When a loved one suffers from a mental disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, we often will go to the ends of the earth to find the best treatment or medication for them. We want them to be whole, active and embedded in our daily lives. We will consult doctors, experts, friends and even exotic treatments. One of the advantages of living in the US is having a world class pharmaceutical industry at our disposal.
Thanks to the advances in science and medicine, Latuda (Lurasidone) has been discovered to treat bipolar depression and schizophrenia in adults. Lurasidone is a once-a-day prescription medicine. This is the first medication approved for bipolar depression that can be taken either on its own (known as monotherapy) or with a mood-stabilizing medication (adjunctive therapy), either lithium or valproate.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that affects the brain causing extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can go from mania (feeling euphoric and on top of the world) to depression (feeling sad, hopeless, or worse). They tend to swing from extremes and the time spent in these moods can vary in length. These highs and lows are called “episodes” of mania and depression. People usually see a doctor and get diagnosed when they’re in the low phase. At this point, bipolar depression may be diagnosed as a different depressive disorder. Time is important in getting their everyday life back to normal.
Types Of Therapy
As mentioned above, there are two types of therapies to treat patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. There is monotherapy and adjunctive therapy. Monotherapy is basically treatment using the intended medication such as Lurasidone by itself. Adjunctive therapy is using a combination of prescription drugs and psychotherapy to provide support, guidance and education to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Psychotherapeutic interventions increase mood stability, decrease hospitalizations and improves overall functioning.
As we know, using antidepressants increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. For Lurasidone it is no different. Elderly patients with dementia related psychosis are especially vulnerable if using this medication. The most common side effects are: sleepiness or drowsiness, restless and feeling like you need to move around, difficulty moving, slow movements, muscle stiffness, or tremor and nausea. There is also the possibility of a lack of menstrual periods, leaking or enlarged breasts, or impotence, risk of seizures, prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions, avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice and also alcohol.
How To Know About Bipolar Disorder:
The key to treatment is identifying what the symptoms are. To understand bipolar depression it’s important to know what it is—and what it isn’t. Bipolar depression isn’t just feeling sad. It refers to the “lows,” or depressive phase, of bipolar disorder. If this is what you’re dealing with, some or all of the symptoms of bipolar depression may be all too familiar:
- Depressed mood most of the day
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, most of the time
- Significant weight change
- Changes in sleep patterns—sleeping too much or not at all
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
If you have 5 or more of these symptoms almost every day in a single 2-week period there is a good chance you are dealing with bipolar disorder. See a doctor.
Are you living with depression?