Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: effexor and mania

Posted by Toby on August 13, 1998, at 15:54:21

In reply to effexor and mania, posted by gail on August 9, 1998, at 9:32:17

Here's a list of medications used for mood stabilization in bipolar disorder: Lithium, Depakote, Tegretol (carbamazepine), Neurontin (gabapentin), Klonopin, Clonidine, Verapamil and other calcium channel blockers (blood pressure medications), Lamictal (lamotrigine), Topamax (topiramate) and Zyprexa (olanzepine).
I have seen each and every one of these work "miracles" on medication-resistant patients as well as medication-intolerant patients. As usual, some patients cannot tolerate some of the above, so you have to keep looking. And sometimes, it is worthwhile to try one that you have tried in the past because sometimes a miracle occurs and what you couldn't tolerate 3 years ago, your body suddenly embraces.
Verapamil is hot in California and is used quite a lot there with good results. Topamax is fairly new for use in bipolar patients, but what I'm hearing is phenomenal -- patients losing all the weight that Lithium put on them, total control of symptoms without side effects. Let's take that with a grain of salt, but it's worth a look because it is totally different from some of the other mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants. Zyprexa is an antipsychotic but it has been getting a reputation as an excellent mood stabilizer, especially for irritable manics and you don't have to be hearing voices for it to work.
One final option for treatment of mania is electroconvulsive therapy. The Scientologists malign it terribly, but there are people alive and well today because it worked when no medication or other therapy would. It is safe (the biggest risk is from the anesthesia, not the ECT), it isn't painful like it was in the 1940's (no strapping patients down and shocking them when they're awake -- you are now comfortably put to sleep with anesthesia and your body is relaxed so your muscles don't get sore), and the dreaded memory losses are limited to the hour or so before and after the actual ECT -- the horror stories of complete amnesia are just not true (I know somebody will write in about their Aunt Millie, but I think something else is probably going on with Aunt Millie). ECT is exquisitely effective for mania, even more so than for depression, and you don't have to tolerate ongoing medication side effects. If it was me or my beloved child, I would want ECT, not medications, but that's just me.
Talk to your doctor.




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