Q:  Trileptal and Bipolar Disorder

Is trileptal becoming a more accepted treatment for bipolar? Do you know if it is as effective in controlling moods as tegretol?  I understand they have teh same efficacy for seizure control.

Dear Ms. S' -- 
I haven't heard a lot of folks talking about this one yet; it seems the mood experts are holding back a bit waiting for more published evidence that the medication is effective.  However, I've started using a lot of it, because when I tried it in the first couple of folks (who needed something else to try!) it seemed to work just like Tegretol, in terms of both effectiveness and the kind of side effects we saw.  But the rate of side effects was quite a bit lower, and they weren't as severe (i.e. not enough to have to stop).  Looks to me like it's Tegretol without the blood problems, which means, in my guess, that we'll see this medication join lithium and Depakote as "first line" very quickly -- it's just about there for me already. 

Dr. Phelps

Published July, 2001