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Gained 44 pounds on depakote! Should I quit it?


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Hi everybody,

I'm bipolar and I take depakote 1000mg and used to be on seroquel too. (300mg)

I am thinking of quitting depakote after one year and a half on it. Not only because of the weight gain, but the other side effects really bother me. I can't do things properly! It's difficult for me to learn ( I have to learn another language due to moving to another country ) and to work, go out, be sociable... Be myself! I'm always tired, don't exercise, don't do alot at all.. Always at home. Before meds I was a lot different. I did have bad effects from being bipolar, but could do a lot of things that made me proud.

I am overweight now, and I have always been thin. I was 59kg before (I'm 180cm) and now I'm 89/90kg. My clothes don't fit, people look weird at me or keep telling me I have to just eat good and exercise. I already eat healthy but I have no energy metabolism to burn my calories :(

I'm overly depressed about this condition... Everyone around me is just so thin you guys. I live in the Netherlands.

It's horrible... Not to mention the risk of diabetes 2.

I wanna quit it really badly. I already quit seroquel and I feel sooo much better!!!

What should I do? I can't be med free I think.. But I really wanna get back to my old self. I have a doc appointment tomorrow and I don't know what to do. I'm very scared.

Edited by fluffycakes89
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You shouldn't go off of it without discussing it with your doctor first, but gaining that much weight would definitely be enough of a reason for me to stop a medication. I hope that you're able to find another medication that you tolerate better. Your physical health should not be sacrificed for your mental health. A good doctor will help you find the right balance.

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I agree with what everyone else has said. If I were you, I would tell my pdoc in no uncertain terms that the side-effects of this medication are unacceptable to me and I want to try something else. If the pdoc was unwilling, I would look for a new one, staying on Depakote in the meantime as AnneMarie said. 

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You shouldn't go off of it without discussing it with your doctor first, but gaining that much weight would definitely be enough of a reason for me to stop a medication. I hope that you're able to find another medication that you tolerate better. Your physical health should not be sacrificed for your mental health. A good doctor will help you find the right balance.

 

I will discuss it with him tomorrow, but the problem is I would like to be med free. I heard about topamax and maybe i would like to try it, to lose weight.

 

 

I would want to go off a med with a 44 pound weight gaain too.  But like said above, you should ask your pdoc about it.

 

When you see your pdoc tomorrow I would voice your concerns just like you did in this post.  Even print this page and give to her if that makes it easier.

 

Yeah :( I have a list that I wrote down!

 

I would tell your doc that you are fed up and want to try another med. If you pdoc isn't receptive, I'd stay on Depakote long enough to find another pdoc. That weight gain is good enough reason to seek out something else.

 

Thank you for your input, that's a good idea!

 

I agree with what everyone else has said. If I were you, I would tell my pdoc in no uncertain terms that the side-effects of this medication are unacceptable to me and I want to try something else. If the pdoc was unwilling, I would look for a new one, staying on Depakote in the meantime as AnneMarie said. 

 

They really are unacceptable :( not only the weight gain but the feeling that your brain is slowly drifting away...

 

 

I would have a serious conversation with your doctor about Lithium.

 

I heard Lithium makes you gain aloooot of weight too :(

 

Depakote worked really well for me, but I did gain weight on it and I'm already overweight.  My pdoc switched me to lamictal and it's working well for me.  I would talk to your pdoc about your concerns

 

It works well for me too but kills my brain and makes me a giant ballon haha Did you lose weight with lamictal?

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You shouldn't go off of it without discussing it with your doctor first, but gaining that much weight would definitely be enough of a reason for me to stop a medication. I hope that you're able to find another medication that you tolerate better. Your physical health should not be sacrificed for your mental health. A good doctor will help you find the right balance.

 

I will discuss it with him tomorrow, but the problem is I would like to be med free. I heard about topamax and maybe i would like to try it, to lose weight.

 

 

I would want to go off a med with a 44 pound weight gaain too.  But like said above, you should ask your pdoc about it.

 

When you see your pdoc tomorrow I would voice your concerns just like you did in this post.  Even print this page and give to her if that makes it easier.

 

Yeah :( I have a list that I wrote down!

 

I would tell your doc that you are fed up and want to try another med. If you pdoc isn't receptive, I'd stay on Depakote long enough to find another pdoc. That weight gain is good enough reason to seek out something else.

 

Thank you for your input, that's a good idea!

 

I agree with what everyone else has said. If I were you, I would tell my pdoc in no uncertain terms that the side-effects of this medication are unacceptable to me and I want to try something else. If the pdoc was unwilling, I would look for a new one, staying on Depakote in the meantime as AnneMarie said. 

 

They really are unacceptable :( not only the weight gain but the feeling that your brain is slowly drifting away...

 

 

I would have a serious conversation with your doctor about Lithium.

 

I heard Lithium makes you gain aloooot of weight too :(

 

Depakote worked really well for me, but I did gain weight on it and I'm already overweight.  My pdoc switched me to lamictal and it's working well for me.  I would talk to your pdoc about your concerns

 

It works well for me too but kills my brain and makes me a giant ballon haha Did you lose weight with lamictal?

 

I might have, it's hard to remember.  I weigh even more now. I don't know how much is meds and how much is lifestyle (I'm working on cutting back on the high calorie foods and trying to get out more)..  But I don't have the carb cravings I had with depakote.

