine. Most of the time, antidepressants are advised to take along with mood stabilizers or anti-seizure medications. This practice can put a stop to manic occurrences and people can better manage their emotions.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30506151
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922360/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681751

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