Epilepsy Home > Carbatrol for Bipolar Disorder

Some studies suggest that using Carbatrol for bipolar disorder is a safe and effective treatment. As a result, a healthcare provider may prescribe it, even though the medication is not approved for this use. How Carbatrol works for bipolar disorder is not entirely clear, but it is known to help prevent the large changes in mood that often occur with the condition.

An Overview of Carbatrol for Bipolar Disorder

Carbatrol® (carbamazepine) is a prescription medication approved to treat epileptic seizures. It is also approved to treat trigeminal neuralgia, a painful nerve disorder. However, like many other seizure medications, it may also be effective for treating bipolar disorder.
 
Some studies have shown that carbamazepine (the active ingredient in Carbatrol) may be effective at treating bipolar disorder, although Carbatrol is not approved for this use. This means that using the drug in this fashion is considered an "off-label" use.
 

Carbatrol and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, is a mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially due to genetic causes (see Bipolar Causes). Bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through; the symptoms of bipolar disorder are much more severe.
 
Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
 
Although it is not entirely clear how the drug works for bipolar disorder, it is known that it works as a "mood stabilizer," helping to prevent the large changes in mood that often occur.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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