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Besides Lithuim- what is best for Bipolar Depression?


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Besides Lithuim- what is best for Bipolar Depression? I unfortunately can not take Lithium because of the stomach problems I get from it. It worked super well for me though. Tomorrow I see my psychiatrist to pick a med. Was just wondering people's suggestions. When I picked the Lithium to try, he had also mentioned Tegetrol and Depakote. Thanks for any help!

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I've been on Lamictal 3 times. The first 2 times it worked well. It was name brand Lamictal. The third time was a few months ago. Generic version. It did not help at all and seemed to make me worse. Is anyone on the XR version? Is it still name brand? I really wish I could take the Lithuim. I haven't felt that normal, happy, motivated, etc since before my mental illnesses popped up. 

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I think Lamictal works much better for depression than lithium does-lithium in fact did nothing at all for my depression. I had good luck with Seroquel XR as well, and the combination of Lamictal and Seroquel XR was terrific.

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Seroquel knocks me out. I used to take it for my insomnia which luckily went away. If it wasn't so sedating I would take it. I hated the feeling I would get after taking it - that feeling of being knocked out. 

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My psychiatrist who discussed this subject with me awhile ago when she stopped my bupropion. She said she is hesitant to use any antidepressants for bipolar because they put people at a high risk of mania. She prefers to use lamictal or quetiapine. I'm on both.

Good luck with your appointment.

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I have been on both Seroquel and the XR. The first time I was given it wasnt for insomnia. I think it was 100 mg twice a day. I only did that for a few days because I couldn't stay awake at work. When I used it for insomnia it was 50 mg. I don't remember the dosages for XR. I see you take Seroquel. Did you start right away at the dose you're at now?

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I have been on both Seroquel and the XR. The first time I was given it wasnt for insomnia. I think it was 100 mg twice a day. I only did that for a few days because I couldn't stay awake at work. 

I agree with justalittleunstable about higher doses. Seroquel does eventually get less sedating the higher your dose is. It takes time to adjust to any dose in my experience. If I up my current dose, the sedation comes back for awhile. But, I am on 400 at night and up to 200 during the day. Any more than 500 still conks me out, but I function just fine now on 400-500. I guess I'd say, with seroquel, you need to be patient and give it a chance.

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I have been on both Seroquel and the XR. The first time I was given it wasnt for insomnia. I think it was 100 mg twice a day. I only did that for a few days because I couldn't stay awake at work. When I used it for insomnia it was 50 mg. I don't remember the dosages for XR. I see you take Seroquel. Did you start right away at the dose you're at now?

No, I started out on 100mg at night for sleep. I stayed at that does for a while until I went to hopital and they put me up to 400 mg. It took me a couple of days to get used to it but after that I've had no problems with feeling sedated. It still puts me to sleep at night but I can wake up after five hours and be good to go. Today my Psychiatrist increased my dosage to 600 mg. I haven't tired the XR. He offered it to me but I wasn't having problems with feeling sedated so in the end we decided to stay with the IR.

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Depakote seems to be best for mixed episodes (sorry you have trouble with it). That doesn't mean it doesn't work for depression or mania, that's just what I have picked up hanging around Crazyboards for 6+ years.

I was on Tegretol for several years because it was the first AC they discovered worked for bipolar. As far as I am concerned, it did bupkis, but I didn't have side effects, so they left me on it. Many people here do very well on it. There is an "updated" Tegretol called OxyCarbamenzapine, but it is really a crap shoot as to which would work better for you. Lots of people do better on Tegretol.

I'm on generic Lamictal (sorry), lithium (sorry), and Latuda. I loooooove Latuda, it was like the final piece of a puzzle fell into place, I've been so stable. It's approved for bipolar depression.

BUT, Latuda [corrected from Lamictal] is hella expensive. On medicare, you choose different plans according to what meds you are on (which is impossible with psychiatric and migraine meds, because you are always switching up, so that has kind of sucked). We purposefully chose one where Latuda was supposed to be less. So now we pay $165 a month for it. And the sick thing is that is $80 dollars less than our previous plan.

One good thing is my fil had already ordered his Latuda, but they decided to switch him back to risperdal. So he sent us his unused Latuda, three whole months of it. That is saving us over $500.

Edited by crtclms
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I take a high dose of Seroquel XR and it truly does not cause any sedation at all. It just makes me feel balanced. But when I was on lower doses, lower than 400mg, I was totally wiped out. so maybe a higher dose than what you have been taking may improve your bipolar depression without making you feel that you have been run over by a bus....just a thought

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I also take a high dose of seroquel. Just switched to the XR. I don't find it sedating anymore. I also take lamictal and abilify with it. 

I cant handle AD's either. I was taken off of Wellbutrin in the hospital recently because the pdoc there didn't think it was helping the BP aspects of my illness. 

I hope you find a good med soon. 

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