Commonly Prescribed Medications for Mental Health Disorders

When dealing with certain mental/body health disorders it is important to know which medications are best to help combat the illness such as; anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders, postpartum depression, and schizophrenia. Below are some helpful medications for each particular disorder.


Prozac Oral

Fluoxetine is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, a certain eating disorder (bulimia), and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Xanax Oral

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).

Lexapro Oral

Escitalopram is an antidepressant (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-SSRI) used to treat depression and anxiety. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters such as serotonin) in the brain. Escitalopram may improve your feelings of well-being and energy level and decrease nervousness.



Lithium (brand names Eskalith, Lithobid) is the most widely used and studiedmedication for treating bipolar disorder. Lithium helps reduce the severity and frequency of mania. It may also help relieve bipolar depression. Studies show that lithium can significantly reduce suicide risk. Lithium also helps prevent future manic and depressive episodes. As a result, it may be prescribed for long periods of time (even between episodes) as maintenance therapy. Lithium acts on a person's central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Doctors don't know exactly how lithium works to stabilize a person's mood, but it is thought to help strengthen nerve cell connections in brain regions that are involved in regulating mood, thinking and behavior.

Postpartum Depression:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually the first-choice medicines. Most SSRIs are thought to be safe for use while a woman is breast-feeding. That's because SSRIs generally pass into the breast milk at low levels.

TricyclicsTricyclics have not caused any known problems for breast-feeding babies and aren't passed on to the baby in measurable amounts (with the exception of doxepin).


The first antipsychotic drug was discovered by accident and then used for schizophrenia. This was Thorazine, which was soon followed by medications such as Haldol, Prolixin, Navane, Loxapine, Stelazine, Trilafon, and Mellaril. These drugs have become known as "neuroleptics" (meaning, "take the neuron") because, although effective in treating positive symptoms (acute symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, loose associations, ambivalence, or emotional lability), they can cause cognitive dulling and involuntary movements, among other side effects. These older medications also are not so effective against so-called negative symptoms such as apathy, decreased motivation, and lack of emotional expressiveness.