Too Many Meds? None Seem to Work
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Q:  Too Many Meds? None Seem to Work


I have been on so much medication sence i was 14.I have been on prozac,resperidal,carbotrol,adderal,zolof,welbutrin,nurontin,and a few otherS..None of them seemed to work thats why my meds have been switched so many times.I was resently taKING CARBOTROL,RESPERIDAL AND ADDERAL MIXED WITH BIRTHCONTROL(ALLESE).iT MADE ME SERIOUSLY SICK,I WAS IN BED FOR A WEEKD !/2..IS THIS TO MUCH MEDICATION FOR A 16 YEAR OLD..SO I STOPED WITHOUT A DOCTOR CONSULTION ...iS IT SERIOUSE TO STOP MY MEDS AL TOGETHER.PROZAC WORKED FOR ME AT FIRST THEN IT STOPED..WHY DO THE KEEP SWITCHING MT MEDICATION AND MAKING ME FEEL LIKE A SCIENCE PROJECT..I JUST WANT ONE PILL THAT WORKS..MY MOTHER CANT STAND MY MOOD SWINGS,AND I CANT HELP THEM.I DONT WANT TO GO BACK TO THE HOSPITAL FOR DEPPRESSION AND SUICIDE.WHAT DO I DO...

I JUST NEED TO KNOW WHATS RIGHT FOR ME.....

SINCERLY,
KIKI


Dear Kiki -- 
Sorry to hear it's been such a mess so far.  I have one primary thought for you: antidepressants are known to make bipolar disorder worse in a lot of people.  Most of the medications you name are antidepressants or have antidepressant activity known in some people to have made bipolar disorder worse (talking about Neurontin and Risperidone here, and perhaps Adderall, that's less clear).  So of all the medications you named, only one is a mood stabilizer that is not recognized to have the capacity to make things worse (that's carbotrol, which, off the "big three" mood stabilizers has the most potential for side effects and interactions with other medications).  

So, even though it's been terrible so far, in many respects (probably because it took a while your diagnosis to make itself clear, or maybe that's still going on) you haven't had the basic treatments for bipolar disorder yet.  If that diagnosis is correct for you, then you (fortunately) have a lot of room to find what you're looking for: one (or maybe two) medications that don't make things worse that clearly make you feel better.  Even Zyprexa you might find was clearly immediately helpful, but that doesn't solve the problem because it's so commonly a cause of big-time weight gain it's tough to rely upon as a mainstay medication, better as an emergency thing.  

Anyway, there's a lot of territory you haven't explored yet.  Sorry to hear you've been all over the rest of the map so far.  I hope it gets clearly better, as I know it can, for you soon.  You certainly should not begin to think about giving up: there are many combinations of mood stabilizers that have helped people without side effect problems limiting the process.  So if you start thinking seriously about suicide (or have been), let people know.  Even if you have to go into a hospital to stay safe while things are reorganized medication-wise, that's the thing to do so you don't miss your chance at a really helpful treatment you just haven't found yet.  For example, check out the kind of results that have just begun to emerge using a simple approach like thyroid hormone.  This kind of thing is happening more and more in this business, so time is actually on your side.  

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2001
 

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