Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 64142

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stable bipolar II stopping meds

Posted by super on May 24, 2001, at 15:17:24

Are there any people with mild bipolar II who were able to stop their meds when they got stable? I've been on a mood stablizer/antidepressent/xanax combo for nearly two years and I want to stop. My p-doc suggests stopping the xanax and wellbutrin but staying on depakote, but I feel like I'll be tired all the time without wellbutrin to counter the depakote. Also, one of the reasons I want to stop depakote is to avoid weight gain.

I'm just wondering if anyone out there successfully stopped their medication for a significant length of time...

 

Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds super

Posted by Sulpicia on May 24, 2001, at 16:55:58

In reply to stable bipolar II stopping meds, posted by super on May 24, 2001, at 15:17:24

>
None in my experience, sorry.
Two suggestions:
1]figure out why you want to stop. Your post says you've been stable
for several years on your meds -- this is success BTW :), why would
you stop? There is no evidence that bipolar ever goes away -- what gives?
2]if it's the meds you dislike, write out your objections in order of
priority and talk to your pdoc about different meds.
3]Read Dr. Andrew Stoll's Omega Solution [title may be wrong but Amazon will
bring it up with a search]. With your pdoc's help/assent -- please, natural is not
harmless -- you may feel better and there is a small chance that your meds could be
lowered.
NB: no patient who followed Stoll's protocol EVER stopped meds; no good scientific evidence
EVER that this substituted for meds.

A support group can be really helpful too.
Good luck,
S.

 

Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds

Posted by froggy on May 25, 2001, at 1:34:38

In reply to stable bipolar II stopping meds, posted by super on May 24, 2001, at 15:17:24

> Are there any people with mild bipolar II who were able to stop their meds when they got stable? I've been on a mood stablizer/antidepressent/xanax combo for nearly two years and I want to stop. My p-doc suggests stopping the xanax and wellbutrin but staying on depakote, but I feel like I'll be tired all the time without wellbutrin to counter the depakote. Also, one of the reasons I want to stop depakote is to avoid weight gain.
>
> I'm just wondering if anyone out there successfully stopped their medication for a significant length of time...
>
>HI, Don't be fooled by feeling good. Most bipolars stop meds because of this and have problems. Made the mistake myself a couple of times.
Take care.

 

Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds super

Posted by judy1 on May 25, 2001, at 10:39:44

In reply to stable bipolar II stopping meds, posted by super on May 24, 2001, at 15:17:24

I'm sure you could get by with a mood stabilizer that has fewer side effects than depakote (which is w/o a doubt the most depressing med I've ever taken) You didn't mention dosages, BP2 can get along on much lower doses of mood stabilizers than bp1's (and that usually gets rid of side effects right there) As far as your AD, they are so contradicted in the majority of people suffering from bp disorder- do a search on threads here. Make sure you taper SLOWLY and keep the xanax around for those times you are feeling anxious/hyper. You didn't put your history in, but if you're young and haven't experienced 'many' mood episodes, I know you could convince my pdoc to go a trial w/o meds- although he would insist on constant supervision. Despite a checkered history of many hosp for mania and depression, I'm off everything but benzos (and recently an AP) because of pregnancy. But I'm also watched like a hawk. I guess I'm sympathetic to your plight and wish you well- judy

 

Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds

Posted by super on May 25, 2001, at 14:29:02

In reply to Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds super, posted by judy1 on May 25, 2001, at 10:39:44

My p-doc will not do a trial without meds. I stopped meds on my own before but I started to get a little manic, where I was spending lots of money and not sleeping much. But I had continued to take Wellbutrin, so maybe if I cut out both...Also, that was during the winter and winters are always hard for me. And I had just moved and made a big change in lifestyle. My p-doc seems skeptical of other mood stabilizers besides depakote and lithium. When I have suggested stopping depakote, she says that my "other choice" is to go back on lithium, which had a lot of side effects for me. Once, I think she did mention Topamax, so maybe I could get her to prescribe that to me. My sister takes Neurontin, which she likes, but my p-doc has never mentioned it to me. Judy, which mood stabilizers do you like better than Depakote?

BTW, I'm 26 and I only had two bad (meaning long-lasting and intense) hypomanic episodes and three major depressive episodes. Other than than, I think my tendency has been to cycle a lot between mild hypomania and depression, which ranges from mild to serious. The way I've always seen it is the hypomania is my body's way of trying to shake itself out of the oppressive depressive episodes.

The reasons I want to stop meds:
1) I swear one of my meds (p-doc says probably Wellbutrin) has made me constipated for two years! It's sooo awful and it seems to get worse and worse. I was diagnosed with "irritable bowel syndrome" shortly after starting the wellbutrin/depakote combo.

2) I want to feel like I can have kids when I'm ready (probably in three years).

Judy, BTW, congrats!!!
super

> I'm sure you could get by with a mood stabilizer that has fewer side effects than depakote (which is w/o a doubt the most depressing med I've ever taken) You didn't mention dosages, BP2 can get along on much lower doses of mood stabilizers than bp1's (and that usually gets rid of side effects right there) As far as your AD, they are so contradicted in the majority of people suffering from bp disorder- do a search on threads here. Make sure you taper SLOWLY and keep the xanax around for those times you are feeling anxious/hyper. You didn't put your history in, but if you're young and haven't experienced 'many' mood episodes, I know you could convince my pdoc to go a trial w/o meds- although he would insist on constant supervision. Despite a checkered history of many hosp for mania and depression, I'm off everything but benzos (and recently an AP) because of pregnancy. But I'm also watched like a hawk. I guess I'm sympathetic to your plight and wish you well- judy

 

Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds super

Posted by judy1 on May 25, 2001, at 21:07:03

In reply to Re: stable bipolar II stopping meds, posted by super on May 25, 2001, at 14:29:02

First, thank you for the congratulations. I wish you the best when you decide to start your family. I think lamictal is a very effective mood stabilizer with AD properties and low side effects (except of course watching for rash at beginning of treatment). If you were tapering meds before but still on wellbutrin- that's a guaranteed manic episode in bipolar disorder. Neurontin also has a low side-effect profile and is often effective in bp2's with comorbid anxiety problems. Unfortunately it did nothing for me, but I'm in my own very special category- a rapid cycling, treatment resistant bp1 with panic disorder. So obviously I only go to specialists who will use a variety of meds and who also do therapy (very important to me now). I have found shrinks by calling Psychiatry Depts at Universities and asking for the Chairman (who happened to be Hagop Akiskal at mine. Usually you don't get in but ask their secretary who they would send a loved one with bipolar disorder to. If you want someone supportive of stopping meds, that's tougher (took me a year), but I started on Peter Breggin's site and once I discovered the shrinks in that 'mode', I found mine. All the best- judy


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