What are some of the best mood stabilizers on the market?


Quick Answer

Some examples of the best mood stabilizers available with a prescription include lithium and valproate, according to WebMD. The American Psychiatric Association considers the first-line treatment for severe mania or mixed episode to be either of these drugs in combination with an anti-psychotic medication.

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Full Answer

Lithium is a salt that works as a mood stabilizer and comes in tablet, capsule and liquid forms. Researchers have found that up to 80 percent of people with bipolar disorder respond to lithium with a reduction of manic symptoms, explains WebMD. Lithium also reduces the risk of suicide in bipolar patients at least sixfold.

When people first start taking this medication, they need to undergo frequent blood tests to measure the lithium levels in their blood, to prevent drug toxicity and damage to the kidneys or thyroid gland, explains PsychCentral.

Valproate, also known as depakote, is another effective type of medication that works as a mood stabilizer, especially for people who are rapid cyclers, reports PsychCentral. Rapid cyclers are people with bipolar disorder who quickly move between the depressive and manic mood states. There is also evidence of its effectiveness in treating people with a history of head trauma, substance abuse or mental retardation. Valproate usually takes up to two weeks to cause a reduction in symptoms.

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