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What Is Lurasidone Used For?

Using Lurasidone for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also sometimes known as manic depression, is a serious mental illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes).
Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
Lurasidone is approved for use by itself or in combination with lithium for the treatment of major depressive episodes (periods of depression) in people with bipolar I (also known as bipolar depression). In general, studies of lurasidone for this use have been for a short period of time (six weeks), although your healthcare provider may choose to keep you on lurasidone for longer periods of time.

How Does Lurasidone Work?

Lurasidone belongs to a group of drugs called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how lurasidone works for the treatment of schizophrenia. However, it is known to block or lessen the effects of certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia. Lurasidone probably works in a similar manner for treating bipolar depression.

Can Children Use Lurasidone?

Lurasidone is approved for adults only. This does not mean that the drug cannot be used in children or teens; it simply means that lurasidone has not been adequately studied in these age groups. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using lurasidone in children.
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