So, this is more exploratory than anything. I accept that, as someone with bipolar disorder, taking an antipsychotic might be a necessary part of my maintenance treatment, and lately that has become more evident. I had been taking Rexulti (brexpiprazole) in varying doses since 2017 when I started it with Depakote ER (divalproex, 24-hour) and Trintellix (vortioxetine). Still taking the Depakote (now up to 1500mg), but Trintellix and Rexulti have worked their way out of the equation, as of late.
My medication regimen has taken a more classical turn due to a breakthrough hypomanic episode in Dec./Jan., and I am currently taking a combo of Depakote ER at night along with 0.5mg of Risperdal (risperidone). Because of persistent issues with depression and anxiety, I am also now taking 50mg of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) each morning along with 50mg of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) for ADHD that I have been taking for some time.
This combo seems to be working fairly well for me. When I started the Risperdal at 0.25mg/day at bedtime, I didn't really notice much difference at all during the day, but I suppose it was nice as a sleep aid. I increased to 0.5mg on Day 4 and I've parked here to try it out for a bit before deciding to increase further. The Risperdal is really to deal with those breakthrough hypomanic/mixed symptoms such as irritability and agitation, which have always been tough for me. In the beginning of my treatment (2014), antipsychotics were used as monotherapy for mood stabilization, but I could never tolerate the doses necessary to calm those symptoms, because I was easily susceptible to EPS like akathisia. Fast-forward a few years, and we've found that using an anticonvulsant as the primary mood stabilizer with the antipsychotic as a secondary has generally served me well without too much incidence of akathisia.
I started Risperdal on June 8th and increased to 0.5mg a few days afterward. So it's been almost 3 weeks at this dose. My experience so far tells me to keep increasing. I'm curious to know people's experiences on Risperdal, particularly in combination with another established mood stabilizing agent like lithium or valproate. I recognize that I take Depakote and that a combo of lithium+Risperdal may not be the same, but the mood stabilizing effects of lithium and valproate are generally regarded with equal respect in most literature for the time being.
Any thoughts on lower dose Risperdal?....particularly in concert with another mood stabilizer?
I’m on 750 mg of Lithium ER and have been for a few years. I never really noticed weight gain. If my dose was increased to 900 mg do you think it’s possible I’d see an increase in weight? What’s your personal experience. Did you see weight gain? If so, what dose? Thank you 💜
"Clomipramine, Tryptophan and Lithium in Combination for Resistant Endogenous Depression: Seven Case Studies" - August 1987 | A. S. Hale (a1), A. W. Procter (a2) and P. K. Bridges (a3)By Skeletor
Unquestionably an extreme combination, but it seems to exhibit powerful antidepressant effects. Clomipramine on its own is regarded by many as maybe the most powerful non-MAOI antidepressant, at least in clinical practice and inpatient care, although the side effects can be quite rough, but combined with Tryptophan and Lithium it seems to be further boosted in its effect size and response rate.
Maybe worth trying before hopping on ECT / MAOIs...
One has to be careful because it is a small sample case "study", but nonetheless quite interesting to read. I encourage all those who have a view or experience to share it with us, regarding the aforementioned medications and especially the combination. Greetings!