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A different combination of meds may be required for maintenance, as opposed to managing an episode of acute bipolar mania or acute depression. Lithium is the best known med for treating bipolar because it is a MOOD STABILIZER and is effective in treating both mania and depression, as well as for preventing relapse. Sometimes antidepressants are used to treat bipolar depression but this can be controversial because of the possibility of an antidepressant causing a switch into mania. BUT some bipolar disorder facts are more important than others.