Medications for Bipolar Teens

After it’s determined by your doctor that your teen is suffering from a bipolar disorder the next step is treatment. The physician will determine the teenager’s physical and mental health in order to properly prescribe medication. Each teen will differ in terms of a treatment plan, and it may involve a trial-and-error process. Bipolar disorder treatments can range from one medication to a combination of mood stabilizers.

As the teenager matures, their treatment plan will evolve as well. Unfortunately these medications have the potential for serious side effects. This is why it’s important to observe any minor or major side effects when a new treatment is started. Currently the only medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat teenage bipolar disorder include lithium, risperidone, and aripiprazole.

Your doctor may prescribe the teen a mood stabilizer to suppress mood swings involving mania and depression. This is a psychiatric medicine that has a primary usage for treating mood disorders. Most commonly doctors will prescribe lithium, a mood stabilizer, to help treat and prevent manic symptoms in individuals 12 and older. Common side effects associated with mood stabilizers include drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, and restlessness.

Medications such as risperidone and aripiprazole are part of a group of antipsychotic tranquilizing drugs called atypical antipsychotic. Doctors utilize atypical antipsychotic medication for the short-term treatment of mania and bipolar depression in children as young as 10. Side effects related to atypical antipsychotic medications include blurred vision, weight gain, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness.

The physician may also suggest psychotherapy in addition to the teen’s medications. This can address common problems related to communicating, problem-solving, participating in school. Both the bipolar teen and their parents will need patience while they work with professionals in executing a tailored effective treatment plan.