Bipolar affective disorder, also known as manic depression disorder, is a mental illness that causes the patient to experience mood swings or mood cycling, involving depressive episodes, mania episodes, and/or mixed episodes. There are many treatment options for bipolar affective disorder. The most successful treatments are a combination of medications and counseling or therapy.
Within the last five years there have been several substantial breakthroughs in research toward finding the true biological cause of bipolar affective disorder. This research has lead to the development of several new bipolar affective disorder medications. A few of the more popular latest medications for bipolar affective disorder are described below.
Abilify, or Aripiprazole, is an atypical anti-psychotic. It was approved for treatment of manic and mixed bipolar disorder episodes in 2004, and further approved as a maintenance medication for bipolar disorder in 2005. While most anti-psychotic medications work by shutting down dopamine receptors in the brain, Abilify works by making the dopamine receptors behave more normally. This stabilization makes this latest medication the ideal treatment for bipolar affective disorder.
Celexa is an antidepressant that has been around for several years. However, it has been used with increasingly more frequency in the last few years for the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. This is due to the fact that Celexa has proven to be more selective than other anti-depressants. This essentially means that with Celexa, fewer bipolar patients need a mood stabilizer to prevent the antidepressant from sending them zooming into a manic episode. It has been extremely successful as a maintenance medication for bipolar affective disorder.
Geodon is an anti-psychotic that works as a mood stabilizer in bipolar affective disorder patients. The most exciting thing about this latest mood stabilizer medication is that it is not associated with weight gain. It works in much the same way as Zyprexa, which has been proven to be a very successful medication for the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. However, unlike Zyprexa, side effects are fewer, milder, and do not include weight gain!
Wellbutrin, also sold as Zyban, was originally developed as a medication to help people stop smoking, in which it has been quite successful. In recent years, however, it has been discovered, quite by accident, that it is even more successful as an antidepressant when used as a medication for bipolar affective disorder. Chemically, it is unrelated to any other antidepressant, and it is unknown why it works so well with bipolar patients. One advantage to Wellbutrin is that it is a weight stable medication, meaning that patients will typically not see weight gain or weight loss.
As technology and research progresses, more effective medications for bipolar affective disorder are bound to be developed. Successful treatment of bipolar affective disorder is the goal of many researchers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Discuss treatment options with your doctor often, and keep track of the latest developments in medications for bipolar affective disorder, so that you can appreciate the benefits of successful treatment for your bipolar affective disorder.