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Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 10:54pm Post subject: Rapid cyclers - best meds?
Any rapid cyclers out there, whose tablets help at all?

How bad are the side effects?

Do Omega-3 supplements help this variant at all?

Seen a shrink for the 1st time, none too happy with his suggested change to my meds. Just wants to increase my current mood stabiliser (Tegretol).And that's none too agreeable at higher doses.
The other option is sodium valproate - with lots of nasty side effects.

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Fourth Feline


Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 11:30pm Post subject: Rapid cyclers - best meds?
Hello and welcome Stanley,

I am not a florid rapid cycler, but do use the drug 'Depakote' ( Time release, enteric coated, semi-sodium valporate) - as my main mood stabiliser. This was recommended to be the best for 'mixed states' - which are lows that run concurrent with highs. I guess you can't cycle much faster than the opposing states occurring together ! It was also given as the 'drug of choice' to someone I know with rapid cycling Bi-Polar I.

I also read that Depakote was most effective for rapid cycling over certain other mood stabilisers.

The side effects initially, (or at too high a dose) were dry and itchy skin with weight gain. There is a possibility of some initial hair loss, which then grows back curlier.

I found however, that when I just take what is needed and no more; (which for me is 500mg twice daily at a bodyweight of about 84kg )

- my skin does not itch and I feel physically quite the same as when I did not take it..

This I contrast with Lithium, which made me sick and shaky.

I gather from internet research that the skin and hair problems are related to Depakote's tendency to block the dietary uptake of Zinc and Selenium, whilst producing the waste product of ammonia. I experienced no hair loss, I do supplement with zinc anyway.

If you get the itchy skin, a nice hot bath seems to clear the blood vessels under the skin quite nicely and therefore dispels itching.

I have not found any perceived difference in mood when I take fish oils, but like the zinc, take them anyway for nice skin,hair,nails and heart function e.t.c.

This does not imply that fish oils do not work, but rather that the effect is masked by my prescribed medication.

Sorry to hear you get side effects from Valproate. Perhaps (like me) you might get much better therapeutic effects with minimal side effects at 250-500 mg lower.

I found that lamotrigine and carbomazepine made me too agitated/unstable.

I also take seroquel now, and can recommend that. It's primary use is that of an anti-psychotic, but in lower doses, seems to level me out also.

My G.P tells me, that the benefits of these drugs accumulate over years anyway, so no need to take more than is 'comfy' - unless one is currently a danger to oneself or others.



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Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 1:19pm Post subject: Rapid cyclers - best meds?
I refuse meds but I do use Omega 3

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Posted Mon May 7th, 2007 2:41pm Post subject: Rapid cyclers - best meds?
I'm an ultradian cycler and Depakote has worked miracles in slowing my cycles down. Sadly, it leaves me very depressed but at least I stay depressed for more than a day.

Depakote is sodium valproate which I haven't had many side effects with. I have gained weight, but that's it.

My medication cocktail is 1000mg Depakote, 1000mg Lithium (yuk), 20mg Seroxat, 800mg Seroquel and some multivitamins, which helps with Depakote hair loss.

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Posted Wed May 9th, 2007 12:01am Post subject: Rapid cyclers - best meds?
I dont have this but my husband does. He was orginally put on Depacote but it was too expensive ( no insurance- just a plug- to please respond to my topic on health care) So he was put on Lithium and Abilify, a anti psycotic, he was given all the samples of that his doctor had. It is 400 dollars too- with no insurance. so now he is rather stuck there. His new doctor wants to put him on stimulants as he thinks my husband (after doing some tests) could have ADD- either also or actually he has that... Diagosing him has been really hard. I see things he does that I do also yet other things he does like lack of memory skills - short term recall, remembering appointments, phobias of basic things like bridges and basements etc, I dont have or do...

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