In the successful treatment of bipolar disorder, sticking to a rigid treatment plan that includes taking bipolar medication is very crucial. Unfortunately, with most of the medications, there are potential side effects and bipolar disorder treatment is not excused. These side effects tend to be intolerable to the people affected to an extent that they stop their medication entirely, which is extremely dangerous making one a possible maniac and/or suicidal.
However, there are better ways to deal with these side effects presented by bipolar disorder medication.
Suicide in relation to Bipolar Medication
While suicide associated with medicine intake is rare, the FDA has issued a cautionary statement on anticonvulsant medication, in the treatment of mood swings. The warning issued states use of these medications could potentially increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions.
A similar cautionary tone has been put on some antidepressants, the emphasis is put on teens and young adults. Fortunately, antidepressants are used less frequently in treating bipolar disorders due to studies showing they increase the risk of manic episodes and rapid cycling.
Patients starting these medications should be monitored carefully and any changes (adverse worsening) of their bipolar states should be addressed by the doctor with immediate effect. Also, patients are advised against altering their medication schedules without discussing with and/or the approval of their physician.
Temporary Bipolar Medication Side Effects
Some of these side effects can cause people to cease using these drugs since they become bothersome. The good news is that they tend to diminish over time, some of the temporary side effects include;
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Nausea, abdominal bloating and discomfort
- Skin rashes
- Blurred vision and,
- Rapid heartbeats
Any side effect considered a larger threat and refuses to diminish, should be reported to the doctor for further assessment.
Managing Bipolar Medication Side Effects
Some side effects can be tolerable and can be managed by other medications and possible lifestyle changes. They include;
- Anxiety and restlessness
Through the doctor’s approval, altering medication dose can reduce this side effect, also meditation techniques and yoga can be employed.
- Dry mouth
Over the counter saliva production sprays are available, or gums that increase secretion of saliva.
Various skin ointments are available in pharmacies.
- Unusual discomfort to cold temperatures
Lifestyle changes like dressing more warmly and using heating apparatus can be used.
- Joint or muscle pain
Countered by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin and ibuprofen) purchased over the counter can be used.
Eating properly and avoiding foods that cause heartburn can be helpful to counter heartburn.
- Sensitivity to the sun
Nothing that a good sunscreen can do, wearing protective clothing and also avoiding the sun can help.
- Menstrual problems for women
This is often addressed individually by adjusting hormone levels.
- Sexual problems
This can be countered by changing medications and possible communication with your spouse should be employed also sexual aid medications can be used.
It should be understood that all medications do have potential side effects and bipolar side effects need special attention either from the patient and/or the doctor.