BP Husband Having Hallucinations...
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Q:  BP Husband Having Hallucinations...

My husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in December of 2001.  He was an alcoholic for 30 years, and had acute pancreatitis, thus stopped drinking.  He is on effexor, eskalith, seroquel, clonazepam, methadone(for analgesia) and his psychiatrist recommended taking melatonin to help as a sleep aid.  He has also been suffering hallucinations and paranoia for the last six weeks.  In my e-mail support group, there was some discussion of melantonin causing or aggravating the hallucinations.  I am having difficulty finding information about this.  It is extremely difficult to deal with him when he is hallucinating and we in the family are all concerned.  Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Dear Ms. M' -- 
Pardon me, I'm having to hold my knee down while I write.  May I just offer up one question that you or your husband could ask of the psychiatrist.  Is there any worry that Effexor could be contributing to the cycling that you describe?  If there is no worry, you might try to gently suggest that there should be some.  If there is worry, then good:  the psychiatrist is aware of the risk of inducing cycling with the antidepressant and is doing this on purpose for some reason that I hope is a good one (there are a few such reasons, they're just not very common, compared to the rate at which I see antidepressant-induced cycling).  

Dr. Phelps

   Published June, 2002


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