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Old 05-11-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
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Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Has anyone heard of using Abilify to "reset" Lamictal? I have been on Lamicatal for 3 and a half years now and I hit the max does (400mg) about a year ago. My new doc gave me the Abilify to reset the Lamictal since it became apparent to me that it was no longer working. Has anyone else ever done this and if so did it work?


Last edited by mmgirl75; 05-11-2009 at 09:41 PM.

 
Old 05-11-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

I've never heard of it described in those terms, but I know that adding one med can increase the efficacy of another.

Such is the case with the Risperdal and Klonopin that I take. I've been on Risperdal for the past 2 years, but it didn't reduce my voices, delusions and paranoia. Ever since my pdoc added Klonopin to help control my rapid cycling, Risperdal is working great. According to what my pdoc told me, Klonopin is helping Risperdal work better than it does without it. I don't know why exactly, but I assume it must have something to do with the ingredients of each med and how they interact with each other.

In your case, adding Abilify to Lamictal may allow the latter to address your depression more effectively.

Abilify has been approved by the FDA as an adjunct treatment for depression when it is used with an anti-depressant. Lamictal isn't an anti-depressant, but it does have anti-depressant qualities which may explain why your pdoc added it to your regimen.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-11-2009 at 11:11 PM.

 
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:51 AM   #3
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

I'm interested in this question. I just upped my lamictal to 200, in response to post-manic depression, its the second time I've raised the dose in two years. I wonder what happens when I can't up it anymore?

Has anyone tried tapering back down to a lower dose once the depression is safely past--say a few months lower? I wonder if that would work and still give me room to go up again next time.

 
Old 05-12-2009, 07:46 AM   #4
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnylover View Post
I'm interested in this question. I just upped my lamictal to 200, in response to post-manic depression, its the second time I've raised the dose in two years. I wonder what happens when I can't up it anymore?

Has anyone tried tapering back down to a lower dose once the depression is safely past--say a few months lower? I wonder if that would work and still give me room to go up again next time.
Lamictal doses for treating bipolar can go as high as 800mg, so you still have plenty of room as far as that's concerned.

I'm on 1500mg/day of Depakote. The highest dose of Depakote is 2500mg, so if I were to require that dosage and it still did not help address my mania, the next option would be to try a different mood stabilizer.

The same is true for the Risperdal I take. I'm on 6mg/day which is the highest possible dose for those who are not inpatient. If the time comes that Risperdal no longer reduces my voices, delusions and paranoia, I will have to try another antipsychotic like Seroquel, Abilify, Invega or one of the older typical antipsychotics like Haldol, Thorazine or Stelazine.

Long story short, if you reach the maximum dose of a med without positive results, you always have other options to choose from.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-12-2009 at 07:47 AM.

 
Old 05-12-2009, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

It's interesting that you indicated the Lamictal can go up to a dose as high as 800mg. My doc said I was already on the highest dose (400mg). As far as the "reset" - he explained that I would not be taking the Abilify for long, maybe a week tops. Supposedly by only taking the Abilify for a week it would reset the Lamictal to working at 400mg. He also gave me prescriptions for other meds as well if the Abilify didn't work. They are Geodon and Seroquel. Now that I have researched the Abilify a little more I am thinking it was the wrong thing since I have not been experiencing any depression. I've just been "spinning my wheels" so to speak. My head is racing but I can't seem to focus on any one task. Along with the fact that things are either making me really happy so much that I want to cry or I am really irritable. Anyhow, long story short I am basically beginning to feel back to the way I was when I was first diagnosed. So, we are trying to "fix" it. I was just curious because I see that so many people are on multiple medications at once but I was told that I could "reset" the Lamictal and possibley not need to add something to the Lamictal permanently.
__________________
Bipolar II Disorder
Lamictal 400mg
Xanax as needed

 
Old 05-12-2009, 08:06 AM   #6
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgirl75 View Post
It's interesting that you indicated the Lamictal can go up to a dose as high as 800mg. My doc said I was already on the highest dose (400mg). As far as the "reset" - he explained that I would not be taking the Abilify for long, maybe a week tops. Supposedly by only taking the Abilify for a week it would reset the Lamictal to working at 400mg. He also gave me prescriptions for other meds as well if the Abilify didn't work. They are Geodon and Seroquel. Now that I have researched the Abilify a little more I am thinking it was the wrong thing since I have not been experiencing any depression. I've just been "spinning my wheels" so to speak. My head is racing but I can't seem to focus on any one task. Along with the fact that things are either making me really happy so much that I want to cry or I am really irritable. Anyhow, long story short I am basically beginning to feel back to the way I was when I was first diagnosed. So, we are trying to "fix" it. I was just curious because I see that so many people are on multiple medications at once but I was told that I could "reset" the Lamictal and possibley not need to add something to the Lamictal permanently.
400mg is not the highest dose of Lamictal since I know people who are on 600mg and 800mg respectively.

