Classification of Drugs for Mania and Bipolar Disorder

Dealing with mania and bipolar disorder can be challenging, but medications play a crucial role in managing these conditions.



  • Lithium carbonate
  • Anticonvulsants– Sodium valproate, Carbamazepine, Lamotrigine
  • Atypical antipsychotics- Olanzapine, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Aripiprazole

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers are the cornerstone of treatment for bipolar disorder. They help smooth out the highs (mania) and lows (depression). Common examples include:

  • Lithium: Lithium is one of the oldest and most effective mood stabilizers. It helps prevent manic and depressive episodes.
  • Valproate (Valproic Acid): Valproate is used to treat manic episodes and can also serve as a long-term mood stabilizer.
  • Lamotrigine: This medication is particularly effective in preventing depressive episodes in bipolar disorder.

Antipsychotic Medications

Antipsychotic drugs can be used to manage symptoms during manic episodes. Some antipsychotics, known as atypical antipsychotics, are commonly prescribed for bipolar disorder:

  • Aripiprazole: Aripiprazole can help stabilize mood during manic episodes and can be used as an adjunct to other mood stabilizers.
  • Quetiapine: Quetiapine is often prescribed to manage both manic and depressive episodes in bipolar disorder.
  • Olanzapine: This medication is used to treat acute manic episodes and can also serve as a long-term mood stabilizer.


While antidepressants are primarily used to treat depression, they must be used cautiously in bipolar disorder. They are usually prescribed along with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic to prevent manic episodes.

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These include drugs like fluoxetine and sertraline and are used cautiously in bipolar disorder due to their potential to trigger manic episodes.
  • Bupropion: Bupropion is sometimes used in bipolar depression as it has a lower risk of causing manic episodes compared to SSRIs.


These medications, like lorazepam or clonazepam, are occasionally used to manage acute symptoms of mania or anxiety during manic episodes.

Anticonvulsant Medications

Some anticonvulsant drugs, such as gabapentin or topiramate, may be used as adjuncts in bipolar disorder treatment, particularly for managing mood symptoms.


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