What’s Next for Bipolar Treatment?

Advances in the treatment of bipolar disorder over the past 20 years include the development of new medications with fewer side effects. Lithium, while effective, has risks such as kidney and thyroid disease, leading to doctors prescribing lower doses. Anticonvulsant medications and second-generation antipsychotics, with fewer side effects, are also being used more frequently. Long-acting atypical antipsychotics are now available, as well as gene therapy treatments, and medications to counteract unwanted side effects. Researchers are also exploring nondrug therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation as a promising treatment for the depressive stages of bipolar disorder.

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