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Benzos used as mood stabilizers for bipolar mania?


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I can think of two situations:

1) a person is titrating up on a "regular" mood stabilizer and needs immediate relief.

2) as a PRN add-on, if eg. the rest of your cocktail gets you almost all the way there, but further increases of the "regular" mood stabilizer(s) cause intolerable side effects.

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I'm Rx'd it PRN for mania and up to 1mg at night to get to sleep.  I've never taken more than .5mg though, and usually only take .125mg....

I'm already on 300mg each of Topamax and Lamictal... walking that fine line 'tween ok and not ok every day (I'm a pure manic)... too much Klono, and I go dysphoric, too little, and I tip from happy hypo into mania.

Ah, the life of the perpetually self medicated (per Pdoc's instructions BTW)

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Benzodiazepienes can be helpful in treating bipolar mania.  In a hospital they might give you a short acting benzo like Ativan along with an antipsychotic during an acute episode.  The sedation caused by the benzo may allow a smaller dose of an antipsychotic.  Some people become very restless and anxious during a manic episode and a benzo is the best way to sedate them while they wait for the mood stabilizer to work.  Since Klonopin has anticonvulsant properties it is sometimes used as an adjunct to another mood stabilizer.

Katie ;)

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I've tried to sedate myself w/ large doses of benzos during mania and it didn't work. Yes I was mellowed but I was still racing big time. Like a drunk speed freak. Granted at that time I was pulled off Lamictal for allergic reaction and was taking two ACs, no AP nor a mood stabilizer.

An increase in Klonopin did knock out my last mania but I was also on lithium and Seroquel.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is benzos alone will not completely stop mania but work well as a supplemental med. My 2 cents.

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