Mood stabilizers are medications that are used to treat symptoms of mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression. They work by altering the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that affect mood and emotions. There are different types of mood stabilizers, including lithium, valproic acid, and anticonvulsants.
Indications for mood stabilizers are primarily bipolar disorder and severe depression. They can also be used to treat other conditions such as mania, schizoaffective disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
Common side effects of mood stabilizers can include drowsiness, weight gain, and tremors. They can also lead to other side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, hair loss, and changes in the thyroid and liver function.
Precautions when taking mood stabilizers include informing your doctor of any other medications you are taking, as mood stabilizers can interact with other medications. They should also be used with caution in elderly patients or those with liver or kidney disease. It's also important to note that mood stabilizers can take several weeks to start working, and that it may be necessary to try a few different types or dosages before finding the right one. If you experience severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately.