Two years ago, at the 2018 Boston Conference, a controversial topic of the use of antidepressants on people with bipolar depression was discussed among medical experts. Most of them concluded that antidepressants have little to no effect in helping alleviate symptoms of bipolar depression. Rather, they have shown to increase patients’ manic episodes. One doctor said that if most random trials showed that the drugs were harmful or that most of them did not work, then these antidepressants should not be used then. However, there have been studies that revealed the effectiveness of antidepressants when used in conjunction with other medications or other forms of treatment.
Antidepressants And Bipolar Depression
Prescribing antidepressant medications for patients with bipolar depression is still experimental up until today. The reason behind this is that antidepressants have not been proven to effectively treat bipolar depression, so the FDA has not approved any antidepressant to treat the condition alone. Most of the studies have only shown that they have helped in alleviating symptoms of patients with unipolar disorders.
The use of antidepressants exclusively to treat bipolar depression is not recommended in patients with bipolar disorder, as the drugs may cause the person to throw a tantrum or a manic episode. It can also cause rapid cycling, wherein a bipolar patient manifests four or more unique episodes of hypomania, mania, or depression for a whole year or so.
Nevertheless, a lot of different kinds of antidepressants are often used to treat bipolar depression along with specific types of main treatments. If one kind of antidepressant works effectively, it typically takes around 4 to 6 weeks for patients to see positive results. Sometimes, doctors will experiment on different medications first before they are able to determine the best medicine that will work for their patients. Some of these medications include Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Effexor.