Are There any New Medications in the Works for Bipolar?
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Hello.  Are there any new medications in the works for bipolar?  I am currently on lithium and risperal.  Lithium is not good long term and I want to be on a medicine that doesn't effect my organs.  Thank you for your time. 


There are some new medications in the works for bipolar, however none that are close to coming to the market.  Lithium and Depakote are still the mainstays of treatment.  I understand your concern about the possible side effects of the Lithium on kidney and thyroid function.  Depakote has less end organ effects but can affect the liver initially.  Some of the newer antipsychotics such as Abilify and Seroquel (as well as the Risperdal you are on) have shown to be of benefit in stabilizing bipolar disorder, but they are not stand alone treatments.  Lamictal has been approved for the treatment of bipolar depression but hasn't shown any effect for long term maintenance treatment of bipolar illness.  The choices are not easy, but I would recommend staying with the Lithium if you can tolerate it and closely monitor your kidney/thyroid function.

Dr. Plyler

Published August, 2011


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