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 different people than 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.
The use of antipsychotics
has also been linked to the risk of movement disorders. The risk of developing
a movement disorder is less for newer antipsychotics such as aripiprazole,
olanzapine, risperidone, and quetiapine. But it is important to tell your
doctor about any abnormal muscle movements.
Also, second-generation antipsychotics may raise the risk of
diabetes and/or abnormalities in cholesterol levels.
The most common side effects of
olanzapine include dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, drowsiness, and
increased appetite. Other common side effects are
shakiness or tremors, slurred speech, and low blood pressure that makes you
feel dizzy when you stand up.