Skip to main content

Is Latuda a mood stabilizer or an antipsychotic?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 18, 2022.

Official answer


Latuda (generic name: lurasidone) is an atypical antipsychotic approved for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar depression. Latuda may be used as monotherapy (as a single drug) or in combination with the mood stabilizers lithium or valproate in the treatment of bipolar depression.

Specifically, Latuda from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of:

  • Schizophrenia in adults and adolescents (13 to 17 years of age)
  • Bipolar depression (depressive episode associated with bipolar I disorder) in adults and children (10 to 17 years of age) as monotherapy (used alone)
  • Bipolar depression in adults when used in combination with lithium or valproate.

Latuda is thought to work in schizophrenia and bipolar depression by adjusting levels of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) known as dopamine and serotonin to improve your thinking, feelings and mood, and behavior. However, the exact mechanism of action of Latuda is unknown.

What other medicines are like Latuda?

In addition to Latuda (lurasidone), other atypical antipsychotic medications used in the treatment of both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia include:

Antipsychotic medications can help a person who has lost touch with reality. Antipsychotics are often combined with a mood stabilizer for longer-term therapy in bipolar disorder.

They are often used as a first treatment during an acute phase of mania in bipolar disorder. Studies have also shown that some atypical antipsychotics are helpful with bipolar depression and in the maintenance (long-term) phase of treatment.

How are mood stabilizers used with Latuda?

Mood-stabilizing medications are often used to treat bipolar disorder. Most mood stabilizers are anticonvulsants (antiepileptic drugs) except for lithium. Mood stabilizers both treat and help to prevent both the manic and depressive phases of bipolar disorder.

Latuda is approved to be used in combination with the mood stabilizers lithium (Lithobid) or valproate (Depakote) in adults for the treatment of bipolar depression. Other FDA-approved mood stabilizers used in bipolar disorder include carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro) and lamotrigine (Lamictal).

Does Latuda work immediately?

  • Some patients being treated for schizophrenia may respond to Latuda (lurasidone) treatment as early as one week; however, Latuda improves symptoms in most patients within 6 weeks.
  • In patients with bipolar depression, treatment results may start as early as 2 to 3 weeks, but overall results were seen in patients 6 weeks after starting treatment.
  • Some patients may not have a response to treatment or may need to stop treatment due to side effects.

To increase the effectiveness of Latuda, it is important that you take it with food that contains at least 350 calories. Taking Latuda with food helps to increase the absorption of the medicine into your body.

Related: Learn about Latuda side effects

Bottom Line

  • Latuda (generic name: lurasidone) is an atypical antipsychotic approved for treatment of patients with either schizophrenia and bipolar depression.
  • Medicines classified as atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers are standard treatments for patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
  • Latuda can be used alone or in combination with the mood stabilizers lithium or valproate to treat bipolar depression. Latuda is approved for use in adults and children (10 to 17 years) when used alone (as monotherapy) for bipolar depression. When used with mood stabilizers for bipolar depression, Latuda is only approved for use in adults.

This is not all the information you need to know about Latuda for safe and effective use. Review the full Latuda prescribing information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.


Latuda (lurasidone) [prescribing information]. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. December 2019. Accessed July 27, 2020 at

Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups