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Explains what mood stabilising drugs are, what they're used for, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.
Mood stabilisers are psychiatric drugs that are licensed as part of the long-term treatment for:
Some of the individual drugs we call mood stabilisers are actually very different chemical substances from each other. But health care professionals often group them together, because they can all help to stabilise your mood if you experience problems with extreme highs, extreme lows, or mood swings between extreme highs and lows.
"Lithium carbonate is the mood stabiliser that I'm on… Apart from the side effect of it making me really thirsty, I've found it has really evened me out, brought up my lows and made them not last as long and balanced the highs out, too."
You should only be prescribed a mood stabiliser by a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist – not by a regular GP.
This information was published in February 2015. We will revise it in 2019.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.