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A good mood stabilizer?


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#1 koali777

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:36 PM

If anyone's been following my posts, I got off of Risperdal about 100 hours ago or so because I couldn't stand the flatness and how hard it was to study (I only have one more quarter before I get my associate's degree...I'm going into literature and writing and I NEED creativity and my brain for that...)

Anyway, last night I started researching Lamictal and Lithium, both on forums here and on the internet. I was concerned when I kept reading that Lithium can cause flatness (which I never want again) and that Lamictal can cause serious itching (I already have chronic hives for an unknown reason and I really don't want MORE skin problems). I wouldn't be worried if I hadn't kept reading board after board and post after post about those two drugs and the problems involved. How likely am I to become flat on Lithium or itchy on Lamictal? Are there other good mood stabilizers? I feel unstable without the Risperdal, but I hated how I felt on it too. I need help.

My "Issues": Bipolar I with psychotic features; type 1 diabetes

 

My meds: Zyprexa- 10 mg twice daily; Lithium- 900 mg at night; Trileptal- 600 mg twice daily; Wellbutrin- 450 mg daily; Ritalin- 10 mg twice daily; Xanax- 0.25 mg PRN; insulin pump

 

Past antidepressants: Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro, Pristiq, Nortriptyline, Wellbutrin SR

Past antipsychotics: Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, Geodon, Saphris, Latuda, Invega

Past anti-anxiety meds: Klonopin, Vistaril

Past ADD meds: Vyvanse, Strattera, Adderall XR, Adderall IR

Past sleep meds: Rozerem, Benadryl, Ambien, Restoril, Trazodone

 

 



#2 jarn

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

I think YMMV and you won't know until you go on them how you'll react.

If it helps, I didn't flatten on lithium and the second time I took it, had only the mildest, short-term itching on lamictal (the first time I took it I got a rash).

Current meds: Saphris 25mg, Latuda 80mg, Lamotrigine 250mg, Pristiq 100mg, Ativan 1mg


#3 koali777

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

How much of each were you on? Maybe I just need to make sure I don't get overmedicated. And short term itching I can deal with...I mean, like I said, I get hives as it is, and I'm used to it. As long as it goes away and I don't get dandruff all over my coat and embarass myself.

My "Issues": Bipolar I with psychotic features; type 1 diabetes

 

My meds: Zyprexa- 10 mg twice daily; Lithium- 900 mg at night; Trileptal- 600 mg twice daily; Wellbutrin- 450 mg daily; Ritalin- 10 mg twice daily; Xanax- 0.25 mg PRN; insulin pump

 

Past antidepressants: Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro, Pristiq, Nortriptyline, Wellbutrin SR

Past antipsychotics: Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, Geodon, Saphris, Latuda, Invega

Past anti-anxiety meds: Klonopin, Vistaril

Past ADD meds: Vyvanse, Strattera, Adderall XR, Adderall IR

Past sleep meds: Rozerem, Benadryl, Ambien, Restoril, Trazodone

 

 


#4 AnneMarie

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:05 PM

I'll second Lamictal and Lithium. Lamictal tends to have fewer side effects for folks. It is a stronger antidepressant than antimanic. It's quite effective for many by itself or paired with a stronger antimanic. It basically is my antidepressant. I really like it. Average dose seems to be 200mg. Lithium can be a great med. Studies show it as the most effective at promoting new neuron growth (repairing your brain) which is why it's being studied for non-psych brain diseases. It doesn't work for everyone, though. About 25% get no effect from it. About 25% have side effect problems. The other 50% do well. Dosing is by serum level, not milligrams, so there are blood tests involved. Once you are at a steady state, those usually are only every three to six months. I was one of the 50%. No appreciable s/e's save some acne. Both paired together is not uncommon.

A few other meds to consider are Trileptal, which like Lamicatal is an anticonvulsant. Many do well on it. Tegretol is somewhat similar to Trileptal. It has been great for rapid cycling for me. Depakote is another anticonvulsant that is quite effective for many. It *can* come with side effects, more so than some other meds. Each person is different, so you never know. Some don't have any s/e's on it, so you never know until you try.

Edited by Stacia, 03 March 2010 - 01:07 PM.

Bipolar I and ADD


#5 jarn

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:17 PM

How much of each were you on?


I don't remember how much lithium I was on, or what my target blood level was. I was on lithium for almost a year though. The one thing it did to me was make me hypothyroid fairly quickly, but you can take synthroid for that.

Lamictal I got up to 50mg the first time and developed a rash, got taken off of it. I'm on 150mg right now and use it for Invega-related depression.

Current meds: Saphris 25mg, Latuda 80mg, Lamotrigine 250mg, Pristiq 100mg, Ativan 1mg


#6 netsavy006

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:14 PM

Here's the list of mood stabilizers I know are out there:

Lithium, Depakote, Tegratol, Trileptal, Lamictal, Topamax, Neurontin, Gabatril, Zonegran

You'll have to give each one a try and see what happens. If you don't like one there are others of which you can try. I wish you the best.