If you do an Internet search for "Lamictal + 800mg + bipolar" you will find cases where people with bipolar are receiving this dose.

Having said that, most doses of Lamictal for treating bipolar fall within the 200mg-600mg range.

Research has indicated that doses of 400mg or more have not been proven to be any more effective than doses of 200mg.

If you're having difficulty concentrating and are manic/irritable, you may want to discuss this with your pdoc further since Lamictal is activating (although not for everyone) and can cause mania as a result.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-12-2009 at 08:20 AM.

 
Old 05-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmgirl75 View Post
It's interesting that you indicated the Lamictal can go up to a dose as high as 800mg. My doc said I was already on the highest dose (400mg). As far as the "reset" - he explained that I would not be taking the Abilify for long, maybe a week tops. Supposedly by only taking the Abilify for a week it would reset the Lamictal to working at 400mg. He also gave me prescriptions for other meds as well if the Abilify didn't work. They are Geodon and Seroquel. Now that I have researched the Abilify a little more I am thinking it was the wrong thing since I have not been experiencing any depression. I've just been "spinning my wheels" so to speak. My head is racing but I can't seem to focus on any one task. Along with the fact that things are either making me really happy so much that I want to cry or I am really irritable. Anyhow, long story short I am basically beginning to feel back to the way I was when I was first diagnosed. So, we are trying to "fix" it. I was just curious because I see that so many people are on multiple medications at once but I was told that I could "reset" the Lamictal and possibley not need to add something to the Lamictal permanently.
My pdoc also says that the max FDA allowed is 400mg, I've never heard of 800. I also take Abilify with Lamictal, Topamax, Buspar, Welbutrim, Klonopin, Trazadone and Seroquel PRN. When I added Abilify it helped my depression alot. Actually next week we're going to stop the wellbutrin and up my Abilify dosage.

Sorry to hear that it didn't work for you.

kat

 
Old 05-14-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
My pdoc also says that the max FDA allowed is 400mg, I've never heard of 800. I also take Abilify with Lamictal, Topamax, Buspar, Welbutrim, Klonopin, Trazadone and Seroquel PRN. When I added Abilify it helped my depression alot. Actually next week we're going to stop the wellbutrin and up my Abilify dosage.

Sorry to hear that it didn't work for you.

kat
Does Buspar work for you Kat? It didn't do anything for me,then again I was on Trillafon and that made me insane with anxiety and not thinking clearly. Topamax, often called "Dopamax" is a crappy drug IMO. I know a girl on Seroquel,Topamax,Cymbalta,Ativan, and some others and she can't even think to carry on a conversation it's awful.
__________________
Bipolar II / BPD
Anxiety
OCD/BDD

Meds:
Lexapro 20mgs
Lithium 600mgs
Trazadone 100mgs

 
Old 05-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #9
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

On the bipolar message boards I participate on, I've seen plenty of people on 600mg and more of Lamictal.

It all comes down to what each pdoc prescribes and thinks is appropriate for their patients.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-14-2009 at 07:19 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
Does Buspar work for you Kat? It didn't do anything for me,then again I was on Trillafon and that made me insane with anxiety and not thinking clearly. Topamax, often called "Dopamax" is a crappy drug IMO. I know a girl on Seroquel,Topamax,Cymbalta,Ativan, and some others and she can't even think to carry on a conversation it's awful.
Buspar does help my anxiety, I just moved up the FDA max which is 60mg about a week and a half ago. I have to take Topomax for a seizure disorder and cluster migrainse that can last up to 16 days at a time. It does mess with my memory and causes some neurological deficit but I've been on it for 2.5 years and I've just kind of gotten used to it, It's the only thing that's worked as a migraine preventative so I don't have much choice on that one. I used to take Seroquel as one of my main mood stabilizers/anti psychotics but it made my hands tremble so bad I couldn't even hold a cup in my hand, so I had to stop that on an everyday basis. I was on a high dose 525mg. My pdoc is a neurologist also and a specialist in medical management for mental disorders, so I trust him when it comes to my meds. I tend to be med resistant so I have to change around and be tweaked alot.

kat

kat

 
Old 05-14-2009, 07:22 PM   #11
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
I know a girl on Seroquel,Topamax,Cymbalta,Ativan, and some others and she can't even think to carry on a conversation it's awful.
Yikes! It sounds like she's over-medicated. I don't know how some people can be on so many meds for bipolar and then wonder why they can't function.

