Treatments with Medication
Any good bipolar treatment plan includes medication or some combination of medications. People can decrease symptoms without, but the majority of people do best with medications that help simultaneously with migraines and bipolar disorder. If you were previously diagnosed with migraines and depression, you may have found that medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) made your symptoms worse. This could be due to inaccurate diagnosis because those medications are less helpful in patients with bipolar when used alone. Consider discussing these options with your treatment team:
- Lithium – As far as medications for bipolar go, Lithium is the oldest while still being used effectively today. Additionally, lithium is sometimes used to treat migraines and cluster headaches. Its combined benefit could be a good fit for you.
- Depakote – This is another medication that has made the rounds over the last 30 years. Originally used to treat epilepsy, Depakote made the jump to treatment for bipolar before studies substantiated its efficacy for migraine prevention.
- Lamictal – Classified as an anticonvulsant, Lamictal is the name brand for lamotrigine. It is used widely for people with bipolar disorder. As far as migraines, it has been found to be very helpful for people dealing with migraines with aura.
- Topamax – Like Lamitcal, Topamax is classified as an anticonvulsant, but prescribers use it often in mental health. Topamax is the brand name for topiramate and has proved to be most effective in people with migraines without aura.
It should be noted that these medications can have a number of unwanted side effects. As always, your unique experience will vary from others so be sure to maintain an open mind about new medications. Always consult your doctors and make them aware of all symptoms and side effects during a new medication trial.
Your health and well-being are too important to continue using treatments that are ineffective. Begin by working with your treatment team to rethink your diagnosis. If you are not responding to treatments for depression and migraines, maybe depression is only a piece of the problem. Learn about bipolar and bipolar II to notice how your symptoms compare while asking others about their points of view. If bipolar is a better fit, explore some medication options. Luckily, many medications are known to address both bipolar and migraines. Success is possible if you continue searching for it.