Recovery Begins Here
Call 24/7 (888) 527-1974

We’re open everyday 24/7
Get help now
Free & confidential

(888) 527-1974

Bipolar Disorder Medication General Side Effects

Estimates have shown that about 5.7 million adults or 2.6 percent of the United States population 18 years or older live with bipolar disorder. The mood swings individuals may experience as a result of the condition are much different than what you may see on TV, and those living with bipolar can attest to it being a life-changing diagnosis. The mood swings are severe, long-lasting, and will interfere with your everyday routines and functions. You may be happy one moment and sad the next, which is a sign of mania. 

Some who struggle will notice a shift in their moods more frequently than others, but it’s common to have an abnormal state seen as high or low. Those who experience mania will use poor judgment, go on spending sprees, abuse drugs or alcohol, or have problems concentrating. 

Fortunately, despite it being such a debilitating condition, there is medical relief available to treat bipolar disorder. If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have spoken to your doctor about potential chemical relief, you must familiarize yourself with some of the medications and their side effects. In most cases, however, the medicine will provide assistance that will overshadow these effects, but some might be severe.

What Medications are Used to Treat Bipolar Disorder?

If you have bipolar disorder, you will likely use medication as part of your treatment plan. Medication will bring depression and mania under control and prevent relapse once you stabilize your mood. It’s common to disagree with the prospect of taking medicine every day, especially if you’re struggling with side effects, but medication will help you maintain a stable mood. 

The most common bipolar medications include:

  • Lithium
  • Depakote
  • Tegretol
  • Lamictal
  • Topamax
  • Seroquel
  • Zyprexa
  • Symbyax
  • Risperdal
  • Abilify
  • Geodon
  • Clozapine

If you are using any of the medications listed above for your bipolar disorder, you must go in for regular check-ups from your doctor and blood tests to ensure you are not harming your body. If you experience any side effects, you must contact your prescribing physician immediately to discuss your options. 

Side Effects of Bipolar Medication

If you have bipolar disorder, finding the right medication can be as complicated as finding the right pair of eyeglasses. Bipolar will distort your view or yourself and the world, but medicine will help you regain some clarity. Unfortunately, medication is an essential piece of the treatment plan. While they won’t cure you, the drug will help keep your moods in balance so you can continue moving forward in your life.  

Like any drug, bipolar medications are likely to cause some side effects for the user. These will vary depending on which medications you use, and some of these side effects include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Sexual problems
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Belly pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin reaction

Some of these medications may affect how your liver works and the number of white blood cells or platelets. You must take regular tests to ensure you are staying healthy. Some drugs are linked to severe skin conditions, and you must always update your doctor about any adverse effects that may occur.

Sources

Goldberg, J. (2018, April 6). Mood Stabilizers as a Treatment for Bipolar Mania. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/medications-bipolar-disorder#1

Goldberg, J. (2018, October 16). What Kind of Doctor Treats Bipolar Disorder? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/what-kind-doctor

Goldberg, J. (2018, September 23). Lithium Treatment for Bipolar Disorder: Side Effects and More. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-lithium#1

Bipolar Medication Guide. (2019, December 12). Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-medication-guide.htm

Bipolar Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml

Have Questions? Call 24/7.
Calling Is Free & Confidential.

(888) 527-1974

COVID-19 Advisory: We are accepting patients and offering telehealth options. Click here for more information.