I tried atypical antipsychotics (Geodon was especially disastrous, also Topamax and Depakote – a side effect nightmare) before “coming home” to lithium.
I have family members using the Lamictal and lithium combination and can see why some experts consider this to be emerging as the new gold standard in bipolar medications. Therefore, the best bipolar disorder medications are mood stabilizers.
The most challenging aspect can be finding the right bipolar drug for the current phase of the illness.
For example, there may be a difference between what meds are required for treating an acute mood episode, versus what is required for maintenance treatment.
My quest for the right bipolar drugs was shorter than it is for many people, but it was still too long.
Lithium is the most researched of all bipolar disorder treatments.