Bipolar disorder Frequently Asked Questions Medications used when high (hypomania/mania) Antipsychotics Antipsychotics are the most commonly used drug to treat a high. These drugs are divided into groups based on their side effects. No drug has a more tolerable side effect, but rather they have different side effects. Newer drugs are equally effective in treating bipolar but all have different side effects that are not necessarily less troublesome than older ones. Psychiatrists use the wider range of antipsychotics available to suit individual patients. Antipsychotics have been shown to act as mood stabilisers in some cases. Some of the mood stabilisers are effective in treating a high if given at higher doses. The following is a list of common antipsychotics that your psychiatrist may use: Aripiprazole Haloperidol Olanzapine Quetiapine Risperidone Clozapine Other anti-manic drugs that are not antipsychotics include clonazepam, lorazepam, lithium and valproate. Other drugs Other drugs may also be used as anti-manic drugs, but there is less evidence for their effectiveness. These include topiramate, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, ritanserin, ziprasidone and gabapentin. How do bipolar drugs work? The exact mechanism is not known. They have a sedative effect on the brain and alter the balance of a brain chemical called dopamine which is known to be abnormal in mania and psychosis.