Mood-Stabilizing Medicines for Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
What To Think About
Some of these drugs are also called anticonvulsants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on anticonvulsants and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take anticonvulsant medicine should be watched closely for Reference warning signs of suicide. People who take anticonvulsant medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
Do not stop taking these medicines suddenly. You should taper off of these drugs slowly with the help of your doctor to avoid negative and serious side effects.
Your doctor may want you to have regular blood tests to check your medicine levels, liver function, and blood counts. Your doctor will need to periodically test the function of your kidneys and thyroid gland if you are taking lithium.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Reference Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 31, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry