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ADHD and Mood Stabilizers

Written by Molly Hartle.

Mood stabilizers are commonly for individuals who have also been diagnosed with an associated psychiatric disorder such as bipolar disorder. In fact, all individuals with bipolar disorder struggle with issues around attention. Mood stabilizers used in the treatment of ADHD include lithium, carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine.

Effect of Mood Stabilizers on ADHD

Mood stabilizers work in a variety of ways. Lithium, for example, increases the amount of serotonin—a known mood stabilizer in the brain. Carbamazepine, volproic acid, and lamotrigine, on the other hand, reduce the number of “pores” that potentiate electric impulses in the brain.

Read more details about Mood Stabilizers.

Research Evidence on Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers aren’t nearly as effective as stimulants or tricyclics in the treatment of ADHD. However, they’re invaluable for individuals with ADHD suffering from associated disorders.

How to Use Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers are available in a variety of forms including tablets, capsules and liquids. Short- and long-acting formulas are available. Typically, the normal preparations are taken between three and four times daily while the extended release versions can be taken just twice daily. Dosages vary per drug.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

Medical practitioners and psychiatrists

All mood stabilizers come with significant risk factors and side effects. Consult a physician for specific risk factors and/or side effects for each.

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