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Good Alternatives To Lithium


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Lithium isn't doing the trick for me anymore and I'm wondering what I might expect as some possible alternatives, or what to ask for. Right now I have some general on edged-ness, periods of weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, and low grade depression on the flipside. I would like to be on something weight neutral. I'm on everything in my sig that helps to control various things... just not the previously mentioned symptoms. Also having panic attacks lately.

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Did you have your lithium level checked? Maybe it needs to be adjusted? (I don't know, just a thought)

Other mood stabilizing medications that I know off the top of my head are Depakote, Tegretol, Lamictal, Trileptal, Neurontin.

ETA: A link to a list of mood stabilizing medications: http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/meds/moodstabilizers.htm

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I think that you need your lithium level checked. You said yesterday that your doctor reduced you from 1200 mg to 900 mg based on the theoretical conjecture that another med will raise your lithium level. That may not be the case. You need to get the level checked to find out exactly.

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I'd say check your lithium level before adding new meds. At 900mg there's an excellent chance you have some room to increase it.

Also, you're on a lot of abilify, and it is often enough really destabilizing for bipolar disorder. So you might want to consider reducing it, and see how that goes.

Your lexapro dosage is pretty high as well. And that can also be destabilizing for bipolar.

While it's awesome that lyrica has worked so well for you, Jeff, that kind of makes you the lucky rarity. Research has just not found evidence to justify using either neurontin of lyrica as mood stabilizers. That said, everyone is different, and sometimes things just work, and who really cares how, or why? I'm just saying it wouldn't be the first thing I'd suggest, mood stabilizer-wise, if that makes sense?

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My lithium level was 1.1 in February when it was effective for me and when I was on 1200 mg. My newest result is .6 on 900 mg. Now I know .6 is considered in the therapeutic range but it isnt imo therapeutic for *me* at .6 - is that possible? I dont necessarily want to switch. Apparently the topamax did not increase my lithium levels.

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Yes, I'd try tweaking the lithium. That said, if that does not work, I might PERSONALLY stay on lith to deal with the mania issues, and try swapping out the SSRI for lamictal if you haven't tried it. Lith/lam combo works well for many people.

I also agree that abilify is not always the most fantastic AAP for people with BP. It works for SOME people SOME of the time.

Anna

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Thank you. I know it's not working for me. I knew when the hand tremor stopped. Weird huh? Can't wait until Wednesday when I see pdoc. Thanks for all the info. Had to get lithium level.

If you can't wait till Wednesday till you can see your pdoc, can you call his/her office to see if something can be done over the phone?

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I hadnt heard Abilify wasn't a good AAP for bp. I have had good results with abilify but idk why I'm on such a high dose. I think its the only med that made my suicide thoughts go away. the lexapro helped dragged me out of the deep deep depression. without the lithium i have hypomania or low level depression (constant blah, self loathing, lots of over emotion).

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