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Re: neurontin vs. depakote for mood stabilizer

Posted by Carmen on August 23, 1999, at 11:52:33

In reply to Re: neurontin vs. depakote for mood stabilizer , posted by James Justice on August 23, 1999, at 10:10:14

> > Was just put on a low dose of neurontin to start for mood stabilizer and to control anxiety problem. Was on Depakote for 5 mo., but made me feel blunted - no desire to do anything. Anyone else have this w/Depakote? How have others found neurontin for stabilizing mood and social anxiety? Thank you for your input.
> Carmen,
> I have a lot of good things to say about Neurontin. I started taking it 5 months ago with a dose of 400mg 2x/day. It was prescribed to me as a mood stabilizer. The amount I was taking did nothing for me. Then I read that Neurontin can be prescribed and taken at doses up to 4,800mg a day (or 12 capsules!). So I encouraged my doctor to slowly increase the dose over a period of 2 weeks. At first, I noticed no change, but as I approached the 2,400mg/day dose I noticed that I was becoming increasingly less anxious and jittery.. this was a wonderful surprise for me because I didn't know that there were any medications other than the habit-forming benzo's and barbiturates that could do a good job at reducing anxiety. My doctor continued to increase the dose, and stopped at 4,000mg/day, or 2 capsules 5 times a day. I have been on this dose for about 4 months. It has proved to be a wonderful mood stabilizer, a great anxiety reducer, and has virtually eliminated all traces of social phobias. I feel better than I have in years! 10 pills a day sounds like an awful amount of medication to take every day, but for me it is definitely worth it!!
> I should mention that I have gone through almost 6 years of psychiatry and 35 drugs to help me feel better. Neurontin does a better job managing my moods and anxieties than any of the previous meds I have tried.
> And as for social phobia: A new study in the August 1999 edition of The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology concludes that Neurontin has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of social phobia.
> I should also mention that I have been on Depakote in the past, and I consider it a useful medication for mood disturbances. It is usually more useful than Neurontin in treating mood disorders of the bipolar (manic-depressive) variety. For me, Depakote didn't quell my anxiety like Neurontin does. I consider it to be useful, but not extraordinary. I would choose Depakote over lithium any day.
> Hope you find a useful medication. I am not saying that Neurontin will work for everyone, but for me it worked wonders!
> James
James Justice: Thank you for your informative letter. My psychiatrist showed me from his literature that neurontin was just ok'd in Aug. for social anxiety. Greatly appreciate your input. He also said Depakote was far better than lithium because of side affects w/lithium. I have been battling w/problems for 8 yr. and social anxiety for most of my life. Just now really addressing this problem. I guess as we go along new and better treatments are coming out. Hope you continue to feel good. Life is too short to feel bad. Carmen




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