Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive) – Certain medications can trigger Mania


Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive) – Certain medications can trigger Mania


There are two primary types of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar I:  Experience at least one fully manic episode with periods of major depression. Also known as manic-depressive disorder.

Bipolar II: Seldom experience full-fledged mania; instead they experience periods of Hypomania (elevated levels of energy and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as the symptoms of mania). These hypomanic periods alternate with episodes of major depression.

Cyclothymia:  is a mild form of bipolar disorder.  It involves periods of hypomania and mild depression, with less severe mood swings.

Bipolar II or Cyclothymia may be misdiagnosed as having depression alone.


The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:

• Agitation or irritation

• Elevated mood

◦ Hyperactivity

◦ Increased energy

◦ Lack of self-control

◦ Racing thoughts

• Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)

• Little need for sleep

• Over-involvement in activities

• Poor temper control

• Reckless behavior

◦ Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use

◦ Impaired judgment

◦ Sexual promiscuity

◦ Spending sprees

• Tendency to be easily distracted

These symptoms of mania are seen with Bipolar I. In Bipolar II, Hypomanic episodes involve similar symptoms that are less intense.

The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder involve very serious symptoms of major depression:

• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

• Eating disturbances

◦ Loss of appetite and weight loss

◦ Overeating and weight gain

• Fatigue or listlessness

• Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt

• Loss of self-esteem

• Persistent sadness

• Persistent thoughts of death

• Sleep disturbances

◦ Excessive sleepiness

◦ Inability to sleep

• Suicidal thoughts

• Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed

• Withdrawal from friends

There is a high risk of suicide with Bipolar disorder. While in either phase, patients may abuse alcohol or other substances, which can worsen the symptoms.

Sometimes there is an overlap between the two phases. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur simultaneously or in quick succession in what is called a mixed state.

Medicines prescribed for medical problems can trigger mania (excessive elation and joy) associated with bipolar disorder.

• Corticosteroids — This group of drugs decrease inflammation (swelling) and reduce the activity of the immune system (cells that fight infection). Examples include hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, prednisone, Flonase, Nasocort, Nasonex, Flovent, and Azmacort.

• Cyclosporine — This drug is used to suppress the immune system to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs.

• Dopar — This medicine treats Parkinson’s disease.

• Lioresal — This is a muscle relaxant and antispastic agent. It’s often used to treat multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.

• MAOIs — This is a powerful group of medicines used to treat depression. Examples include Nardil and Parnate.

• Ritalin –This drug is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

• SSRIs — Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, Lexapro, and Paxil are used to treat depression.

• Synthroid — This drug is commonly prescribed as a thyroid hormone replacement.

• Trihexyphenidyl (Artane) — This medicine is used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

• Yohimbine — This drug treats male impotence.

As mentioned earlier “Bipolar II or Cyclothymia may be misdiagnosed as having depression alone.”  Therefore, if prescribed an SSRI, a mania state can be triggered, resulting in the Bipolar disorder discovered.  Bipolar is treated very differently than Depression alone, in terms of medication prescribed.

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Reference: webmd
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Reference: Google health
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  • ~L

    thank you

    January 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm
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    February 21, 2011 at 11:23 am
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    July 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm
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    October 4, 2015 at 10:35 am

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