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    Old 02-03-2004, 07:17 AM   #1
    Jenndyer
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    Lightbulb Depakote better than Lithium

    I hope this helps
    I was finally put on my meds for the BP just a couple of weeks ago and after reading some of the posts on here I thought that this may be helpfull to some of those who are still on Lithium.......

    Instead of Lithium, my doctor preferred Depakote. It is apparently the safest mood stabilizer out there. Especially compared to Lithium. It has less side effects and proves to be just as effective if not more than Lithium. So far, I have to say that I have noticed a huge change in myself in just these few weeks. I have been in a real good medium mood. I studied up on the medication before I took it. From what I have read it has been proven to be the better choice over Lithium. For those of you who are having problems and side effects with the Lithium, or feel that it is doing you no good anymore, this may be something to ask your doc about. Again, I hope this helps.

     
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    Old 02-03-2004, 11:19 AM   #2
    Curls22
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Have you noticed any weight gain yet? thats why im afraid to try it out. In either case, thats good that you are doing well!!!
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    Old 02-03-2004, 12:49 PM   #3
    Polaris
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curls22
    Have you noticed any weight gain yet? thats why im afraid to try it out. In either case, thats good that you are doing well!!!
    I experienced weight gain, hair loss and tremors. I adjusted my eating habits and started exercising more often and the weight has come off. The hair loss, my doctor tells me, is caused by the drug putting your hair folicles to sleep. This usually only happens just when you first start taking the drug or you have an increase in the dosage. The tremors, well I just live with them.

    Oh, by the way, my doctor has changed me from regular Depakote to Depakote ER, which is supposed to have less side effects.

    P
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    Old 02-03-2004, 04:46 PM   #4
    Grantophus
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    I agree, if I had to choose between Lithium and Depakote, I'd pick Depakote any day. Lithium really drowned me out. I felt level and stable, but I was emotionally muted, and could feel the medication. So I switched to Depakote, which was like a wonder drug coming from Lithium.

    As far as effectiveness and side effects, different meds work differently on different people (if you can follow that ). Lithium is still the most effective med as far as number of people that respond to it, even though it can be rough on some people. Even with Depakote, you have to have blood tests done, but for kidneys instead of liver I believe. I've got a great Bipolar handbook at a bookstore, Surviving Manic Depression. I forget the authors. It has an excellent guide to medication in it, but it's a couple years old. I'm sure if you look, you can find comprehensive info on the various meds out there. There are some new drugs out that look promising and seem to have even fewer side effects, although they aren't effective for nearly as many people and some are off-label prescriptions.

    I ended up having problems later on with Depakote causing me to be really tired all of the time. I was pretty levelled-out as far as cycling goes, but just exhausted... and hungry. I'm now on Lamictal, and have been for a little over a year now, and have been pleased with it. I can't stress enough that if you're having issues w/ meds, just ask your doctor about other alternatives. Lithium is still the preferred treatment, with Depakote a close second, but docs don't want you to be so unhappy on meds that not taking them seems like a better alternative. Hopefully at some point, they'll be able to identify a biological cause to target with a more specific and gentle medication.
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    Old 02-05-2004, 08:23 PM   #5
    Jenndyer
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Thats a great point. Although, I was told by my doc that I wouldn't need any blood tests with Depakote. Maybe its on different mg's or something. Who knows? I think the only for sure thing with this illness is that we all will definetaly be switched on all kinds of meds before its all said and done.

     
    Old 02-05-2004, 08:45 PM   #6
    pillbug
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    My doctor has me take blood tests every six monthes to keep up with the toxicity of depakote in my blood. It has made me gain weight, but I don't know how much because I was taking three other pills that make you gain weight. But depekote has worked well for me.

     
    Old 02-06-2004, 06:46 PM   #7
    Jenndyer
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    That is so weird. My doc said nothing of it. In fact, I was telling him that my therapist suggested Depakote because I wouldn't need blood tests unlike with Lithium and my doc agreed! I am going to call my doc first thing Monday and ask about it. He should have told me.

     
    Old 02-07-2004, 06:55 PM   #8
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    undefinedI was on Lithium first but taken off of it before I noticed much change because my blood tests were awful so they switched me to Depakote. I didn't gain any weight from it, but I didn't like it at all, it made me have no personality whatsoever. To each his own I guess. I haven't been on meds for 1 1/2 now though and prefer dealing with mood swings rather than not being myself.

     
    Old 02-07-2004, 08:30 PM   #9
    Grantophus
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    I really encourage anyone who's having a hard time with meds to ask your doctor about some of the newer meds coming out. I'm on Lamictal, and as if I haven't shamelessly plugged it enough, it's just one example of a newer, gentler medication.

    There are others out there, such as Tegretol, Topamax, Neurontin, calcium channel blockers such as Verapamil, and other off-label drugs that are being tested. Topamax, Tegretol, Neurontin, and Lamictal are epilepsy medications. For the most part, these are more hit-and-miss than lithium, but some people respond very well to them. Here's a run-down of what I know about what's out there besides Lithium or Depakote. I think there are more in testing now, also. I've tried to list what each med is good for and the major side effects of each (there are some lesser or rarer side effects too). If you're interested in any of these, you should do some research and ask your pdoc. Because they're all new, some of the info out there is kinda hazy. For the most part, I think that patients find these meds gentler than Lithium or Depakote, but they're not effective for as many people.

