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If things don't improve, my pdoc wants to put me on Tegretol. I've always thought that this wasn't a first-line med for bipolar. But I might be wrong? I haven't been on that many mood stabilizers (Lithium and Lamictal), so isn't there other options to explore first?

What are people's experiences with Tegretol for bipolar?

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Tegretol is an older drug usually perscribed for mixed siezures..The FDA did approve it for BiPolar disorder and usually it is dosaged along with other meds.. I dont know of any one who uses it alone but from what I read it can be given as a start...

I do know that the first few weeks it makes you feel a little strange and some short term memory problems. These usually go away within a few weeks to a month..this all depends on the dosage. Titrating is usually the best way to go.. Start slow and easy. 

I work in the Pharma R&D field,,,,I am no doctor but have access to a lot of drug information.. Ask your Pdoc about the drug and what to expect. Ask the same questions you would ask here...

Hope that helps a bit and thank you for your help on my postings..

Peace!! ;)

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Hi Helena:

Typically, Tegretol is not considered a first-line mood stabilizer, as Lithium and Depakote mostly share that wee fiefdom. Tegretol would thus likely be relegated to a second-line mood stabilizer status. There is a nice chart of options at:

http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/m...stabilizers.htm

I am doing great with my current cocktail of, in alphabetical order, Keppra, Klonopin, Lamictal, and Topomax, but our symptoms are very different.

Best of luck.

Todd.

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If things don't improve, my pdoc wants to put me on Tegretol. I've always thought that this wasn't a first-line med for bipolar. But I might be wrong? I haven't been on that many mood stabilizers (Lithium and Lamictal), so isn't there other options to explore first?

What are people's experiences with Tegretol for bipolar?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Uh, hello.  I've been on Tegretol for soem 17 years with bipolar, or "left lobe syndrome" following head injury.  Gaah!  Arthritis!  Yeah, it does the job.  If it works for you.  I take it alone; it doesn't get along well with other drugs.

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Tegretol (or rather Carbemazepine, the generic) was what I was first prescribed when dx'd bipolar.  It stopped my (hypo)manias dead but I was still having issues with depression.  Granted, I was still taking ADs at the time so that probably--no definitely--continued to contribute to my unstable moods.

We discontinued it...probably not knowing about the ADs.  Not sure  if it would have continued to work without them and I woul dhave had (more) significant mood improvement.

Karen

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I take Tegretol. That was the first mood stabiliser I was put on, several months ago. At the dose I'm on (had blood levels checked and am only just at the theraputic level), it seems to be doing jack all. Like for example to day I had a psychotic mixed episode (paranoid delusion city) which has now changed into depression. I feel like shit. The new pdoc claims it's good for bipolar depression, but then she does seem to be full of shit, so I wouldn't trust that. I'd like to increase the dose and give it a proper trial. So yeah. This post was rather pointless actually. Except for it was used as a first line mood stabiliser for me, because I'm a rapid cycler. (very rapid cycler). The pdoc (the shit new one) actually claimed lithium sped up the cycling of rapid cyclers. Random fact/lie for you there. Good luck.

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Just wanted to update you all.

Since Tegretol messes with birth control and I really wasn't that fond of the ring, my pdoc decided to go with Lamictal instead. Supposed to be good for rapid cycling too. I'm also a VERY rapid cycler. Interesting about lithium... I'll see if i can find any links about that.

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Yeah, I thought the lithium thing was quite interesting. I knew that it wasn't as effective for rapid cyclers, but then everyones different and I imagine some rapid cyclers out there do fab on lithium. It was certainly the first time I'd heard it sped up rapid cycling.

Anyway, good luck with the Lamictal.

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All I know is that Tegretol is doing the trick for me! I started it - and am currently taking 250mg - a month ago after messing with my Seroquel left me damn depressed and staying that way even after 'fixing' the Seroquel problem.

It took until increasing from 200mg to 250mg, before it lifted my mood back to where it should be. I'm feeling even better than 'normal', but then i've probably drank too much caffeine lately.

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I take 200mgs 3x a day for recurrent depression and temporal lobe weirdness.  It seems to have mellowed me out somewhat.  My mood seem more even over the course of day though I've not seen much overall improvement.  It's helped a lot with the overfocused part of my ADD and the side effects of the dexidrine.  It's also greatly decreased both my urge to drink and my overall tolerance for booze.

It's important to get semi-regular blood tests if you're on it to check for a potential very rare but very serious side effect.  Some form of anemia, IIRC.

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