Treating Older Adults

Few studies have examined bipolar treatments for older adults, but experts expect them to work just as well as they do in younger patients. Still, it's important for older people to take the following precautions to ensure the best outcome with bipolar drugs.

First, your doctor should start you at a low dosage, and any dose increases should be done gradually, in part because your body metabolizes medication more slowly with age.

Second, make sure your doctor knows all of your medications and health conditions. Some can interact with your bipolar drugs, making them less effective or more likely to cause side effects.

Third, contact your doctor if you experience dizziness on standing, mental impairment, or movement problems. These common side effects of certain bipolar medications can increase your risk of falls and fractures.

Publication Review By: Karen L. Swartz, M.D.

Published: 03 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 20 Jun 2013