What Medications are used for Bipolar 2?: 3 Types

Bipolar 2 medication can vary from that of the medication prescribed for bipolar 1. However, this does not always have to be the case. The main reason bipolar 2 is different from bipolar 1 is because people with bipolar 2 will experience depression much longer than those with bipolar 1 (aka, manic depression).

As a general rule, different kinds of antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers are often prescribed to those diagnosed with bipolar 2. Those with bipolar 1 may also be prescribed the same medications, it just depends on the individual’s specific symptoms, pre-existing factors and needs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the specific medications that might be prescribed regarding antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. You’ll also find information on additional treatment options as well.

Bipolar 2 Medication Names by Type


Antidepressant medication typically consist of 4 different types of medication. Each of the four can serve a different treatment purpose. The variety and amount of medication prescribed will depend on the individual’s specific needs.

bipolar 2 medication

The four common types of antidepressants used include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and tricyclics antidepressants (cyclic antidepressants or TCAs).

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) by brand name and/or medication name:

  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
  • Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
  • Fetzima (Levomilnacipran)
  • Effexor XR (Venlafaxine)

Serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by brand name and/or medication name:

  • Celexa (Citalopram)
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine)
  • Paxil/Pexeva (Paroxetine)

By the way! You can check out this related article on “Bipolar 2 Symptoms in Women: 10 Examples” for more information about Bipolar 2.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) by brand name and/or medication name:

  • Emsam (Selegiline)
  • Marplan (Isocarboxazid)
  • Nardil (Phenelzine)
  • Parnate (Tranylcypromine)

For more, check out this helpful article on MAOIs from the folks at drugs.com.

Tricyclics antidepressants (cyclic antidepressants or TCAs) by brand name and/or medication name:

  • Amoxapine
  • Norpramin (Desipramine)
  • Tofranil (Imipramine)
  • Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
  • Trimipramine.

For more types and various information on TCAs in general, check out this article from rxlist.com.

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Antipsychotic medication is used to control and ease symptoms of bipolar 2. In some cases psychosis can occur with those experiencing bipolar symptoms, in which case certain antipsychotic medications including but not limited to the following, may be prescribed:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Haldol (Haloperidol)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Prolixin (Fluphenazine)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)

Mood stabilizers

Certain mood stabilizers such as anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines have been known to help in the treatment process of bipolar. The main factor that they help with is reducing the severity of mood swings that those dealing with bipolar often experience.

Here are a few of the most common ones per type:


Anticonvulsants are primarily used to treat seizures, however, they have become popular when treating mental health disorders such as bipolar. They act as a calming agent to ease hyperactivity and can decrease the extreme level of mania one might experience.

The below is a list of the more commonly known brands of anticonvulsants used:

  • Depakene (valproic acid)
  • Depakote (divalproex sodium)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Lithobid (lithium)
  • Tegretol (carbamazepine)

bipolar 2 medication


Benzodiazepines are used as another calming agent. This medication is known to calm the nerve activity in the brain which can help with panic attacks and anxiety.

The below is a list of the more commonly known brands of benzodiazepines used:

  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)

Additional Treatment Options

Substance Abuse Treatment Plans

Substance abuse can be another issue that those with bipolar 2 deal with. For direct, confidential help and resources, including a 24 hour hotline, check out THIS WEBSITE PAGE over on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety nd panic attacks are common among those with bipolar (1 and 2) as well. An anxiety attack can be triggered by bipolar symptoms or symptoms may be triggered by anxiety/panic attacks. It’s a difficult cycle that too many people endure.

Panic Away is a program designed to eliminate the root of the anxiety to help you achieve a higher quality of life. Check it out HERE to see if it’s right for you!

“Talk therapy” (aka Psychotherapy)

Psychotherapy is simply when someone goes to a licensed therapist to discuss anything they might be struggling with in order to work toward eliminating the root cause.

Online therapy can help with any emotional and/or mental health issue you may be struggling with in regards to bipolar or any type of mental health issue/concern.

Getting started with a certified therapist is easy with OnlineTherapy. If you’d like to start online therapy with a certified therapist (plus a full toolbox including extra supportive activities) you can get 20% off your first full month with this special discount link!

Self-Care Practices

Self-care is about more than just “treating yourself” or enjoying a bubble bath from time to time. Implementing daily self-care practices such as exercise, eating well, journaling and meditation are a few great things you can do you make sure you’re putting your own well-being first.

Here are a couple of great products that can help you do that…

Mosaic Weighted Blankets and Accessories – A variety of top of the line weighted products.

Weighted blankets and accessories have been known to help ease a number of mental and emotional health symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Check out the quality weighted products from Mosaic HERE.

Best SelfJournals, Planners and other Personal Development Essentials.

Working toward your mental and emotional well-being is the first step in influencing the best version of yourself. Best Self offers a variety of journals, planners and more, to help you organize your thoughts and reach your personal goals.

Check them out HERE and start working toward your best self, mentally, emotionally and/or physically, today!


Hi, I'm Marissa! I'm passionate about mental and emotional health and want to share what I've learned over the years with others! I've seen first hand how mental health struggles can cause serious issues within relationships, work life, daily productivity, self-worth and more! I truly believe that we owe it to ourselves to bring more awareness to these life changing topics. Start your mental/emotional health journey by learning more today!

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