Bipolar disorder is one of the mental health conditions in which a person experiences mood swings or mental changes. They may also experience episodes of depression and mania.

The symptoms of depression include sadness, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts, while the symptoms of mania include high energy levels, high self-esteem, poor judgment, reckless behavior, and promiscuity.

Bipolar disorder is incurable but can be treated with psychotherapy and medications. Common generic drugs used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytics.

Generic Drugs for Bipolar Disorder

Mood stabilizers

People with bipolar disorder often need mood-stabilizing drugs to control their episodes of mania. Some of the commonly prescribed mood stabilizers include”

  • Lithium
  • Valproic acid
  • Divalproex sodium
  • Carbamazepine
  • Lamotrigine


Doctors may add an antidepressant to help manage the episodes of depression. Antidepressants can sometimes trigger a manic episode in patients with bipolar disorder so they are usually prescribed in association with mood stabilizers or antipsychotics. Commonly advised antidepressants for bipolar disorder include:

  • Duloxetine
  • Venlafaxine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Amitriptyline
  • Phenelzine


Antipsychotics are recommended when the episodes of depression or mania persist even after taking mood stabilizers and antidepressants. Some of the common examples of antipsychotic drugs include:

  • Olanzapine
  • Risperidone
  • Aripiprazole
  • Ziprasidone
  • Lurasidone
  • Asenapine

In some cases, doctors advise a combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic, such as Symbyax that contains fluoxetine and olanzapine.


Also called anxiety medications, anxiolytics such as benzodiazepines may help reduce anxiousness and improve sleep. Common anti-anxiety medications belonging to benzodiazepine include:

  • Alprazolam
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam

Several types of generic drugs are used to treat bipolar disorder. Doctors may prescribe one or a combination of medicines for maximum effect. Please note that finding the right medicine will take some trial and error so you must follow your doctor’s instructions.