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1.  Topamax sucks.  It does absolutely nothing.  I have been on it for two months.  Had no migraines prior.  Have had migraines since, even with Depakote and propranolol on board.  I feel depressed, and still feel like eating like a horse. It did not suppress my appetite.  My recommendation is to steer clear of it. I am counting down the days (11) until my next appt. and we can start tapering off of it.

 

2. Depakote makes me eat like no tomorrow. Lithium does not!  I have been on lithium for 2.5 years. GOOD drug.  weight neutral.  No problems.  Unfortunately, I started cycling fast and we had already maxed out my lithium... well, technically we added 150mg, that's all the room I had left to spare and it still wasn't enough.  That is when the Depakote was added.  it was ever so wonderful at  stopping my mixed state. I just wish I would stop eating!

 

So Depakote is augmenting my lithium currently.  I am on the 300mg of Seroquel as well and I suspect that that is aiding the weight gain.

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Does your pdoc know you quit the Seroquel?

 

While there is a small % for whom Topamax works for bipolar, it really is not considered a standard treatment for BP illness. Also, I am confused, you say you want to be off all meds, and then in the next breath say you want to try Topamax. Are you interested in it for weight loss? Because it can have a lot of nasty side-effects as well, and as I said, not the best mood-stabilizer. I took Zonegran, which is a metabolite of Topamax for migraine, and not only did it not work, I had a painful gut the whole time I was on it, and ultimately permanent kidney damage. I'm not saying no one should take Topamax, it is great for a lot of people with migraine. But it isn't a diet pill.

 

Lamictal is generally considered weight neutral. It has been for me, and my weight went up (and down and up and down) on Depakote. There is a risk of Diabetes whenever you are overweight, it is not specific to depakote alone. And members here who are quite skinny have gotten diabetes from meds, so it isn't that black and whiate.

 

Lithium has not only been weight neutral for me, I have lost over 30 lbs while on it. Not related to lithium, but I didn't do anything spectacular in terms of diet and exercise, either.

 

While it is true that certain meds have "reputations," often based on the "average" patient, you cannot know how any one med will affect you until *you* try  it.

 

Really, the average BMI of the Netherlands isn't all that relevant. If people give you "advice" say you are on a medication that screws with your metabolism, end of story. They don't need to know what it is. And frankly, who gives a fuck what people say about things that are none of their business?

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I believe Tegretol and Trileptal are weight-neutral as well, although they are generally considered second-line meds, tried when Lithium and Depakote have failed. Lithium has been weight neutral for me in the year I've been taking it. If I were you I would enquire about it.

 

Regarding your desire to be med-free... It just isn't a good idea with Bipolar Disorder. BP is a lifelong illness, and untreated it worsens over time. Each episode does damage to the brain and makes it more likely you will have further, more severe, episodes. Google "kindling" and "bipolar" if you want more info.

 

Taking mood-stabilisers protects the brain from that damage and improves your long-term prognosis. So many have tried being med-free, and I've never heard of it going well.

 

It's your choice, but I think you should do some research into the condition, maybe check out some books from a library and really give it some thought, as well as discussing the risks with your pdoc.

 

You've had a bad experience with meds so far, but remember many of us find a med or combination of meds that keep us stable with very minor or no side-effects. I think there's a really good chance that it's possible for you, too. It can take a lot of trial and error to find the right meds, but it will be so worth it in the end.

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Does your pdoc know you quit the Seroquel?

 

While there is a small % for whom Topamax works for bipolar, it really is not considered a standard treatment for BP illness. Also, I am confused, you say you want to be off all meds, and then in the next breath say you want to try Topamax. Are you interested in it for weight loss? Because it can have a lot of nasty side-effects as well, and as I said, not the best mood-stabilizer. I took Zonegran, which is a metabolite of Topamax for migraine, and not only did it not work, I had a painful gut the whole time I was on it, and ultimately permanent kidney damage. I'm not saying no one should take Topamax, it is great for a lot of people with migraine. But it isn't a diet pill.

 

Lamictal is generally considered weight neutral. It has been for me, and my weight went up (and down and up and down) on Depakote. There is a risk of Diabetes whenever you are overweight, it is not specific to depakote alone. And members here who are quite skinny have gotten diabetes from meds, so it isn't that black and whiate.

 

Lithium has not only been weight neutral for me, I have lost over 30 lbs while on it. Not related to lithium, but I didn't do anything spectacular in terms of diet and exercise, either.

 

While it is true that certain meds have "reputations," often based on the "average" patient, you cannot know how any one med will affect you until *you* try  it.

 

Really, the average BMI of the Netherlands isn't all that relevant. If people give you "advice" say you are on a medication that screws with your metabolism, end of story. They don't need to know what it is. And frankly, who gives a fuck what people say about things that are none of their business?

well said!

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Are you sure it was the Depakote that caused the weight gain? You said you quit Seroquel. I used to be on Seroquel+Depakote and I gained quite a lot of weight on it (close to 20kg), I've since been off all meds and now have gone on Depakote again and had no weight gain, so I'm pretty sure for me it was the Seroquel. Of course, everyone reacts differently to meds, so there is no way to tell if Depakote alone would be weight neutral for you.

 

But I agree with what others said. Talk to your doctor about it. If you are not feeling well, that is a too serious side effect to accept.

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