Effects Of Lithium And Lamotrigine On Pregnant Bipolar Women

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The Effects of Lithium and Lamotrigine on Pregnant Bipolar Women By: Jennifer Saebom Choe Introduction to Bipolar Disorder (BP) Bipolar disorder (BD) or manic depression is a mental disorder that affects roughly 1-2% of the population. It is marked by severe mood swings between depression and mania, periods of great delusions and overactivity. It is often treated with mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants, and sometimes benzodiazepines. Of the medications, lithium and lamotrigine are two medications of interest due to their long history of treatment. In the following, we will explore the effects of lithium and lamotrigine (LTG) on pregnant bipolar women. Lithium and Lamotrigine (LTG) First of all, lithium, or lithium carbonate, is a very effective mood stabilizer (a medication that treats moods extending days to weeks, not moments) first approved by the FDA in the 1970’s. (Google) It was the first mood stabilizer which treated both manic and depressive episodes. Other mood stabilizers include anticonvulsants, medications originally developed to treat seizures (NIMH). This includes LTG. Mood stabilizers vary in their anti-manic and antidepressant effects. Lithium is more effective in treating mania. Lamotrigine is more useful for depressive symptoms. Both medications are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for the prophylactic (preventing disease) treatment of BD, and lamotrigine may be especially effective in rapid-cycling BD. (Merriam Webster,
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