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Re: Does Depakote cause depression?

Posted by jzp on September 30, 2000, at 15:09:49

In reply to Re: Does Depakote cause depression? Wilkie, posted by SLS on September 30, 2000, at 1:07:21

Two more cents from yet another Bipolar II patient. Depression is definitely my biggest issue, though hypomania has caused its share of problems in the past. For me, Depakote exacerbated an already-existing depressive episode.

My background with Depakote: I took just 500 mg/day for about 2 years (combined with Cytomel, thyroid supplement), and it was fine. No weight gain, no sluggishness, it just helped even me out a bit. It didn't flatten out the ups and downs completely, but I never got so depressed or hypomanic that I couldn't function. After going off this combination (partly because I was feeling better but mostly because of health insurance issues), I went into a pretty serious depression within a few months. I was hospitalized for a couple days, and they started me on 1500mg of Depakote and Wellbutrin. My new pdoc told me that there was no way that the 500mg I had taken before could have done anything, since the minimum effective dose is like 1000-1200mg. At any rate, after going on the higher dose of Depakote, I not only gained about 60 lbs in about 4 months, I also became more and more and more depressed. When I finally went off the Depakote (I was unemployed and had no insurance), I felt a little better, though still depressed, and stopped gaining weight, even if I didn't lose any.

Currently I am just taking Serzone, and it's made an incredible difference. No stabilizers right now, though Neurontin is waiting in the wings.

I stayed on Depakote much longer than I should have. It was clearly not helping. So don't do what I did-- talk to your doctor and try something else.

It helps so much to know that other people have gone through this same crap.


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