Several anticonvulsant medications have mood-stabilizing properties. Valproic acid and carbamazepine are the best studied to date. In 1995, valproic acid was approved by the FDA for treatment of acute mania and is now considered a first-line agent. Other anticonvul-sants under investigation include lamotrigine and top-iramate, which are covered in Chapter 32. The atypical antipsychotic agent olanzapine received FDA approval in 2000 for use in acute mania and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder; it is covered in Chapter 34.
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Bipolar is a condition that wreaks havoc on those that it affects. If you suffer from Bipolar, chances are that your family suffers right with you. No matter if you are that family member trying to learn to cope or you are the person that has been diagnosed, there is hope out there.