- Andy -
Dx: Asperger's + Schizoaffective Disorder - Bipolar Type + Panic Disorder w/o Agoraphobia + Acid Reflex Disease
Rx: Lithium 900mg + Xanax 0.5mg QID + Celexa 10mg + Clozaril 325mg + Pantoprazole + Centrum + Fish Oil


#7 Malachi

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:59 PM

I'm on Lamictal and it has done wonders for me. It works without making me feel "flat" all the time, which is nice.
DX: Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar Subtype)

RX: 1200mg Lithium, 40mg Zyprexa, 100mg Zoloft, 400mg Tegretol, 4mg Haldol, 40mg Latuda

What didn't work: Prozac, Abilify, Lamictal, Seroquel, Buspar, Klonopin, Celexa, Xanax, Cymbalta, Ativan, Welbutrin

#8 mejeba

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:31 PM

This is the second time I've been on Lamictal, and neither time have I experienced any skin problems at all. I really hope it will help this time. I feel better, more even, since I went back on it.

However, I went up to 400 mg Lamictal before and ended up with serious cognitive impairment. I was on a high dose of Epival/Depakote at the time, tho (1500 mg), so it could have been the combo. The s/e went away when the doseages were lowered.

Lithium was a bust- got a rash from that!
"only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

"illusion is the first of all pleasures" Oscar Wilde



Bipolar II- rapid cycling; PTSD; Generalized Anxiety; OCD in form of obsessive distorted thoughts;

Lamictal- 250 mg; Wellbutrin XL- 300 mg; Sertraline- 200 mg; Clonazepam- prn; Ativan- prn

chucked: Celexa w/Lithium, Ritalin SR, Valproex Sodium (Epival/Depakote], Lithium

#9 JackBQuick

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:37 AM

I'm @150mg Lamictal and noticed some "itchiness" but no rash (mostly in the morning, but it is winter after all). From what I understand the itchy/rash is when you go up too quickly.

Otherwise, it works. I depend on creativity for my one job (author) and stability for my other one (sports official). I can't afford flatness. All along the line since way back docs have always told me to avoid Lithium citing that because I TS I should not take it. I can't recall why exactly, but I need to avoid flatness in general so, I suppose that's just as well.

The Cosmic Thumbnail: BPII, Tourette's Syndrome, and most of the attendant craptastica...
RX: Lamictal 300 mg. A buncha shit for pain, busted spine, shoulder, all that crap.



"You have to know your left from your right. You have to know what you're doing." Ken Wattanabe to me on a bad day in the dojo.

"No, not again, the line must be drawn here. This far, and no further!" Captain Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek: First Contact


#10 AnneMarie

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 10:48 AM

This is the second time I've been on Lamictal, and neither time have I experienced any skin problems at all. I really hope it will help this time. I feel better, more even, since I went back on it.

However, I went up to 400 mg Lamictal before and ended up with serious cognitive impairment. I was on a high dose of Epival/Depakote at the time, tho (1500 mg), so it could have been the combo. The s/e went away when the doseages were lowered.

Lithium was a bust- got a rash from that!



Depakote doubles the strength of Lamictal, so that was one hell of a dose of Lamictal, like 800mg. Way too much.

Bipolar I and ADD


#11 iheartmyrockbob

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:36 AM

When I first started taking Lithium, I was on the regular capsules. I had the worst side effects possible but the medication worked miracles. When I told the doctor about my side effects, he decided to put me on Lithium ER (the extended release tablets) and I have no symptoms now except dry mouth, and even that isn't half as bad as it was before. If you were to want to try Lithium (which, for me, is a miracle drug for mood swings), I would strongly suggest that you ask about the extended release version of it.

Best of luck. Hope I helped some. =/

DX: Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ED-NOS, PTSD, Panic Disorder, Opiate Addiction
Current Meds: Klonopin, Ambien, Trileptal, Lithium ER, Prozac, Adderall XR, Norco

"Look at the stars in the night sky; there's a light in every darkness."


#12 Maddy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:13 AM

I'm on 400mg Topamax and 200mg Lamictal.
No itchiness. No flatness.
Lithium wasn't good for me but it works wonders in a lot of people.

I <3 my meds!
DX: undifferentiated schizophrenia
RX: Fanapt, Topamax, Ativan, Celexa

Past RX: Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Remeron, Strattera, Trazodone, Lamictal, Neurontin, Depakote, Lithium, Vistaril, Buspar, Clonidine, Tegretol, Gabitril, Keppra, Depakene, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Haldol, Abilify, Saphris, Adderall, Valium, Primidone. I know there are others I've forgotten over the years.
Boards I mod: Schizophrenia & Various Psychoses, Hormone & Glandular Problems, any others as needed.


#13 Thomas

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

400 mg. Lamictal (and all the generic versions) works well for me. I've been pretty stable for almost 2 1/2 years now. Of course, I take a bunch of other crap too.

