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Anything other than Depakote???? Dear god


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Depakote is making me gain weight like crazy, making me lethargic and thinning my hair. Yes, it's effective, but.... at what cost?

 

Does anyone have any other recommendations for mood stabilizers? I adored Lamictal but was constantly hypomanic on it. However, I'm on Abilify as well now so maybe that could help with the anti-manic aspect? I'm rambling.

 

Who currently loves their mood stabilizer and why? Why does it help you? 

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I'm on a combination of lithium and topamax.  It is pretty effective for me.  The lithium is pretty low dose.  My blood level is around .4, I think, or something.  The topamax was prescribed for neurological reasons but was pretty effective for moods.  

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1 hour ago, saoirse said:

Depakote is making me gain weight like crazy, making me lethargic and thinning my hair. Yes, it's effective, but.... at what cost?

 

Does anyone have any other recommendations for mood stabilizers? I adored Lamictal but was constantly hypomanic on it. However, I'm on Abilify as well now so maybe that could help with the anti-manic aspect? I'm rambling.

 

Who currently loves their mood stabilizer and why? Why does it help you? 

Are you BP 1 or bp2 ? 

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1 hour ago, saoirse said:

Bp1 is my diagnosis, although I'm not always sure.

I think lithium is always a good try for BP1- it’s been known to be effective for a long time. It can be better for weight, and I have found it to not really be sedating at all. I also think it prevents depression better than Depakote. Downsides: the hair thinning can still happen, most pdocs consider it to need more bloodwork, especially when starting up, and... of course... it has some fun side effects of its own (hand tremor, GI issues, can make you a bit foggy.) with the lithium, most docs will keep it at low to medium levels.... which can reduce side effects.  For awhile I had to be on really high dose and that was brutal. You might get a combined effect with the abilify, so it might be possible to stay at a lower dose 

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I was on lithium for 6 years. It almost killed me from toxicity. My level surged and was 2.1, which is scary high, I was disoriented, vomiting, diarrhea, lost may gait and balance, hallucinations so severe, nightmares, shaking, it really almost killed me...I had to be hospitalized and on IV's . While on it when I when I wasn't toxic, it thinned my hair and made me feel sick.

Depakote made me have edema in my legs...SO severe I had to be in the hospital for that too. 

I am on gabapentin for my fibromyalgia, it doesn't really work as a mood stabilizer for me. 

I was on lamictal for 4 years back in the day...it worked pretty good.

Currently I am on trileptal.... I have virtually no side effects and find it pretty effective for both mania and depression..however, I am also on Clozapine, which I know is helping with those things as well...

 

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I did well on lithium for many years. It caused less weight gain than depakote and besides a having slightly shaky hands, no side effects. I don’t take it anymore because my pdoc wanted me on fewer meds and didn’t think I needed to be on it anymore.  You do have to keep up with blood tests though, but for me it was just a few times a year so not bad. 

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its interesting, Trileptal was the first real med trial I did. the doc was an idiot and wanted to try some of the newer/"less harsh" stuff instead of the tried and trues. needless to say, this ended horribly and I left him after the second hospitalization in nine months. but before that, he gave me Trileptal to start, idk why. it was one of maybe two meds I took that did literally nothing. after the first week of adjusting, I felt nothing good, nothing bad, nothing at all even as I got into the high dose strange. for whatever reason, the doc never took it off, so it got "combined" with literally a dozen different cocktails, and still- if I didn't know better I'd think it wasn't even there  

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On 4/30/2020 at 4:13 PM, Iceberg said:

its interesting, Trileptal was the first real med trial I did. the doc was an idiot and wanted to try some of the newer/"less harsh" stuff instead of the tried and trues. needless to say, this ended horribly and I left him after the second hospitalization in nine months. but before that, he gave me Trileptal to start, idk why. it was one of maybe two meds I took that did literally nothing. after the first week of adjusting, I felt nothing good, nothing bad, nothing at all even as I got into the high dose strange. for whatever reason, the doc never took it off, so it got "combined" with literally a dozen different cocktails, and still- if I didn't know better I'd think it wasn't even there  

Yeah for some reason it really works for me...and to me it is less harsh...but like stated I am also on Clozapine...and that is my main med....

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On 4/30/2020 at 9:34 AM, saoirse said:

Depakote is making me gain weight like crazy, making me lethargic and thinning my hair. Yes, it's effective, but.... at what cost?

 

Does anyone have any other recommendations for mood stabilizers? I adored Lamictal but was constantly hypomanic on it. However, I'm on Abilify as well now so maybe that could help with the anti-manic aspect? I'm rambling.

