Having been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder six months ago and actively seeking treatment for three and half months, I’ve tried a litany of medications.
Below I detail my experience with the medications that worked. I plan on making another post detailing the medications that didn’t work for me.
Effective Medications: Vyvanse 20mg, Prozac 30mg, Seroquel XR 600mg
Uneffective Medications: Gabapentin 1800mg, Strattera 80mg, Lamictal 200mg,
- Vyvanse 20mg
- Started: started three days ago
- Purpose: to aid in energy and focus to help me breakthrough crippling apathy
- Impact: So far Vyvanse has been very effective at helping me to return to more normal functioning. Its impact on my mood has been mixed, although I can now do things which is nice, underneath there is still a layer of boredom.
- Side Effects: Mild and fleeting anxiety about three hours after taking and again as it wears off in the evening
- Future: Very effective, I hope to increase my dose to 30mg and stay there. I think that would be the ideal dose for aiding me in breaking through my boredom.
- Prozac 30mg
- Started: two weeks
- Purpose: By this point my mood had largely stabilized, no more severe depressive lows. However, my mood stabilized at a mild level of sadness.
- Impact: It has had a moderate impact on mood. Having been on SSRIs previously, they usually hit on day five, or so for me. It brought my mood up, apathy was replaced by boredom. I could now force myself to accomplish minor tasks, nothing interested me, my mood was flat. I found nothing engaging.
- Side Effects: Decreased labito and possibly worse, difficulty maintaining an erection. Sigh, mental health or sex, decisions, decisions.
- Future: SSRIs have helped for periods of time in the past, I plan to stay on Prozac.
- Seroquel XR 600mg
- Started: three months ago
- Purpose: Started taking immediately after stopping Adderall (abused Adderall, over 100mg daily for several months before seeking help). Meant to help with the depression I was masking with Adderall and aid in falling asleep.
- Impact: I started at 50mg immediate release and increased my dose to 600mg XR within weeks. Seroquel was effective in helping me fall asleep. Seroquel did help with my anxiety, I was in a constant state of low-level panic. I do not believe it had any impact on my mood.
- Side Effects: Several side effects, hives, weight gain and constantly tired. I wrote a blog about the hives, they coated my body. I ended up getting an epinephrine shot and a steroid shot, the hives never came back after that. Also, dealing with significant weight gain, I gained twenty pounds in two months. My weight hadn’t changed much since high school. Also, drowsiness throughout the day. Oh, and one more, it substantially increased the amount I slept each night. Regularly sleeping twelve to sixteen hours a day.
- Future: I plan to attempt to slowly tapper down to 300mg XR and possibly off entirely. The sleepiness throughout the day impacts my mood in a negative way.