My Bipolar Medication Cocktail

wonderHaving 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.
My Bipolar Medication Cocktail

15 thoughts on “My Bipolar Medication Cocktail

  1. Yes, I would imagine that much sleep WOULD affect your mood negatively. I am on a fairly high dose of Seroquel in AM and PM, but don’t get much sleepiness from it, more of a dulling of anxiety and agitation. Different strokes for different folks, right? I know your bipolar diagnosis is new, the one thing I would urge you to watch for is a simple antidepressant pushing you into cycling or mania, as that is very common. Keep blogging and keeping track of what works and what doesn’t…you really will thank yourself everytime you start seeing a new doctor or things stop working and you need to try something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seroquel definitely helped with my anxiety, we have that in common.

      Yeah, my doctor mentioned antidepressants are tricky, but we felt it was worth the risk due to mood.

      Thanks for having my back!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness, seroquel knocks me out within thirty minutes. It’s the only sleep-aid (that is the only way I can use it…) that puts me down every time. Unfortunately it’s powerfully difficult to rise in the morning without that super tired, eyes burning sensation. I envy that you manage to stay awake during the day while taking it! May I ask, how long were you on lamictal? I have tried other things but always return because it is what has made things most bearable… 200 mg also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I started Lamictal each dose increase triggered a hypomanic state for the first few days after the increase. I thought this is what it was suppose to do, so against my doctors wishes I rapidly increased my dose. I’m not sure it does anything at this point. I didn’t notice much affect after the initial manic states. Granted, I was using 60 to the 100mg a day at that point.

      I am on it because my doctor didn’t want to change it while we threw a bunch of new meds at my bipolar disorder.


  3. ceponatia says:

    I’m interested in trying vyvanse but I’m wary of medications these days. I used to take Prozac and another one I can’t remember the name of ( not at the same time ) and they both turned me into a raging alcoholic and a monster. I’d make my girlfriend cry and then just laugh at her. Horrible stuff. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vyvanse is stimulant based, so it will certainly give you some energy and push towards happy. However, I hit a ton of anxiety at hour six or seven, it has been really throwing off my evenings. So, yeah. I’m still taking it, I rather have a capable few hours and a depressed evening than not being functional, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The medications you listed are for depression only and cannot deal with bi-polar disorder. I know, because I was diagnosed 2 years ago. Lithium is one of the best for me. But whatever you start taking experts will tell you that it takes about a month to start working. I hope you find your cocktail. I am on a high dosage of lithium, Venlafaxine, Clonazepam, gabapentin and hydroxyzine.

    Liked by 2 people

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