Having said that, I'm on 5 meds for my bipolar, but the only problems I have are severe short term memory loss, tremor and clouded thinking from time to time.

Despite these side effects, I'm willing to put up with them given how well my meds work for me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 05-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreams in neon View Post
Yikes! It sounds like she's over-medicated. I don't know how some people can be on so many meds for bipolar and then wonder why they can't function.

Having said that, I'm on 5 meds for my bipolar, but the only problems I have are severe short term memory loss, tremor and clouded thinking from time to time.

Despite these side effects, I'm willing to put up with them given how well my meds work for me.
Yeah the poor thing is way over medicated, she has only Borderline Personality Disorder though. But she self-harms. And always is depressed constantly fighting everyday. That's why I sometimes don't have the faith that I'll feel better, but I guess it's positive thinking that does a lot for you too.

And I've had memory problems myself. I can remember certain things, but other things I just can't remember. Probably a lot to due with the fact I used marijuana from 16-22. And probably mentally blocked out the painful parts of my life as a kid.
__________________
Bipolar II / BPD
Anxiety
OCD/BDD

Meds:
Lexapro 20mgs
Lithium 600mgs
Trazadone 100mgs

 
Old 05-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #13
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlin09 View Post
Buspar does help my anxiety, I just moved up the FDA max which is 60mg about a week and a half ago. I have to take Topomax for a seizure disorder and cluster migrainse that can last up to 16 days at a time. It does mess with my memory and causes some neurological deficit but I've been on it for 2.5 years and I've just kind of gotten used to it, It's the only thing that's worked as a migraine preventative so I don't have much choice on that one. I used to take Seroquel as one of my main mood stabilizers/anti psychotics but it made my hands tremble so bad I couldn't even hold a cup in my hand, so I had to stop that on an everyday basis. I was on a high dose 525mg. My pdoc is a neurologist also and a specialist in medical management for mental disorders, so I trust him when it comes to my meds. I tend to be med resistant so I have to change around and be tweaked alot.

kat

kat
Ahh, Okay. Yeah I get migraines here and there. Nothing like you get though. 16 days, WOW. And that's awesome your pdoc is also a neurologist. What makes one 'med resistant' ? I was thinking I was med resistant for awhile, considering it takes me high doses of Benzo's, and depression still remaining on ad's, but I hear thats pretty typical. Not to mention I haven't been on a lot of other medications that are out there (IE Lamictal (just starting-yay) and Abilify if needed).
__________________
Bipolar II / BPD
Anxiety
OCD/BDD

Meds:
Lexapro 20mgs
Lithium 600mgs
Trazadone 100mgs

 
Old 05-14-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
Ahh, Okay. Yeah I get migraines here and there. Nothing like you get though. 16 days, WOW. And that's awesome your pdoc is also a neurologist. What makes one 'med resistant' ? I was thinking I was med resistant for awhile, considering it takes me high doses of Benzo's, and depression still remaining on ad's, but I hear thats pretty typical. Not to mention I haven't been on a lot of other medications that are out there (IE Lamictal (just starting-yay) and Abilify if needed).
I take Topamax myself for migraines (100mg) and so far, it seems to be working very well for me. I don't have any slowed or dulled thinking on it though which is great. Most of the cognitive issues I have are due to Depakote.

As far as migraines are concerned, I have a 21 year history of them. Before I started taking preventative meds in the early 90s, my migraines would last for months.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 05-14-2009 at 08:51 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #15
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Re: Abilify as a "reset" for Lamictal

Quote:
Originally Posted by BipolarPrincess View Post
Yeah the poor thing is way over medicated, she has only Borderline Personality Disorder though.
Alot of the meds used to treat Borderline are also used to treat bipolar. I know someone who has BPII and Borderline. We've been friends for the past 5 years and she functions quite well despite having both disorders.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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