5 Side Effects Of Bipolar Medication

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A combination of medication and psychotherapy is typically used to treat bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic-depressive illness.

It is a mental disorder characterized by alternating manic and depressive episodes.

Extreme shifts in one's mood like these can have disastrous effects.

This is why some may even require psychiatric hospitalization.

As with any medication, bipolar medications can cause side effects.

They differ depending on the medications used.

As frightening as these side effects of bipolar medication may appear, they can be managed with appropriate support for bipolar disorder.

One of the side effects of bipolar medication is weight gain.

Weight gain is a side effect of numerous mood stabilizers and may cause concern for some patients.

Insomnia is another side effect of bipolar disorder medication.

Some treatments for bipolar disorder- like those that cause insomnia or other sleep disturbances, can actually exacerbate the disorder.

Hair loss is one of the alleged side effects of bipolar medication.

Despite their usefulness for symptom management, these drugs are not without side effects, and hair thinning or loss is one of them.

Read on to learn more about the side effects of bipolar medication. 

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Andreea Felea, LPCC

Andreea Felea, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Cognitive Side Effects

Learning, comprehension, and expression are all aspects of the cognitive process.

Common causes of cognitive symptoms include brain or spinal cord tumors, medication or treatment side effects, other medical conditions, and sleep disruptions.

Those who suffer from bipolar disorder frequently struggle with cognitive and memory issues.

As a result, bipolar patients may have a difficult time keeping up with their daily lives because of these memory issues.

For people with bipolar disorder, these memory issues from the medications can be difficult to manage in isolation. 

They should consult their doctor for proper advice on how to effectively manage the side effects. 


Nausea

Nausea is a stomach ache that typically precedes vomiting.

In some people, taking medication to treat bipolar disorder can cause nausea and vomiting.

Your body may become accustomed to the drug over time, and nausea may subside.

Unless otherwise instructed, it is usually best to take medications with food.

There's a chance that the food will act as a buffer in your stomach, relieving some of the pain.

Complementary or alternative therapies, such as meditation and dietary supplements, have helped some people with symptoms like nausea.

Seek advice from your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you experience any adverse reactions.

If your current medication isn't suitable for you, you may need to reduce your dose or switch to something else.

If you want to take herbs or supplements, you should talk to your doctor first because some of these things can make the side effects of the medicines worse.

Hair Loss

Hair loss has been linked to many of the medications used to treat bipolar disorder.

Hair thinning (alopecia) can also be a side effect of several other bipolar disorder medications.

In these cases, hair loss or thinning is not listed as a known side effect on the labels; however, many people report experiencing these side effects while taking these drugs.

Some medications can cause hair loss, and the best solution is to either decrease the dosage or stop taking the offending drug altogether, say, experts.

Therefore, you must first consult your doctor as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

It may take between six and twelve months for human hair to recover completely.

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Bipolar Disorder Therapists in Colorado

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Andreea Felea, LPCC

Andreea Felea, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Vanessa Curran, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Weight Gain

Several medications are available to treat bipolar disorder.

Some of these medications can cause weight gain by increasing appetite or altering the metabolism.

It varies from person to person whether a certain medication will cause weight gain or other side effects.

Some of these medications for bipolar disorder, such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants, may be less likely to cause weight gain when taken alone.

However, many individuals require multiple medications to control bipolar symptoms.

Thus, weight gain may be inevitable when taking bipolar disorder medications.

If weight gain is a concern, consult your psychiatric care provider for guidance on how to manage it.

A healthy diet, physical activity, and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) can all be beneficial.

You can prioritize eating the most nutrient-dense foods possible.

This involves consuming filling foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as kidney beans.

Sleep Problems

Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is a common adverse effect of numerous medications.

Some treatments for bipolar disorder come with side effects that make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, which can exacerbate the disorder's symptoms.

Altering the time of day you take your medications may prove beneficial.

There are optimal times of day to take certain medications, while the timing of other medications can be flexible.

If you think there might be a more effective way to take your medications, consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Conclusion

There are times when unwanted effects are simply too severe or disruptive to be handled by making simple adjustments to one's routine or way of life.

Please consult your physician as soon as possible if this occurs so that you can explore other treatment options.

Don't wait around to seek help; there are often viable options for support for bipolar disorder.

It's crucial that you don't stop taking your medications for bipolar disorder without first discussing this with your doctor.

You may be able to find the right balance between the benefits and risks of medications for bipolar disorder by working with your doctor.

Side effects of bipolar medication include cognitive side effects, nausea, hair loss, weight gain, and sleep problems.

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April 15th, 2024

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