Drug Treatment for Eating Disorders
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Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that is characterized by periods of depression, followed by periods of elation, hyperactivity, and erratic behavior (mania).
While depression is certainly no fun, the main treatment protocol for bipolar disorder involves treating the manic phase, due to its sometimes life-threatening behaviors. Unfortunately, those with bipolar disorder are actually more likely to attempt suicide during the manic phase, because this is when they have the energy to actually go through with the harmful thoughts that brew during the depressive phase.
The most common class of drugs used to treat this disorder are known as mood stabilizers, and include drugs such as lithium, valproate, and carbamazepine. The purpose of mood stabilizers is to prevent manic episodes, reduce the likelihood of suicide, and reduce the frequency and severity of mood episodes.
Another option is the use of anticonvulsant medications, including Lamictal and Topamax. Typically prescribed to prevent seizures, anticonvulsants have also been shown to have mood-stabilizing effects. The downside to most of these medications, however, is the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
A third type of drugs, generally used for urgent or extreme mania, is the class called atypical antipsychotics. This includes drugs such as Risperdal, Seroquel, Abilify and Zyprexa, which control the psychotic features of extreme mania.
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