Mood stabilizers are used to treat many mental health conditions and can help even out your mood. There are various mood stabilizers, each with benefits and risks.

Managing ups and downs in mood can be challenging. If you live with a mental health disorder where your mood fluctuates, you may feel like your life is out of control or hard to manage.

There are treatments available that can help with the ups and downs in mood. Mood stabilizers are a standard treatment option for individuals who need a more stable mood to feel better.

There are some risks associated with taking mood stabilizers, so taking these medications under the direction of a medical professional is necessary.

Mood stabilizers are a class of medication often used to treat mental health disorders. A 2023 overview of mood stabilizers from the National Institutes of Health suggests that mood stabilizers are primarily used to treat bipolar disorder.

While mood stabilizers are often used to treat bipolar disorder, 2023 research indicates that mood stabilizers are also prescribed for conditions such as:

Mood stabilizers do precisely what they sound like; they can help stabilize your mood so your highs aren’t so high and the lows aren’t so low. They can also reduce severe symptoms of mania and depression and help prevent symptom relapses and hospitalizations.

Mood stabilizers affect the neurotransmitters in your brain. They decrease abnormal activity in your brain to provide relief from mental health symptoms.

There are various types of mood-stabilizing drugs. Some standard classifications of mood-stabilizing drugs include lithium, antiepileptics, and antipsychotics.


Lithium has been a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder for several years. One 2020 study reports that it has been recommended for the treatment of bipolar disorder for 70 years and included in all relevant bipolar treatment guidelines.

Common brand names for lithium, according to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS UK), include:

  • Priadel
  • Camcolit
  • Li-Liquid
  • Liskonum

Lithium can have side effects, especially if you have too much in your blood. If you’re prescribed Lithium, regular labs are necessary to ensure the correct dosage and minimize side effects.


Antiepileptics, also known as anticonvulsants, are often used to treat mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They are also used to treat seizures.

Common antiepileptic drugs, according to a 2023 study, include:

Before starting an antiepileptic medication, consider speaking with a medical professional to learn about potential side effects and interactions.


Antipsychotic medications help individuals deal with psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. They can also be used to stabilize your mood.

According to a 2023 study, there are three generations of antipsychotic medications.

First-generation antipsychotics

First-generation antipsychotics are older medications and, according to a 2016 list, include medications such as:

Second-generation antipsychotics

Second-generation antipsychotics, according to the 2016 list mentioned above, include medications such as:

Third generation antipsychotics

Third-generation antipsychotics listed in a 2022 study include:

If you’re taking or considering taking mood stabilizers, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects of taking these types of medications. Some side effects are mild, while others can be more serious.

A 2023 overview lists these potential side effects of mood stabilizers:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • low sodium
  • dizziness
  • tremors
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • vision changes, such as seeing two images
  • weight gain
  • pancreatitis
  • drowsiness
  • loss of appetite
  • water retention
  • rash

If you experience adverse effects, it’s essential to reach out to your healthcare professional to evaluate your options.

Some risks are associated with taking different types of mood stabilizers, so it’s important to contact a medical professional to determine what class of mood stabilizers suit you.

Mood stabilizers are medications commonly used to treat bipolar disorder but can be used to treat other mental health disorders as well. Mood stabilizers help stabilize your mood and are split into three classifications:

  1. lithium
  2. antiepileptic
  3. antipsychotics

Mood stabilizing medication can help reduce symptoms of depression and mania, stabilize mood, and help prevent you from having relapses from extreme mood shifts.

Mood stabilizers can be a good option if you need help managing your moods.

You will need to report any adverse effects to your healthcare professional if you experience them while taking mood stabilizers. For additional information on mood stabilizers and mental health treatment, you can visit the National Institute of Health.