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    Old 04-18-2004, 07:04 AM   #1
    aliend
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    Depakote

    Im on a lot of meds now, 1400 of depakote, 300 mgs of solian (an atypical antipsychotic), 25 mgs of serequel for sleep and 20mgs of lexapro.

    Anyway i feel like ****!!! I am so run down, i am so tired, i dont know what it is thats doing it to me. I was thinking about asking my doc if i could stop the Depakote but im bipolar I so i dont think he will let me? i dont know, i seemed to do great on just solian and an antipdepressant before i was diagnosed bipolar.

    I initially found depakote really useful but now i feel so flat and numb i dont know what to do. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks .

    Take care.

     
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    Old 04-18-2004, 10:03 AM   #2
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    Re: Depakote

    Well now. My wife is on a host of meds. 2000 mg of depakote, topamax (dopeamax), lithem, lexapro, klompin, ambin, ablify and some more. Please excuse the spellings.
    Not to get you down but some drís like to dope up their patients too much. It can be ok for a while but to live like my wife is living is CRAP.
    So sorry for the ranting. You may try spacing the dose out over the entire day or take it at night.

     
    Old 04-18-2004, 10:16 PM   #3
    sippy
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    Re: Depakote

    I was on a large dose of Depakote for about 2 months. I absolutly hated it. Weight gain, hair falling out, low energy, dizzyness, and on and on. From some of the coments on this board, I think many people have had similar responses. I ask the doc about Lamictal. I'm on 200mg a day, I've been taking it for about a year. I've read other people also commenting that it's more "gentle", I agree with that. Just another person's experience-hope it helps

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 12:18 AM   #4
    aliend
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    Re: Depakote

    Thanks guys for the response. Im really sorry about your wife, that sounds dreadful. I do take my medications spread out, morning and night. I just feel so drugged.

    Anyway with mood stabalizers as im in Australia, the only medications that have been labeled for use for bipolar are Depakote, Lithium and that other one i cant spell lol its also an anti-seizure medication. Carba something lol.

    My doctor says i will be more tired on the other meds and depakote is my best choice. so im really confused as to what to do =/

     
    Old 04-19-2004, 06:08 AM   #5
    Polaris
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    Re: Depakote

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aliend
    Im on a lot of meds now, 1400 of depakote, 300 mgs of solian (an atypical antipsychotic), 25 mgs of serequel for sleep and 20mgs of lexapro.

    Anyway i feel like ****!!! I am so run down, i am so tired, i dont know what it is thats doing it to me. I was thinking about asking my doc if i could stop the Depakote but im bipolar I so i dont think he will let me? i dont know, i seemed to do great on just solian and an antipdepressant before i was diagnosed bipolar.

    I initially found depakote really useful but now i feel so flat and numb i dont know what to do. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks .

    Take care.
    Do you take your depakote at night? I am not sure what your weight is, but I know when I was first prescribed depakote, it was overprescribed to me and I felt as if I were drunk after taking it. I have since had the dosage reduced and my doctor closely monitors the amount of drug in my blood. I usually have that done about every 4-6 months. Ever since he started monitoring the drug level in the blood, I haven't had that drunken feeling. There is also depakote er on the market now, which is supposed to have less side effects. Perhaps you can suggest this to your doctor.

    I hope you can get some help soon, as I know feeling the way you do all the time really sucks.

    P
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    Old 04-20-2004, 02:45 PM   #6
    Grantophus
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    Re: Depakote

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aliend
    Anyway with mood stabalizers as im in Australia, the only medications that have been labeled for use for bipolar are Depakote, Lithium and that other one i cant spell lol its also an anti-seizure medication. Carba something lol.
    Perhaps things work a bit differently in Australia, but in the U.S. off-label prescribing for bipolar is generally acceptable as a treatment option. There are many drugs out there that are used for things that are still in clinical testing, particularly in the late phases. Lamictal is one of them, and is definately worth looking into. I have taken Lamictal for a year and a half now, and it has been a godsend.

    Just because your pdoc is a doctor, don't assume that he is competent or is doing the best job for you. There are a lot of sub-par doctors, especially when it comes to bipolar. Your doctor needs to be open to input from you, and should work with you if your meds are overwhelming you. Most bipolars are to some extent unhappy with their meds, so you have to be realistic about any changes; if you really can't live with the drugs you're on though, talk to your doc about alternatives.

    Anyhow, just as people are now urged to seek second opinions for medical problems, and the same is true for bipolar. This is important, because for most of us, these meds will be lifelong. Good doctors know that extreme unhapiness with bipolar medication is a major factor in medication non-compliance. I took Depakote for about a year and felt very similar to you -- constantly exhausted and fatigued, drugged up, and "heavy." Trust me when I say that over time this can beat you down not only mentally, but physically as well. It is important to take care of any problems before they get out of hand. Speaking from personal experience (on Depakote, in fact), there is a point past which no anti-depressant or medication can help you. It's your body and your psyche that are being medicated.

    Being educated is important for being able to ask the right questions and work well with your doctor. The best way to do this is to go to a bookstore and buy a book on bipolar (I recommend Surviving Manic Depression by E. Torrey Fuller & Michael Knables). Another way is to research on the internet, but the key here is not to be drawn in by biased sites (i.e. pharmacutical companies) or sites with misinformation. Look for government sites or non-profit sites. Good luck, and hopefully you'll feel better soon.
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    Old 04-21-2004, 12:01 AM   #7
    aliend
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    Re: Depakote

    I do think i have a good doctor. The problem with using off-label drugs for bipolar in Australia is that, it would cost me hundreds of dollars per month for the medication wheras depakote (which is called Epilim here) only costs me $23 Australian for 200 500mg pills because its under the PBS scheme so the government pays for most of the medication. I couldnt afford to be paying $200 a month for a med that might not work. The PBS is good though, im on Solian and Serequel and only paying a fraction of the cost because my doctor gets me an authority for the medication. I pay roughly $23 for 60 200mg pills of Solian and the same for Serequel, where as if i wasnt getting the authority id be paying hundreds.

    He lowered my dosage of Epilim today to 1000mgs as my levels are too high. So i hope that takes away the probs ive been having.

     
    Old 04-21-2004, 07:08 AM   #8
    Polaris
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    Re: Depakote

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aliend
    I do think i have a good doctor. The problem with using off-label drugs for bipolar in Australia is that, it would cost me hundreds of dollars per month for the medication wheras depakote (which is called Epilim here) only costs me $23 Australian for 200 500mg pills because its under the PBS scheme so the government pays for most of the medication. I couldnt afford to be paying $200 a month for a med that might not work. The PBS is good though, im on Solian and Serequel and only paying a fraction of the cost because my doctor gets me an authority for the medication. I pay roughly $23 for 60 200mg pills of Solian and the same for Serequel, where as if i wasnt getting the authority id be paying hundreds.

    He lowered my dosage of Epilim today to 1000mgs as my levels are too high. So i hope that takes away the probs ive been having.
    Has your doctor tested the drug level in your system to see how high the content is in your blood? I just had mine done and I had a level of 71, which is low by standards, but I stand less than 5 feet tall and weigh under 120lbs so that is why my level could be low and I still get good benefits from it. Just a thought.

    P
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    Old 04-21-2004, 07:31 AM   #9
    Grantophus
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    Re: Depakote

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aliend
    I do think i have a good doctor. The problem with using off-label drugs for bipolar in Australia is that, it would cost me hundreds of dollars per month for the medication wheras depakote (which is called Epilim here) only costs me $23 Australian for 200 500mg pills because its under the PBS scheme so the government pays for most of the medication.
    Heh, sorry to insinuate that he wasn't; I've just been hearing about a lot of people recently who have horrible pdocs. Some doctors, less true of pdocs than of general practitioners, don't like to prescribe off-label, as it requires more extensive continuing education for a condition that is still viewed as less important than major depression or schizophrenia. You know what they call the person who graduates last in their class in med school? Doctor. Anyhow, my whole post was sorta centered around the premise that there was no reason you couldn't use off-label drugs. Hopefully they'll soon get approval for some of the very promising drugs currently in Phase III treatment. [url=http://www.narsad.org]The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression[/url] (NARSAD) is an excellent resource for finding out about some of these. Here is the most recent report I could find on new medications in development: [url=http://www.narsad.org/news/newsletter/medications/article2003-07-08.html] New Psychiatric Medications in Development in 2002[/url]

    Hopefully lowering your dosage on the Epilim/Depakote will help out. I was just reading about how blood levels even 25 mcg/ml over the target theraputic range (50-100 mcg/ml) can cause a significant increase in side effects. Also, something else I found interesting was that taking aspirin can cause increased Valproate levels.
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    Last edited by Grantophus; 04-21-2004 at 07:33 AM. Reason: grammar police

     
    Old 04-22-2004, 04:35 AM   #10
    aliend
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    Re: Depakote

    thanks Grant and Polaris. Ive had my levels checked as of a few days ago and my levels were too high. So i have had my medication lowered and im already feeling much better. Thanks for the site info ill check them out. I hope the new drugs get approval in Australia soon, i dont know if there is any kind of testing being done in Australia as of yet.

    Take care

    Chris

     
    Old 05-15-2004, 09:32 PM   #11
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    Re: Depakote

    I take a host of meds too! Depakote, Welbutrin, Neurontin, Ambien, Seroquel, sometimes Xanax. I feel constantly tired. Never really feel like getting up in the morning. The Dr. is tampering with the combination to see if it will help with the constant agitation. She has suggested Lamictal but, the side effects seemed scary when you come off of Depakote. On the other hand, when I'm off everything...I start cylcing out of control. any suggestions or encouragement?

     
    Old 05-16-2004, 09:30 AM   #12
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    Re: Depakote

    I was on depekote ER my doc prescribed 1500 mg a day and blood tested me also she said I had the right amount.I felt like my eyes would roll and I couldn't stop them it was bad.I had really bad tremors from this med also.However it did take away my mood swings and I was a happier person.I lowered my dose to 1000 a day.The original poster seems like she has too many meds on her plate.I have been diagnosed with bi polar sciz and ocd.My doc wanted to put me on alot of meds too and I refused.I would only do 2 no more.There are long term side effects too these drugs.I would read up on all meds before taking them.

     
    Old 05-16-2004, 09:32 AM   #13
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    Re: Depakote

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mollymadison
    I take a host of meds too! Depakote, Welbutrin, Neurontin, Ambien, Seroquel, sometimes Xanax. I feel constantly tired. Never really feel like getting up in the morning. The Dr. is tampering with the combination to see if it will help with the constant agitation. She has suggested Lamictal but, the side effects seemed scary when you come off of Depakote. On the other hand, when I'm off everything...I start cylcing out of control. any suggestions or encouragement?
    The side effects of coming off are scary.I have a problem with self medicating.I quit cold turkey and it was the worse mistake.I was sick and had bad tremors.The depakote made me gain 30 ponds in one month......

     
    Old 05-18-2004, 12:32 PM   #14
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    Re: Depakote

    Hey HEy HEy,
    OK I take depakote er 1250 mgs usually either an hour before I plan on sleeping or right before I go to sleep and it works for me. as for the weight gain my drs. have told me the dep. itself is not what makes you gain weight . the dep. feeds itself on Carbs. so if you watch your carb in take and DONT eat more carbs that usually like if you usually eat one piece of pizza and find yourself wanted 3 only eat the one. Does that make anysense. I have been on the dep for about a year and I have yet to gain weight. At times I have expereicnced dizziness but only in the AM when I wake up. Hope This helps.
    Until Next Time,
    L
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