Mood Stabilizers


The Carlat Guide to Medications Used for Insomnia

This handy table lists the medications most often used to treat insomnia.

Sleeping Pills: Which Ones for Which Patients? [Subscribers Only]


Insomnia is one of the most common comorbidities you’ll see in your depressed and anxious patients. But it is often misunderstood. While the common view is that insomnia is caused by a primary psychiatric or medical condition, it is more accurate to simply say that patients have insomnia and depression at the same time. Insomnia is almost never an isolated problem.

Weight Gain and Mood Stabilizers

While we have become sensitized to worrying about weight gain caused by antipsychotics, this side effect does occur with standard mood stabilizers as well. Recently, a comprehensive literature review was published evaluating the weight gain liabilities of medications commonly used to treat bipolar disorder (Torrent et al., Acta Psychiatrica Scand 2008;118:4-18). Here is what they found.

Research Update

Mood Stabilizer plus Antidepressant May Protect Against Mania

Most of you would hesitate to put a patient with bipolar I on antidepressants without adding a mood stabilizer, in order to prevent a switch to mania. If this is your clinical practice, you are following the recommendations of the APA consensus guidelines for the treatment of bipolar depression. But the hard data to support the danger of switching is surprisingly weak.