The number of times a person may need to be taken off a medication increases as the duration of a prescription is extended.
The number of pills required to maintain a full dose of an antidepressant is increasing.
A study published in the journal Lancet looked at a group of people with bipolar disorder, a disorder in which mood swings are frequent and severe.
The researchers compared the doses of medications taken by those who met criteria for bipolar disorder with those who did not.
Bipolar disorder is an illness that has the potential to be extremely disabling and sometimes life-threatening.
Dr. Michael Bock, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the study shows that bipolar disorder is more likely to affect those who take the medications at lower doses, and that taking fewer pills may be a safer bet.
“When the medication has to be given more often, it has to take a little bit longer to work its way through the body,” Bock said.
This is one of the reasons it is better to take fewer pills in order to maintain the same dose.
“If you’re taking the same amount of medication and it’s taking longer to get through the system, it could be a problem,” Bocks said.
Dr. Karen K. Johnson, a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, said that although the medication could be administered to those who are experiencing severe symptoms, it may be difficult to predict how well it would work for others.
“It is possible that, if we did have a lot of people taking this medication, we might not get enough of a reduction in the risk of the side effects that we see,” Johnson said.
If you have bipolar disorder and are concerned about the side effect potential of medications, you can contact your doctor or your pharmacist.
For more information on bipolar disorder visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.