A mood stabilizer is a psychiatric medication used in the treatment of bipolar disorder to suppress swings between mania and depression .

Mood stabilizers include:

bulletLithium carbonate - Monitor blood lithium levels closely (therapeutic 0.6 - 1.2) and observe for s/s of toxicity, i.e., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ataxia,
 
bulletValproic acid (sodium valproate) (Depakote) - Available in extended release form. Can be very irritating to the stomach, especially the generic form. Liver function should be monitored. Blood levels are required.
 
bulletCarbamazepine (Tegretol ) - CBC should be monitored; can lower WBC. Monitor blood levels.
 
bulletOxcarbazepine  (Trilepta)l
 
bulletGabapentin (Neurontin )
 
bulletLamotrigine (Lamictal - Monitor for s/s of Stevens-Johnson's syndrome > which can be fatal
 
bulletTopiramate (Topamax)
 
bulletEquetro New extended release form of carbamazepine

Other than lithium carbonate, most mood stabilizers are also anticonvulsants

Many antipsychotics also have mood stabilizing effects and are thus commonly prescribed even when psychotic symptoms are absent.

It is also conjectured that Omega-3 fatty acids may have a mood stabilizing effect. However, more research is needed to verify this (a multi-year study of this is now being carried out as of 2001).

Mood stabilizers are also used in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder and occasionally in other mood disorders if they are characterised by rapid and unstable mood shifts and it is felt that the patient might benefit from the medication.

ReferencesManic-Depressive Illness by Frederick K. Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison.All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights </wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights> for details).

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