Learning how to quit smoking and how to lose weight have been two of the top issues for people across the world for the last decade. With the advances in drug therapies, the FDA has approved many drugs for use with these problems to be prescribed by doctors and physicians. However, the use of these medications can lead to very real and very negative effects for those also suffering from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a rare condition also known as manic-depressive disorder. People suffering from the disorder are commonly medicated if they have been diagnosed. Here in lies the problem. Many bipolars do not report their symptoms to their physicians and so the disorder goes undetected. These same people may talk with their doctor about being overweight or wanting to quit smoking. If the doctor offers a prescription medication to help the patient with weight loss or smoking cessation, things can and will go very wrong!
The common drug prescribed for smoking cessation is bupropion. The brand names for this medication are Wellbutrin and Zyban. Now, while this drug may help the everyday American fight off the need to smoke, for the bipolar, this anti-anxiety medication can lead to severe mania. This comes from the effect medications have on the bipolar. Medications prescribed to most to calm them down, such as an anti-anxiety medication, may affect a bipolar in the opposite way. This side effect is clearly lined out on the medications website as well as in the handout given to the patient. Nevertheless, if the bipolar is undiagnosed, the prescribing doctor may not realize the problem exists.
Another interaction comes with the prescription weight loss aid Meridia. Meridia can cause increased anxiety and depression in a person who does not suffer from bipolar disorder and is not recommended for use by people suffering from depression. This leads to a direct counteraction with the mood swings a bipolar may experience. Any medication causing anxiety can only make the anxiety of a manic episode in a bipolar worse and vice versa, if a medication causes depression the side effect will be heightened in a person prone to this condition.
For individuals suffering from bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder keeping your family doctor involved in your care is very important. Though the disorder itself is difficult to diagnose, commonly being diagnosed as separate disorders such as depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it can be a life or death situation if you are prescribed a medication for weight loss or smoking cessation. Advancements in psychiatry and psychology are very promising for the bipolar and no one should hide from their feelings. Talk with your doctor is you feel you are bipolar and read the medication handouts every time you fill a new or existing prescription.