Bipolar Medication Articles

Abilify Interview Part II

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Suzanne B. Robotti of MedShadow recently interviewed me for her video Q&A on Abilify. This is Part II of the interview, “Is Abilify Worth the Risks?

Check out my previous post for Part I of the interview, “Why Is Abilify the #1 Selling Drug?


Abilify Interview

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Suzanne B. Robotti of MedShadow recently interviewed me for her video Q&A “Why Is Abilify the #1 Selling Drug?


Reducing the Risk of Triggering Mania with the Use of Antidepressants in Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

shutterstock_212693140A recent article in the American Journal of Psychiatry sheds light on the vexing challenge of treating depression in individuals who have an underlying bipolar disorder: For many people with bipolar disorder, depression occurs more frequently and damages function more severely than mania, but treating bipolar depression with antidepressants carries the risk of triggering manic symptoms.


Med Shadow Interview Part 2: Treating Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Please check out Suelain Moy’s excellent interview of Dr. Fink, “Treating Bipolar Disorder: A Q & A with Dr. Candida Fink, Part 2.” Dr. Fink’s answers cover medication, therapy, self-help, and the benefits of having a strong support network. After reading the interview, please return here and let us know what you think.


Psychiatric Medications in Prison

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

prisonAbout ten years ago, I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder I. To qualify for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder I, you must have experienced at least one manic episode that was not triggered by medication or substance abuse. Most people with bipolar I experience depression, as well, but depression is not required for a diagnosis of bipolar I.

I have been in a Federal Detention Center (FDC) for the past five months. In accordance with my attorney’s advice, I cannot discuss any details of the case. Recently, I have started corresponding with Joe Kraynak, coauthor of Bipolar Disorder For Dummies. He requested that I share my insights from inside the criminal justice system regarding the way medications are prescribed and administered.


Taking an Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID)? Check Your Lithium Levels

Monday, May 6th, 2013

prescriptioncrpdMy wife is seeing a psychiatrist who prescribed lithium for her bipolar disorder. Recently, she visited another doctor, who prescribed Mobic (meloxicam), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), for pain and swelling in her knee. A couple weeks later, we spent the afternoon in the emergency room, where my wife was treated for lithium toxicity and had her lithium blood level checked.


Do Antipsychotics Work by Affecting Gene Function in Bipolar?

Friday, April 19th, 2013

genecrpdResearchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that antipsychotics may work, at least in part, by restoring normal gene function in people with bipolar disorder. (Chen, H., Wang, N., Zhao, X., Ross, C. A., O’Shea, K. S. and McInnis, M. G. (2013), “Gene expression alterations in bipolar disorder postmortem brains.” Bipolar Disorders, 15: 177–187. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12039)

The research team did post-mortem (after death) examinations on the brains of three groups of people:

  • People with bipolar disorder who never took antipsychotics
  • People with bipolar disorder who had taken antipsychotics
  • People without bipolar disorder (the control group)

Ebselen May Work Like Lithium with Fewer Serious Side Effects

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

bipolar medicationAccording to a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications entitled “A safe lithium mimetic for bipolar disorder,” British researchers are exploring a medication called ebselen as a possible treatment for bipolar disorder in humans. Originally developed to treat stroke, ebselen may be as effective as lithium in treating bipolar mania but carry fewer and less serious side effects than lithium.

As the article points out,

Lithium is the most effective mood stabilizer for the treatment of bipolar disorder, but it is toxic at only twice the therapeutic dosage and has many undesirable side effects.


Lithium Overdose: What to Do and Not Do

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

A few weeks ago, my wife took too much lithium. She had had missed a few days of taking her lithium and decided to correct the problem by doubling her dose for a few days. As you might know or have surmised, that’s a really bad idea. The difference between a therapeutic and toxic level of lithium is quite small.

Symptoms of lithium toxicity include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness/fatigue/sleepiness
  • Hand tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If you suspect that you may have taken too much lithium, stop taking the lithium and do one of the following:


Regulating Your Circadian Rhythm with Lithium

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

In a study just published on PLoS One entitled “Lithium Impacts on the Amplitude and Period of the Molecular Circadian Clockwork,” researchers at the University of Manchester (Jian Li, Wei-Qun Lu, Stephen Beesley, Andrew S. I. Loudon, and Qing-Jun Meng) have discovered that lithium works as a pacemaker for the circadian clock, which may help to explain lithium’s mechanism of action – how it works.


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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.


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Recent Comments
  • Bubblewrapopper: I gained 60 lbs in a year on Depakote and Depo-Provera, the birth control shot when I had just...
  • Lisa Keith, Psy.D.: I agree John, abilify is a mood stabilizer for dysregulation disorders and not indicated for...
  • Lisa Keith, Psy.D.: Thank you for posting this information. I have been on abilify and cymbalta together for going on...
  • bishinri: So sorry for your heartbreak and pain. The trauma is indescribable. Hope you are moving on and in a healthy...
  • bishinri: Yes…self sabotage is a great description for it. It is like a self defense mechanism or something....
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