A New Treatment Option for Bipolar Depression

bipolar depressionBipolar depression has often perplexed both patients and the professionals who are treating them.[1] Patients who suffer from ordinary clinical depression may often choose from various treatment options, from psychotherapy to antidepressants to a combination of both.1 However, for those with bipolar depression, things are much more complicated.1 Using an antidepressant in the treatment of bipolar depression, in addition to mood stabilizers, can have some unexpected and unwanted effects, and the studies of antidepressant use in bipolar disorder have been mixed.1

Bipolar depression is a frustrating component of bipolar disorder, and it is difficult to treat.1 Oftentimes, the use of an antidepressant in the treatment of bipolar depression can cause cycle acceleration.1  Therefore, it is always positive news when a new medicine, or a new use for an existing medicine, has been approved.1

Recently, Latuda (lurasidone) has been approved for the treatment of bipolar depression, for use with a mood stabilizer.1 An atypical antipsychotic, Latuda was first approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in 2010.1 Then, in the summer of 2013, it was approved to help the treatment of bipolar depression by the FDA.1 For patients with schizophrenia, the dosage recommendation is 40mg/day; however, for help in the treatment of bipolar depression, dosage recommendations state that 20mg/day is often sufficient.1 Dosage should never exceed 120mg/day for bipolar depression.1

Latuda is well-tolerated by most patients to whom it is prescribed.1 The most common side effects are a strong desire to sleep and a feeling of inner restlessness that may make it difficult to sit still for long periods of time; however, as both are dose-related, they can often be controlled by changing the dose.1 Other, less common, side effects are muscle stiffness, nausea, and higher blood sugar.1

Patients who begin taking Latuda start to see improvements in their symptoms in three to four weeks.1 As having treatment options is a good thing to have, it is nice to see improvements being made in the treatment of such a frustrating disorder.

[1] Grohol, J. (2014). Latuda: A New Treatment Option for Bipolar Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/01/22/latuda-a-new-treatment-option-for-bipolar-depression/

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