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Re: Anticonvulsants for Bipolar Disorder? Jamro

Posted by Ritch on August 19, 2002, at 10:24:06

In reply to Anticonvulsants for Bipolar Disorder?, posted by Jamro on August 19, 2002, at 5:40:53

> <From my misplaced post in another forum>
> I have been on Lithium a couple of times in my life. Each time for a few years, then, when I had got my life situation together, I didn't feel the need for it so much, and I disliked the reduced "creativity" and general "manialessness" (a new word?:)) associated with being on Lithium. I'm sure many of you know what I mean.
> The first time I started on Lithium, it was like coming in from a fast and dangerous motorbike ride through mountainous roads and finding myself crusing slowly through town...sure, it was safe, and slow...but it just didn't compare to the unfettered thrill of being alive and dangerous.
> Anyway, I find myself in an unenviable life situation again, and have resigned myself to the inevitable visit to the doctor to get a prescription of lithium again. Feels like defeat on one hand, but I know deep down that this isn't something I can just "will" away, it has to be dealt with chemically to some extent. Still feels like surrender though.
> So my question is this...has anyone here tried both Lithium AND Valpro (a drug recommended to me today by someone on it) and if so, what are the comparisons between the two?
> I had no problems with any side effects while on Lithium and seemed to get quite good benefits from a fairly low dose. Quite a few times, after blood tests, the Doctor would tell me that my blood levels were below theraputic, yet still I felt OK. Of course it's possible I just wasn't having an "episode" just then.
> What I am saying is, I am tempted just to go back to my "old friend" Lithium because of it's "tried and true" record with me, but I can't help but wonder about this Valpro.
> Can anyone help me or point me to any research they may know of?

I'm assuming when you mention "Valpro" you are talking about valproic acid? Here in the state's that is Depakote. Epilim is a brand marketed in Australia and the UK (and elsewhere). I would do a search here on Depakote and see what you find. I would be tempted to say-"if it isn't broke-don't fix it". All meds have side effects and if you can tolerate lithium and it works well, why not continue to take it? Lithium worked OK for me for a long time, but I always had tolerance problems with it. You might give the Valpro a try and see what you think. I get less foggy-headedness on valproate than I did with lithium, BUT, valproate tends to make me a lot sleepier than lithium did (my head is reasonably clear, but I am tired).





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