Antipsychotics for the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
- Trouble breathing.
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor if you have:
Reference Neuroleptic malignant syndrome Opens New Window (NMS) is an extremely rare but serious side effect that has been reported by people who take antipsychotic medicines. NMS causes life-threatening problems with your body's ability to regulate its temperatures.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have a fever and:
- Muscle rigidity.
- Fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Rapid breathing.
- Severe sweating.
Other side effects of antipsychotic medicines include:
- Weight gain.
- Reference High cholesterol Opens New Window or Reference high blood sugar Opens New Window.
- Movement disorders, such as Reference tardive dyskinesia Opens New Window.
Managing side effects
It may take several attempts to find the right dose and medicine to treat your bipolar symptoms. Effectiveness and side effects for each medicine vary from person to person.
Some side effects are minor. You can manage these through lifestyle changes such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and diet changes. Other side effects can be more serious and require changes to the dose or type of medicine.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry