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  • Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

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    Old 09-18-2007, 02:32 AM   #1
    fineanddandy
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    Question Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    I am serious. Every mood stabilizer seems to have horrible side effects. Are there any that are easier to tolerate than others???

    So far, I have tried:
    1) Depakote - gained 30 pounds in a month
    2) Seroquel - causes daytime grogginess, elevated heart rate, acid reflux at night, and heavy snoring (which probably means sleep apnea but I've refused a sleep study).

    I've looked them all up and they all seem to have intolerable side effects. Are there any that work for you that you can tolerate???

    I really appreciate the help!
    Thanks In Advance

     
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    Old 09-18-2007, 06:22 AM   #2
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Hi FineandDandy.....my daughter is on Lamictal and that works out well for her. It is not only weight neutral but has a GREAT profile when it comes to side effects. Only thing is it has to be titrated up slowly due to a bad rash associated with giving it too quickly and may take time before it really starts to work. IT is also great in terms of addressing the depressive side of BP and is used to treat people with Major Depression as well. My daughter had more depressive symptoms that when treated with just an antidepressant alone triggered hypomania.

    She is on the Seroquel as well (which by the way is an antipsychotic used for mania) which works well in combination with the Lamictal. IN time I am hoping that we can get her off the Seroquel and that the Lamictal will work on it's own.

    Hope that you find the med that works good for you.

    ~ Goody

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 08:47 AM   #3
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    The bad rash thing scares me although I guess the risk of developing it is pretty small. Lamactil isn't too sedating then? It'd be really nice to be able to t-h-i-n-k!

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    My son takes lamictal, lithium and tegretol, and works in the area of mathematics and statistics so he can't afford to be brain-drousy. Sometimes you need to take something for awhile to let your body adjust to the changes. If he had stopped taking any of his meds at the beginning due to side effects, he would not be on anything and his life would be a MESS.

    Sometimes you have to figure out if the side effects from medications are better or worse than the "side effects" that result from unmedicated bipolar disorder.

    Tsohl

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 10:08 AM   #5
    fineanddandy
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Quote:
    Sometimes you have to figure out if the side effects from medications are better or worse than the "side effects" that result from unmedicated bipolar disorder.
    Oh yeah, I got that. I've been on Seroquel for about 4 years now. I'm just wondering if there is something else I could take that would be more tolerable.

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    I think it is a really individual reaction. My son could not take Seroquel but tolerates lithobid (lithium) which many cannot. In fact, with the combination I mentioned, he has been well and stable for over 2 1/2 years and has very few side effects.

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 10:16 AM   #7
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Okay, thanks! So far, 2 votes for lamactil and one for lithium.

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 10:40 AM   #8
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Actually I am voting for both. In our experience one mood stabilizer was not quite enough to prevent break-through episodes.

    Lithium is still the gold standard for treating bipolar but many people cannot tolerate it. Sometimes they can tolerate it at a smaller dosage and then will add a second mood stabilizer on at also a smaller dosage than if it were used alone.

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #9
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tsohl View Post
    ......
    Lithium is still the gold standard for treating bipolar but many people cannot tolerate it. Sometimes they can tolerate it at a smaller dosage and then will add a second mood stabilizer on at also a smaller dosage than if it were used alone.
    Count my vote for Lithium. But before I comment about my history with Lithium, most resent studies find that only about 25% to 35% of people cannot tolerate Lithium. I started Lithium when it was first aproved by FDA in 1970. No other mood stabilizers were on the market at that time. It worked well for me ,however I did not comply and found recurrence of my episodes.
    Findly,in 1984, I deceided I to comply with a regular dose. I have had stability now for 24 years.

    Again....tsohl is 100% correct......Lithium is still the gold standard fot treating bipolar disorder.

    Carry On,

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    I'm on Lamictal and Seroquel as well. Lamictal has never made me drousy, but Seroquel did at first, and Seroquel actually helps me sleep if I take it right before bed (right now, I'm on 150mg., but I just increased to that a couple days ago from 100mg.). I was on Lamictal and Abilify but I was taken off of it in the hospital because the pdoc there thought it was making me manic. :S It had never made me manic, but it had never worked really well either so I didn't fight it. When he took me off of Abilify, he put me on Seroquel and in the hospital I went from 25mg. to 300mg. without a problem, but when I got out of the hospital, my regular pdoc increased it to 400mg. when the 300mg. wasn't working very well (probably because of the fast increase, at least I think so), but the 400mg. made me soooooo lightheaded and dizzy that I had to terminate Seroquel immediately. Then I was only on Lamictal for a while, but it wasn't working well on its own so after talking to my pdoc and discussing two other mood stabilisers other than Seroquel, we finally decided that a low dose of Seroquel might work for me, and so far it has. So now, I'm on 400mg. of Lamictal (max. dose according to my pdoc), 150mg. of Seroquel, 1mg. of Klonopin at night, and 1-2mg. of Ativan during the day, the latter two for anxiety.

    Hope that helps a little.

    ~~Paige
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    Bipolar Ultradian Cycler
    400mg. Lamictal
    600mg. Seroquel
    1mg. Klonopin
    0.5-1mg. Ativan
    I'm not crazy ~ I'm mentally interesting!

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #11
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Paige1989 & EYESTWO22, thank you both for your input. So, no bad side effects from the lithium and/or lamictal? Drowsiness? Brain fog? Hand tremor? Serious weight gain?

     
    Old 09-18-2007, 02:50 PM   #12
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    With Lamictal, there is no weight gain at all. I've never experienced brain fog or drowsiness, nor hand tremor. Altogether, Lamictal side effects are very rare and the only one that really needs to be watched for is the rash associated with Lamictal. As Goody said, it has to be titrated up slowly to avoid the rash, but sometimes it occurs anyway, at which point you have to stop taking it immediately because the rash can be deadly, but not if it is stopped right away. So over all, Lamictal has very little side effects and I fully recommend it. ^_^ The only thing I've experienced is the AWFUL taste of it...I can't take it without milk. I could take it with a soda, but only if I swallow the pill really fast...if I don't, I gag and cough for a while before the taste gets out of my mouth. :S With milk, though, the taste is masked completely. And Mom can take Lamictal with water so it could just be me...I mean, she agrees that it tastes bad, but she can tolerate it where I cannot.

    ~~Paige
    __________________
    Bipolar Ultradian Cycler
    400mg. Lamictal
    600mg. Seroquel
    1mg. Klonopin
    0.5-1mg. Ativan
    I'm not crazy ~ I'm mentally interesting!

     
    Old 09-19-2007, 01:23 AM   #13
    fineanddandy
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Thanks Paige.

     
    Old 09-19-2007, 04:41 AM   #14
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fineanddandy View Post
    Paige1989 & EYESTWO22, thank you both for your input. So, no bad side effects from the lithium and/or lamictal? Drowsiness? Brain fog? Hand tremor? Serious weight gain?
    Minor hand tremor was my only side effect. however I used this to monitor my serum lithium blood tests. The more tremor, the higher the reading ...above 1.0 to 1.2. (Too high). When the tremor slowed or stoped, my serum lithium was around .06 to .08 (theraputial normal).

    Carry On,

     
    Old 09-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #15
    fineanddandy
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    Re: Are There Any Mood Stabilizers That Aren't Horrible???

    Thanks, eyes. A minor hand tremor would be tolerable.

     
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