Medications for Depression and Bipolar Disorder

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Your HCP might prescribe one or more medications to treat your symptoms. These may include:

  • mood stabilizers: These medications help even out your highs and lows. Some mood stabilizer medications are called anticonvulsants, because they are also used to treat epilepsy.
  • antidepressants: These medications help lift the symptoms of depression. There are several different classes and types of antidepressants to choose from.
  • antipsychotics: These medications are primarily used to treat symptoms of mania. Even if you are not hallucinating or having delusions, these medications can help slow racing thoughts to a manageable speed.

Questions to ask your HCP about your Medication or Treatment

  • How does this treatment work in my brain? What chemicals or processes does it work on?
  • When will I start to feel some improvement? What symptoms should this treatment relieve?
  • What might the side effects of my treatment be? How can I cope with them?
  • What are the risks associated with my treatment?
  • How can I recognize problems if they happen?
  • Is there anything I can do to make this treatment more effective?
  • Is this the usual treatment for my illness? If not, how did you choose it?
  • What is our next step if this treatment is not effective?
  • How will this treatment affect the treatments I’m receiving for other illnesses?
  • How can I reach you in an emergency?

Pharmaceutical Companies Patient Assistance Programs

Many pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs to provide prescription medicines free of charge to physicians whose patients might not otherwise have access to necessary medicines. Each company determines the eligibility criteria for its program. Eligibility criteria and application processes vary.

For information on available medications or the criteria or application process, your physician should contact the pharmaceutical company(ies). Following is a partial list of companies who are members of the Pharmaceutical research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) who offer patient assistance programs, along with the telephone numbers for these programs.

If you are unsure which pharmaceutical company makes the drug you are looking for, please contact your local pharmacy.

  • Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company (800) 332-2056
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica (800) 544-2987
  • Eli Lilly and Company (800) 545-6962
  • Parke-Davis (908) 725-1247
  • Pfizer Inc. (800) 646-4455
  • Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc (800) 242-7014
  • GlaxoSmithKline (800) 546-0420
  • Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc (800) 788-9277
  • Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (800) 424-3727

(Source of data: PhRMA 1998 Directory of Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs)

Other Assistance Programs

  • Lilly Answers (877) 795-4559 Provides flat-fee prescriptions to people with Medicare.
  • The Medicine Program (573) 996-7300 Assists people in applying to multiple patient assistance programs.
  • Pfizer for Living Sharecard (800) 717-6005 Provides flat-fee prescriptions to people with Medicare.
  • HelpingPatients.org Interactive Web site by PhRMA and 48 of its member companies designed to help you find patient assistance programs.
  • AyudandoPacientes.org Un sitio Web interactivo que PhRMA y sus 48 empresas miembras ponen a su disposición. Este sitio fue diseñado para ayudarle a buscar programas de asistencia a pacientes que reunan los requisitos de elegibilidad.

Please be aware that other, non-member pharmaceutical companies may also sponsor similar programs. To contact other companies, consult a Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR), available at your physician’s office and at many public libraries.

 

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