 

Who currently loves their mood stabilizer and why? Why does it help you? 

I don’t really take a mood stabilizer. I mean, I take lamictal but it does nothing for mania. I really am not sure what it does for me to be honest.

I have treatment resistant SZA bipolar type. I take 3 antipsychotics. Rexulti, Abilify, and zyprexa zydis. Zyprexa Zydis is really the workhorse for my mania prevention, so much so that I have extra 5 mg, up to twice a day PRN for when I get manic or struggle with bad psychotic days.

Would adding a second antipsychotic be an option? Like zyprexa or seroquel xr or risperdal maybe? Abilify really doesn’t prevent mania for me, hence the addition of more antipsychotics and the fact that I have treatment resistant psychosis too. And Zyprexa Zydis I’m losing weight on.

Just sharing my experience. And a possible option to discuss with your pdoc. Good luck with finding a good med cocktail that works very well for you!

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I took lithium for over 13 years. It was very effective but unfortunately damaged my kidnys so im now on depakote. Definitely made me gain weight but im slowly losing it, and it works well for me for the most part

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On 4/30/2020 at 9:34 AM, saoirse said:

Depakote is making me gain weight like crazy, making me lethargic and thinning my hair. Yes, it's effective, but.... at what cost?

I've been taking it for a few months and it's making me lethargic also.  A very dull feeling that I don't like.  Lithium is out due to kidney issues.  I was much happier w/ lamictal but need the stronger anti-manic properties of depakote.  Weight gain has not been an issue.  I don't know about the hair because it's so long now since I've had it cut!

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  • 1 month later...

I started on lamotrigine, which was good for depression, but not very good for controlling the manic side of things. Swapped it for oxcarbazepine, which was infinitely more effective. However, I still needed more of a calming effect which is how I ended up on Depakote in the Fall/Winter of 2017 (odd time to start a mood stabilizer). It has been a godsend. People have such difficult side effects from it and I've noticed virtually nothing. I was already losing my hair to male-pattern baldness, and maybe Depakote has accelerated this a little bit but not by much.

We did try several adjunctive antipsychotics with lamotrigine and oxcarbazepine but I was never able to fully control my irritability and agitation, reactivity/explosiveness. In 2017 I ended up on Depakote, Trintellix, and Rexulti at about the same time. I'm taking a brief hiatus from the Trintellix because it's Summer time and it's actually agitating me. I'm feeling better on a combo of Depakote/Rexulti/Klonopin for the time being. Klonopin is temporary to keep my mind relaxed while it gets used to no Trintellix.

Through all my med trials I did try lithium, but it made me sick beyond belief. Every side effect you could have from lithium, I was having it. I always had a big bottle of water with me. So I knew it wasn't an issue staying hydrated. It did work to the extent that I didn't feel suicidal or depressed anymore but I also felt literally ILL. Depakote on the other hand has quite literally been a dream. I love the feeling of calm it gives me. And it may have caused a little bit of weight gain, but I'm taking it with Trintellix and Rexulti so just try and take a stab at which of those COULD be causing more weight gain because they're ALL gainers for sure.

Lithium or Valproate? Pick your poison. I definitely picked mine, but I can't tell it's poison lol.

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4 hours ago, browri said:

I started on lamotrigine, which was good for depression, but not very good for controlling the manic side of things. Swapped it for oxcarbazepine, which was infinitely more effective. However, I still needed more of a calming effect which is how I ended up on Depakote in the Fall/Winter of 2017 (odd time to start a mood stabilizer). It has been a godsend. People have such difficult side effects from it and I've noticed virtually nothing. I was already losing my hair to male-pattern baldness, and maybe Depakote has accelerated this a little bit but not by much.

I agree. Depakote has been a godsend for me too. I don't know why people bash it so much. The only side effect I got was strong sedation the first month. 

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11 minutes ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

I agree. Depakote has been a godsend for me too. I don't know why people bash it so much. The only side effect I got was strong sedation the first month. 

Yepper! I adjusted pretty quickly. And for me the sedation is actually welcome. It also allows me to rely less on antipsychotics. I still take Rexulti but it's more for the depressive side of things and it's only 1mg whereas you supposedly go to 2mg or higher according to the prescribing info.

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1 hour ago, notloki said:

Depakote can be hard of the liver and some other body systems. Generally you do LFT's every 3 months, at least at first. Depakote can be hard on the hair.

I was already losing my hair, but it definitely accelerated when I started Depakote.

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