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.
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)
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:
- Norpramin (Desipramine)
- Tofranil (Imipramine)
- Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
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)
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)
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 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.
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“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.
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