First-generation, or typical, antipsychotic
Second-generation, or atypical, antipsychotic
|Symbyax||olanzapine and fluoxetine|
These medicines are available in liquid, tablet, or
How It Works
These medicines balance certain chemicals
in the brain (). It is not clear exactly how these
medicines work for the treatment of bipolar disorder. But they quickly improve
Why It Is Used
Each of these medicines has been
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat bipolar
disorder. Some medicines work better for some people than for others.
Second-generation antipsychotic medicines may have fewer side effects than
first-generation antipsychotic medicines. Be sure to talk with your doctor
about how the medicine is working for you. Sometimes you might need to try more
than one type of medicine before you find one that works best for you.
These medicines have all been found to be an effective treatment of manic
episodes. Quetiapine has been approved by the FDA to treat both mania and
depression. Other antipsychotic medicines, such as olanzapine, are also being
studied for the treatment of depression in bipolar disorder. The single
medicine combining olanzapine and fluoxetine (Symbyax) is also used to treat
depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Fluoxetine is a selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is used to balance certain brain
chemicals () that are thought to cause
How Well It Works
Drugs in this classification work
quickly in the treatment of bipolar disorder, especially in older adults. These
medicines have all been found to be an effective treatment of manic episodes.
Some studies show the combination of an antipsychotic and a mood stabilizer may
be more effective than a mood stabilizer alone.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.