Question: Are there any medications I should avoid if I have bipolar disorder?
Answer: You know one commonly asked question is, if I have bipolar disorder are there other medicines used in medicine in the treatment of medical illnesses that can make me worse?
And the answer is absolutely yes, there are medicines that can make you cycle into a mood swing -- an episode of mania. And one of the biggest ones are steroids -- medicines like prednisone. So medicines like prednisone can take you if you're baseline -- or if you're depressed -- and cause you to cycle into a mood swing. So you have to be very careful. So if you know that you're going to need treatment with prednisone -- say if you have a rheumatologic disorder or asthma, you should let your psychiatrist know.
Now another medicine that can make the illness worse is the use of a traditional antidepressant -- a traditional antidepressant by itself, in particular. And that can make someone go from being depressed to being hypomanic or manic. And this is why it's so important to use traditional antidepressants with mood stabilizers, because the mood stabilizers will prevent patients from switching into mania or hypomania.
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