    . Studies involving Lamictal have shown good success with both mania and depression. The major side effect to watch out for is rashes, which affects something like 10% of people on it.
    . Tegretol seems to work better for mixed, rapid cycling, or scizoaffective types of bipolar. It requires blood tests to check for liver damage and something to do with white blood cell counts. Like Lamictal, the most common side effect is rashes, again around 10% I think. It can also do something to water or salt levels in the body, but I'm not sure what. Oh yeah, and it has issues with a lot of other drugs.
    . Topamax has been shown more affective for manic states, as well as aiding in weight loss, but some people have problems with exhaustion or diziness.
    . Neurontin has more limited success, but may help aleviate anxiety, rapid cycling, or hypomanic aggression for some. I think its only side effects are occasional coordination problems.
    . Calcium channel blockers are a new field with limited success thus far, but it could lead to better results in the future. I don't really know much about these except that they're being considered as an alternative.

    I hope this helps.
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    Old 02-07-2004, 08:32 PM   #10
    angie75
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    hi:

    I am glad that you are sharing the info you got with everyone. The thing is meds don't effect everyonr the same way. Lithium works great for some people....I can't tolerate it at all. Depakote works great for some people...I gained, not a little weight, but over 50 lbs, not to mention feeling very sedated. You also should have some blood levels done (to check your liver function)....not all the time, but before treatment starts, then I can't recall of it is every 6 months or what. I took it a long time ago. As for the depakote weight, I eventually lost it, but it took 2 years after I stopped taking it. Thankfully, that doen't happen to most people who take the drug!

    There are also a whole other spectrum of meds for mood swings out there for people who are having trouble w/litium or depakote. They are newer and have fewer side effect for SOME poeple. In case anyone has tried litium and/or depakote and needs ideas for new mood stabilizers there is also: neurontin, trileptal, and topamax. I am sure I've left some out, but I thought I'd add some info.

    Angie

     
    Old 02-09-2004, 07:42 PM   #11
    Jenndyer
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Thank all of you for your feed back. It has been very helpfull. Does anyone know a med that doesn't make you gain weight? I just lost a lot of weight and would hate to gain it back. Once again, thank all of you for your input.
    Jenn

     
    Old 02-10-2004, 02:19 PM   #12
    bp II
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    I took both lithium and depakote together and noticed a big improvement when dep was added to the mix but I also experienced major hair loss so I stopped taking both (per doc instructions).......and i actually have an appt. with my doc tomorrow to talk about going back on one or another because I need it I'll have to ask about the ER pill. good to know thats an option.

     
    Old 02-10-2004, 10:08 PM   #13
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Ive read that taking Zinc and/or Selenium will prevent hair loss. Im on Depakote and havent noticed any hair loss thank God, but i have been taking zinc with it so i dont know.

    Take care all

    Chris


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bp II
    I took both lithium and depakote together and noticed a big improvement when dep was added to the mix but I also experienced major hair loss so I stopped taking both (per doc instructions).......and i actually have an appt. with my doc tomorrow to talk about going back on one or another because I need it I'll have to ask about the ER pill. good to know thats an option.

     
    Old 02-13-2004, 08:37 AM   #14
    Lonely810810
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    Arrow Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    I am currently on dep. my doc started me out on 1500 mg which made my eyes feel like I could not control them.So i lowered to dose to 1000mg a day.I feel like even though I just ate I could eat some more...I keep eating and eating and never get full.Besides the body twitching and shakes i hate the med myself.It freaks me out.It totally does not control my moods I still get mad.I have schizophrenia so when I started taking this med my visions and auditory hallucinations hit me like a ton of bricks...I don't mean to be degrading but I don't like depakote I can't wait to see my doc to get off this...Did anyone feel uncontrolable movement on this med????? Plz let me know.I am willing to try anything but this.I have been on effexor,prozac,seroquel,busbar,paxil,lex apro,zoloft,risperdal and now I am on zanax,depakote and risperdal. I hope things get better for me....

     
    Old 02-13-2004, 10:09 AM   #15
    Polaris
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    Re: Depakote better than Lithium

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lonely810810
    I am currently on dep. my doc started me out on 1500 mg which made my eyes feel like I could not control them.So i lowered to dose to 1000mg a day.I feel like even though I just ate I could eat some more...I keep eating and eating and never get full.Besides the body twitching and shakes i hate the med myself.It freaks me out.It totally does not control my moods I still get mad.I have schizophrenia so when I started taking this med my visions and auditory hallucinations hit me like a ton of bricks...I don't mean to be degrading but I don't like depakote I can't wait to see my doc to get off this...Did anyone feel uncontrolable movement on this med????? Plz let me know.I am willing to try anything but this.I have been on effexor,prozac,seroquel,busbar,paxil,lex apro,zoloft,risperdal and now I am on zanax,depakote and risperdal. I hope things get better for me....
    My doctor switched me from regular Depakote to Depakote ER, which is supposed to have less side effects.

    Good luck
    P
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