2013 Bipolar Update

The pursuit of new treatments for bipolar disorder is one major concern for doctors who are constantly in search of new drugs to help better the condition of their patients. While bipolar disorder has long been documented as a psychological condition, it is only recently that medication has achieved tremendous breakthroughs towards managing and curing the conditions.

What follows are some of the most promising and recently released medication brands that are touted as new treatments for bipolar disorder. After extensive clinical and laboratory testing, these medication brands are ready for approval and release by the FDA. Fittingly enough, these drugs offer a new dimension to helping doctors and patients arrest the severity, frequency, and cyclical nature of many bipolar disorder cases.

•Topamax. Of the many options for new treatments for bipolar disease, Topamax is the most promising medication for treating mania cycles. It is an anti-convulsant designed to control mood and hyperactivity. While most anti-convulsant medications on the market have weight gain as its most notorious side effect, Topamax does not seem to have this inconvenience based on data collected in trials thus far. However, Topamax does have its share of side effects including the feeling “pins and needles” on a specific part of the body, or sleepiness and dizziness in some cases. All in all, Topamax is widely considered as a potential upgrade for existing mania medications as it does not have known incompatibilities with other bipolar medication products already on the market.

•Lamictal. The counterpart of Topamax in the race for new treatments for bipolar disorder is Lamictal. While Topamax works best as an anti-convulsant, Lamictal results show it to be an effective anti-depressant. Weight gain and hair loss, typical side effects in approved anti-depressants, also do not show up in early Lamictal trials. The documented side effects, thus far, include vision problems, random rashes, and nausea which can lead to vomiting. Lamictal carries a special note on observing rashes as this can be manifestations of something more serious. Patients taking Lamictal and observing rashes should see their doctors immediately for a more comprehensive diagnosis and recommendation.

•Tegretol. Another anti-depressant touted as one of the new treatments for bipolar disorder is Tegretol. It works best as a mood stabilizer and is highly recommended for mixed or rapid cycling bipolar disorder where the transition from mania to depression is not as clearly defined or observable. Side effects include thirstiness, constipation, and compromised urination. Further, Tegretol should be taken only after a thorough medical examination as doctors have noted a propensity for blood clotting disorders and lowered immunity that need to be ascertained prior to regular usage.

These new treatments for bipolar disorder are in the middle stages of testing and trials but already they are showing potential for helping to control bipolar disorder symptoms. With more data and continued development, doctors hope that the approval and release of these drugs to the market will equip doctors and patients alike with an additional weapon to help them finally defeat the lingering and stubborn effects of bipolar disorder.