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I have an appointment with both my pdoc and tdoc today to discuss medication. I've been on seroquel for over two years now and it hasn't done much for me, and I've gained a lot of weight that will. not. go. away.

I want to change to a mood stabiliser/anti convulsant, but am unsure what to try out. My pdoc will probably know what's best, I just wanted some opinions from people who have actually been on the medications. I've been on lyrica before, and it was good for the most part but didn't actually stabilise my mood, it just helped with anxiety.

I'm thinking about lamictal or topamax, possibly lithium. Can anyone provide any insight for me? Thanks.

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I have taken lithium for over 12 years and I really like it. I can't think of anything negative to say about it. The only minor side effects I have are thirst and occasional hand tremor. You have to have regular blood tests to check the lithium level and also to monitor your kidney and thyroid function and more. Blood tests don't bother me though. It really keeps my mood stable

I have been taking Lamictal for a few years and it is great for depression and mood instability. I like it. no side effects.It just takes ages to titrate up to a therapeutic dose. However in my opinion if you can handle the slow titration it is worth the wait

In the past I have taken valproate which was great for mania, however I gained a huge amount of weight and developed PCOS

In the past I have taken carbamazepine and am not sure if it really had any effect on me, can't really remember

I have never taken Topomax and know nothing about it

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I have taken lithium for over 12 years and I really like it. I can't think of anything negative to say about it. The only minor side effects I have are thirst and occasional hand tremor. You have to have regular blood tests to check the lithium level and also to monitor your kidney and thyroid function and more. Blood tests don't bother me though. It really keeps my mood stable

I have been taking Lamictal for a few years and it is great for depression and mood instability. I like it. no side effects.It just takes ages to titrate up to a therapeutic dose. However in my opinion if you can handle the slow titration it is worth the wait

I'm not one for blood tests at all, but I don't mind slow titration. Thank you, Rowan :)

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I am on both Seroquel IR and Lamictal XR. I have had good luck with both.  Some weight loss, but that seems to be how I roll with psych meds.

The titration is difficult as Rowan stated, but worth it in the end.   I still have other pieces to my puzzle, but Seroquel and Lamictal are my constants.

No blood work.

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Lamictal was okay, once I titrated to 200mg it was good, but pooped out on me after 2 years. Tegretol, I had problems with severe nausea, even after breaking the dose into two. Depakote, weight gain and made my hair fall out.

As jt said, and my pdoc says, lithium truly is the gold standard. I am med sensitive, 600mg gives me a blood level of .8, and that's good. Just have to drink a lot of water, which isn't a problem for me. I'd recommend it. 

 

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Lithium is certainly worth a try. It made me gain weight, unfortunately. I use Abilify as my mood stabilizer now, and that seems to be working out well. It put a dent in my depression and I haven't had any mania or mixed mania since I've been on it. It also keeps my psychosis tamed. Alas, it was not enough for my depression, and I have to use doxepin as an adjunct (probably the other way around, actually). I also keep zyprexa available just in case I have breakthrough (mixed) mania. In any case, there are options beyond the typical mood stabilizers. 

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Lithium is great, if you're in the therapeutic range, there aren't many side effects. Some people get a mild tremor in their hand (I did) and sometimes stomach issues, which is more of the type of lithium pill you take. It can actually help repair your brain from MI. Blood tests are needed often when you start out on it, but they get spaced out a lot after you've established a good level and are on the correct dose. NSAID's can't be taken with lithium. I found it amazing, but it caused an extremely rare kidney condition (it goes through the kidneys, not the liver) and I had to go off it. 

Topamax sucks. I've been on it a couple times. I still had manic episodes. My moods would still swing. I had to take a tonne of other meds with it to stay somewhat stable, at best.

Seroquel XR is my current mood stabilizer and antipsychotic. I love it. I've gained a couple pounds, but its because I have an appetite again, and didn't before. 

Gabapentin sucked for me (similar to Lyrica) and threw me into mixed episodes.

Depakote wasn't terrible. It worked for a while, then pooped out.

Lamictal is great for depression.

Tegretol is meh.. and it can lower the effectiveness of other medications. I found it pretty useless. It's hit or miss.

Risperdal and Invega are really good for mood stabilization.

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I talked to my pdoc and she said she doesn't think mood stablisers are best for me, so she's increasing my dose of abilify and reducing the seroquel. I have mixed feelings about antipsychotics but I guess it's worth a try. Thank you all for your help :)

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Anti-psychotics aren't only for psychosis. They are very versatile and cover a lot of MI ground. Abilify is approved to be used with an antidepressant for more treatment resistant depression, actually. 

The stigma of AP/AAP's is huge, though. They aren't bad meds, or scary ones, the name just sounds scary. 

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I've been on Seroquel for years, recently switched to Seroquel XR in the past couple months. Seroquel has always been a must have in my medication cocktail. I love it.

I've been on Topamax for about a year, but I'm on it for pain, so I can not attest to it's mood stabilization qualities.

I took Lamictal when I was about 18, and it was horrible for me. It was me extremely manic and violent. So I guess you could say it induced psychosis for me.

I took Abilify briefly as well, but I couldn't stay on it long enough to notice a difference because it made me so drowsy during the day.

I hope any of this can be helpful at all to you, but these are just my personal experiences, and everyone reacts differently to medications

 

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Lithium: been on it for a bit less than a year, it's brilliant, it takes a bit to get used to, you have to watch the amount you drink and there are bloodtests, but it's the only thing that ever did anything for suicidal ideations, they are gone. It helped for depression (unlike anything I took before). It stops mania without making me feel sedated. No major side effects, but I really feel if I dehydrate. The first week or so is not easy, but it has been very much worth it for me. 

Valproate: generally found it quite alright, it weakened episodes, but I still got manic. 

Seroquel: really not for me, made me sluggish and depressed, I gained a lot of weight. But many seem to like it, and I was on the end of the dose range used for psychosis, it might be quite different on sensible doses. 

 

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Anti-psychotics aren't only for psychosis. They are very versatile and cover a lot of MI ground. Abilify is approved to be used with an antidepressant for more treatment resistant depression, actually. 

The stigma of AP/AAP's is huge, though. They aren't bad meds, or scary ones, the name just sounds scary. 

I know, I've been on seroquel for two years - it's the side effects that bother me (particularly the weight gain), and they make me really drowsy and slugish. I was just kind of hoping to try something else out. I've been feeling kinda hopeless, like I've kinda tried all that's available. I know that's not the case but I can't help feeling that I'm running out of options and that I'm never going to find anything that helps.

Seroquel: really not for me, made me sluggish and depressed, I gained a lot of weight. But many seem to like it, and I was on the end of the dose range used for psychosis, it might be quite different on sensible doses.

I have the same problems with it. It does help to some extent, but I'd like to try out other things to see if anything else helps more. I guess I'm just trying to keep my options open. I don't know, I'm kind of impatient when it comes to these things. Thank you for your help though :)

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