Why would my doctor have me take valproic acid for my bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder (also sometimes called manic-depression) is usually treated first with medicines called mood stabilizers (such as lithium). Sometimes, other medicines, including antipsychotics and antidepressants are also used.
Sometimes, doctors prescribe medicines like valproic acid as a mood stabilizer. Valproic acid works for people who are having seizures, but it also helps control moods. In some people with bipolar disorder, valproic acid can work better than lithium.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.