Posted: 02/04/2015

Are Antidepressants Ineffective for Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar-medications

Bipolar disorder, much like other associated mental illnesses, is widely misdiagnosed and finding an effective medication is challenging. Historically, bipolar disorder has been treated with antidepressants and mood stabilizers.  Recent studies have determined that antidepressants are no longer the best bipolar medication option available. In fact, studies have shown that antidepressants can actually worsen bipolar disorder and may even trigger manic episodes.

As technology develops, better drug options like Latuda, are proving their effectiveness. Understanding the potential risks involved with using antidepressants and being aware of alternative drug options are necessary steps involved in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

The biggest concern with using antidepressants to treat bipolar disorder is the inconsistent research available. To this day, there is major controversy as to whether antidepressants help, hurt, or do absolutely nothing to treat bipolar disorder.  Some research provides evidence that there is an increased risk for a mania switch while on antidepressants. The mood-elevating actions of antidepressants may or may not be involved in mood switching, a symptom associated with bipolar disorder that involves a switch from an extremely “up” mood to an extremely “down” one. 

Dr. Nassir Ghaemi points out that though relative studies have been done to prove or disprove the effectiveness of antidepressants for bipolar disorder, there is no conclusive evidence to argue one way or the other. He does conclude that one thing is for certain: clinicians and patients alike are constantly in search of a better alternative for the management of this illness.

Latuda: An Alternative Bipolar Medication

Queue Latuda, a drug that has been on the market for the treatment of schizophrenia. Atypical antipsychotics are being explored more frequently as alternative, more effective treatment options. Latuda is the first drug of its kind to receive FDA approval as a singular and a supplemental drug for bipolar treatment. 

Atypical antipsychotics work by adjusting the levels of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that allow nerve cells, or neurons, to communicate with each other. Research has identified that individual neurotransmitters could play a role in bipolar disorder. Approved in the summer of 2013, Latuda is proving to be extremely effective in as little as 3-4 weeks and is well-tolerated by patients.

“In the clinical trials, patients treated with Latuda experienced low rates of change in weight, BMI, lipid parameters, and measures of glycemic control,” reports Dr. Antony Loebe, Vice President of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.  Side effects that have been reported include: an increased fasting glucose, higher blood sugar, drowsiness, sensitivity to heat, and nausea. While less common reported side effects include: muscle stiffness or twitching, uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, and limbs. 

Because Latuda is new and proving to be so effective, the cost associated with this medication is high, around $900 for 30 pills. Sunovion and other prescription saving programs are offering discounts to make the medication more affordable as well as the free Latuda coupons available on this site at http://www.helprx.info/latuda-discounts-coupons.

A New Door Opens

With the kind of frustration that can be linked with finding a medicine that works and getting a handle on any disease, the approval of Latuda is monumental for those with unregulated bipolar disorder. While traditional antidepressants matched with mood stabilizers may have been partially effective in some users, Latuda users are reporting greater success with fewer side effects.  With the emergence and approval of drugs like Latuda, those suffering with bipolar disorder are being presented with options to find what fits them in a way they never have before.

By HelpRx Staff Writer

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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