Tommy
Dx:BP1, OCD, Diabetetes Type 2, Hypertension, Gastroparesis & kidney stones
Rx: Abilify 20 mg., Klonopin 6.0 mg., Restoril 30 mg. Cymbalta 120 mg. , Lamictal 400 mg., Cogentin 1.5 mg. Crestor 10 mg. hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg., Hyzaar 100/25 mg., domperidone 20 mg. and Levemir Insulin 40 units, Actos 45 mg.,Proprananol ER 80 mg., Hydrocodone/APAP 40 mg./4000 mg., tizanidine 1 mg., Fiorocet 3 mg.

#14 Catnapper

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:24 PM

Lamictal is a wonder drug as far as I'm concerned. My pdoc put me on it because even though I have never had mania, and may or may not have had hypomania, I've had several episodes of major depression. Since Lamictal is used as a mood stabilizer with really good anti-depressant effects, he chose it for me with the hope that it would break the depression cycle. I am also continuing the Wellbutrin anti-depressant that I've been on for years.

The pdoc has said that the next drug to add to the mix is a low dose of lithium, if I start getting depressed again. He has had good luck with combining Lamictal and lithium with many of his patients.

Although I've never had hives, I do have really sensitive skin and get rashes / irritations from lots of things like the wrong type of laundry detergent, hand soap, household cleaning products, the wrong brand of sunblock, etc. I didn't have any trouble getting up to 200 mg of Lamictal, although it is a slow titration.

My mood is good and I don't feel flat at all, and I've been on Lamictal for about a year. Creative thinking is also important to my work.

New Improved Diagnosis: Probably BP II (instead of MDD recurrent), or as the pdoc said, "There's clearly some sort of cycle going on."

 

RX: Generic versions of Lamictal 200 mg, Wellbutrin SR 300 mg, Ambien 10 mg, Gabapentin 900 mg (for hot flashes), lots of vitamins and fish oil tablets. Added Abilify 5 mg on 11/27/2014 for depression that's come back at full steam.
RX Graveyard: Prozac, Topomax, Zoloft, Vivactil, Adderall, Provigil
DX: Previously DXed with Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Without Psychotic Symptoms; still enjoying Dysthymia and Binge Eating Disorder

"All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental." Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake


#15 ninjabunny

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:08 AM

I hear you. It's frustrating to find a good stabilizer.

I have done well on Lithium, few or no side effects.

I have been on Geodon for a year, and it's golden - have not had a manic or psychotic episode since I started. Side effects - slurred speech, extreme drowsiness - I make sure to take mine before bed instead of in the morning.

Good luck to you!
ninjabunny
BPD I rapid cycling dx '98
ADHD - or just poor attention span
generalized anxiety disorder
too many meds over the years to count - poor liver
currently adderal, trazadone, pristiq, geodon, valium
Have had ECT
4 hospitalizations
still fighting and optimistic
resilient and stubborn as hell
where there's hope there's life

#16 koali777

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:37 AM

Hmmm...I gotta admit, these replies changed a lot for me (in a good way). Yesterday I was really against meds and really rebellious. I'd forgotten about this post. Then I checked it and found all these "success stories" Lithium and Lamictal mainly (seems to be mostly Lamictal). I gotta say, it's awesome to hear that some of you are writers and other types of creative people and haven't lost that. I take mainly lit classes and I need my brain. It's reassuring to know that I can be on a mood stabilizer and not lose my life like I have on AAPs. I think I'll honestly consider what you guys have said. Thank you ;)

My "Issues": Bipolar I with psychotic features; type 1 diabetes

 

My meds: Zyprexa- 10 mg twice daily; Lithium- 900 mg at night; Trileptal- 600 mg twice daily; Wellbutrin- 450 mg daily; Ritalin- 10 mg twice daily; Xanax- 0.25 mg PRN; insulin pump

 

Past antidepressants: Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro, Pristiq, Nortriptyline, Wellbutrin SR

Past antipsychotics: Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, Geodon, Saphris, Latuda, Invega

Past anti-anxiety meds: Klonopin, Vistaril

Past ADD meds: Vyvanse, Strattera, Adderall XR, Adderall IR

Past sleep meds: Rozerem, Benadryl, Ambien, Restoril, Trazodone

 

 


#17 Rabbit Ztu

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 09:55 PM

I couldn't tolerate lithium long enough to stay on it. Lamictal was the wonder drug in my +xanax cocktail. Okay, that's probably overstating things. Lamictal is the first med I've taken that I felt helped more than hurt. Small doses of Lamictal and Xanax (plus talk therapy) helped me be pretty stable until I had to discontinue meds due to pregnancy. I've heard the serious rash is dangerous but rare. I did have a mild rash when starting Lamictal. Pdoc thought it was heat rash rather than the scary, dangerous one. Lamictal gave me intense hot flashes for about four weeks after starting it. Aside from hot flashes/rash, the main things I disliked about Lamictal: It often interfered with my sleep, and I already have chronic insomnia issues. Also, the generic version is reported to be different enough from the brand name to cause problems for some people when they change from one to the other. I'm super sensitive to the slightest med change, so this has me concerned. (Probably more than need be.)
Dx: Bipolar I, PTSD and some weird sensory stuff thrown in for fun
Currently taking Lamictal (400 mg) and Xanax PRN (1.5 mg)





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