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TREATING BIPOLAR WOMEN

Recommended treatments for bipolar disorder may include:

  • Mood stabilizers that control manic or hypomanic episodes
  • Antipsychotics in combination with mood stabilizers when other treatments are unsuccessful
  • Antidepressantsto manage depressive episodes
  • Combined antidepressant-antipsychotic treatments for depressive episodes in bipolar I disorder
  • Antianxiety medications to reduce anxiety and improve sleep
  • Psychotherapy, or talking therapies, to learn about mood, feelings, thoughts and behaviors
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which electrical currents are passed through the brain to help severe mania or depression
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation, where magnetic fields stimulate nerve cells to relieve symptoms of depression

In certain situations, women may need to alter their medications or discuss them with their doctor.

Birth control medications do not work as well when taken alongside some bipolar disorder medications. Birth control options may also need to be reassessed.

Treatment options need to be considered when planning a pregnancy or while breastfeeding, in order to reduce the risk of congenital abnormalities, or of medications passing through breast milk to the infant.

All women of childbearing age should discuss how best to manage bipolar disorder during and after pregnancy.

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