Re: how long does it take to become stable?
When used alone, anti-depressants can induce mania. However, if they are used with one or two mood stabilizers, this lessens the chances of that happening. I'm taking Fluoxetine (Prozac generic) and am also taking Depakote and Topamax (for migraines), so the fact that I'm on 2 mood stabilizers is protecting me enough from experiencing manic episodes.
As for your question about how long it takes to become stable, it varies from person to person. What complicates this is the fact that meds work differently for everyone. What works well for one person may not work well for another.
I've been unstable with my rapid cycling for the past 1.5 years and was just put on a new med that seems to be helping me. Whenever I feel myself start to cycle into agitation, I take this med (Clonazepam) and it calms me down in 20 minutes. It has only been 2 days since I started taking it, but it has been a real Godsend for me just the same because I feel as if I've been given my life back.
It should be noted that it can take 6-8 weeks before medication is fully absorbed in the bloodstream and side effects begin to decrease or disappear completely.
As far as Lamictal is concerned, the therapeutic dose is 100mg and up. 50mg is a moderate dose, but I'm assuming that your pdoc is titrating you to a higher dose? Is that correct?
I wish you all the best with your meds.
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN