Latuda is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is prescribed to treat the symptoms of bipolar depression. The active ingredient in Latuda medication is called Lurasidone and it may be prescribed alone or with Lithium or Valproate, which are mood-stabilizing meds.
Latuda is a once-a-day prescription drug that works by balancing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It has been found that the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin in particular can have an impact on moods. Latuda helps prevent these neurotransmitters from being reabsorbed, which results in a more balanced level available in your brain.
Dopamine is the “focus” neurotransmitter that helps us to remember where we put things, what we just read, and remain on task without our mind wandering off and daydreaming. Serotonin is necessary for stabilizing our moods, regulating our sleep cycle, and pain control to name a few of its functions.
A diagnosis of bipolar depression can be difficult as it can appear as regular depression; although now there is more data relating to the differences between these conditions that should make diagnosing more accurate. One difference is the manic episodes of bipolar depression that can be displayed as having racing thoughts, needing little to no sleep, and becoming very talkative.
Not everyone has the same outcome when taking antipsychotic medications; so once you start taking Latuda for bipolar depression, you may have to give it three to four weeks before you notice a positive change in your symptoms. If the expected results have not been achieved, your doctor may add another medication to Latuda. Lithium or Valproate may help modulate your moods without triggering a manic episode which can last for as long as a week. With regular depression, there are only “lows” without the presence of mania.
You should also have a support system in place because Latuda is not a miracle drug. Friends, family, and therapy will improve your chances of being able to function properly every day so you can work, go to school, and enjoy your family. Latuda medication is not a cure for bipolar depression, but can help you manage the symptoms that have kept you isolated from life.
Although it may not be recommended to take Latuda medication when you are pregnant, you and your doctor can decide if the benefits outweigh any risks. It is not advised to breast feed while taking Latuda because it is unknown whether it is excreted into your milk. You may choose to bottle feed your baby instead as a safety precaution.
Tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have and provide information about any OTC or Rx medicine you are taking, including vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. Certain medications could interact negatively with Latuda or affect its efficacy.
You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking Latuda as it can alter the amount of drug in your bloodstream. Until you know how Latuda medication will affect you, avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing any potentially dangerous tasks that require mental alertness. Latuda may increase your blood sugar levels so you will need to monitor your blood often if you are diabetic. You may become more sensitive to temperature extremes so dress appropriately in the cold and drink lots of fluid in the heat or when exercising.