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want to stop lithium. need alternative.

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grace68

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May 12, 2009
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yorkshire
hi, for 10 years or so i been on and off lithium. i have never stayed on it for more than a year at a time, cos i always want to come off meds. last year i got really ill and i was put back on lithium (and prozac) in may. i've been much better, am coping with part-time work and i have joined bipolar support group, cos i am determined to stay on meds for a few years at least. but i am very overweight, sluggish, and tired all the time. i asked my psych.dr about an alternative mood stabiliser, he is happy to try one, with a gradual and monitored switch over. he advised me to go and research all the alternatives, so i would be making an informed choice. so that's what i'm asking here-

what experiences does anyone have of alternative mood stabilsers- i think mostly they're anti-epileptic drugs (which worries me, cos surely they make you dopey too)? i'm wanting to feel less sluggish, and hopefully lose some weight? does anyone have any suggestions?

thanks, grace x
 
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Affective

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Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
414
hi, for 10 years or so i been on and off lithium. i have never stayed on it for more than a year at a time, cos i always want to come off meds. last year i got really ill and i was put back on lithium (and prozac) in may. i've been much better, am coping with part-time work and i have joined bipolar support group, cos i am determined to stay on meds for a few years at least. but i am very overweight, sluggish, and tired all the time. i asked my psych.dr about an alternative mood stabiliser, he is happy to try one, with a gradual and monitored switch over. he advised me to go and research all the alternatives, so i would be making an informed choice. so that's what i'm asking here-

what experiences does anyone have of alternative mood stabilsers- i think mostly they're anti-epileptic drugs (which worries me, cos surely they make you dopey too)? i'm wanting to feel less sluggish, and hopefully lose some weight? does anyone have any suggestions?

thanks, grace x
I am on Carbagen (Carbamazepine). I personally have had no side effects and it has stopped my mood fluctuating. However in older people (I am only in my early 20's) it can cause vomiting for the first week. Although it is proven to work as well as Lithium if not better in some cases.

Hope that helped.
 
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grace68

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May 12, 2009
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yorkshire
that is helpful, thanks- i want to research as many alternatives as possible.
i'm going to look up carbamazepine and am grateful for your reply x
 
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SmileyGirl

Guest
Hi there, I am on depokate. I was offered lithium first but didn't want to go on it, when I read up on both drugs and side effects.
Depokate is not the first offered to women that are child bearing age at it causes major damage to unborn babies, but I am not having any further children so it was the right drug for me.
The only side effects I had was initial weight gain. Good luck :)
 
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Affective

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Oh sorry I forgot to add that Carbamazepine isn't as toxic as Lithium! So this probably means less potential health problems. So I think that also means less chance of feeling monged out, but ask your Doctor first.

However you must keep in mind that every person is different so this means that it might work very well for you or quite poorly.

But if you could let us know about your new mood stabilizer if you can and how it works for you :)
 
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grace68

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yorkshire
thanks smileygirl! i'll look into depakote- i too have finished having children, so it'd be ok for me, the initial weight gain- well i've already put lots on with lithium, hopefully i'd avoid even more! when you say initial, did you then manage to lose that extra weight?

thank you both for your replies about carbamazepine and depakote- i'm really interested in hearing about any other experiences with other mood stabilisers- i not seeing my psych.dr til early feb, so have plenty of time to research this matter.this is probably the best forum to be, to find some information. thank you all fellow bi-polar bears!:grouphug:
 
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mad as a hatter

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i,m on carbamazepine it makes me feel sick and i can also get horrible headaches at times with it i,m hoping 2 get off it
 
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grace68

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May 12, 2009
Messages
599
Location
yorkshire
thanks MAAH, sorry you not getting on well with carbamazepine- are you hoping to find another mood stabiliser, or just try without? have you got any ideas for substitutes?

i'm going off-line now, may not get back on-line til sunday, but hope this discussion keeps on anyway!
 
Lozzi_1004

Lozzi_1004

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Jun 28, 2008
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Yorkshire, UK
Hihi,
I've been researching this too lately as my pdoc is looking to take me off of lithium - I've been on it for just over a year now (although I'm not taking it regular - I want off of it!). Their reasons for taking me off it is mainly because I'm 23 and I'm wanting children in the future and lithium's toxic to feotuses. So they're going to try me med-free for a while and if not them carbmazepine will be the med I'm on next.

From what I have read, it seems a good option - but side effects are different for everyone. Personally I had no side effects on lithium other than being very thirsty for the first month or so and a nasty taste in my mouth when I woke up.

Anywho, I'm rambling :). Hope you get sorted soon :hug:
 
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suzy

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Jun 26, 2009
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I want to go on lamictal, anyone know anything about this? But then I've been told I can come off Lithium in a few years, just feeling down today
 
jax

jax

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Nov 23, 2008
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Belfast, N.Ireland
I am on seroquel - along with 3 other drugs. I find seroquel wonderful. Although it is an anti-psychotic - it also works as a mood stabilizer. If you have problems sleeping - it works a treat to get you over. It does cause a lot of sedation at the beginning - but in the long run - I find it a great drug. Good luck finding something that works.
Jacqui x
 
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TOONAFISH

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Bonnie Scotland
hi i was on carbamazapine, it worked really well for me. i came of it to get pregnant. i dont think it does the baby any good. i would recommend it. on lithium now which made me put on weight. x
 
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Affective

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I want to go on lamictal, anyone know anything about this? But then I've been told I can come off Lithium in a few years, just feeling down today
It has antidepressant properties which don't send you into Mania. It's very effective for treating Bipolar depression.
 
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SmileyGirl

Guest
Hey Grace,
Initial weight gain is still here but not as bad. To begin with I went up a dress size, but now I'm back into old clothes again. I still don't think I have gone completely back to how I was but its manageable.
I'd rather be fatter and happy!!!
 
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