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A mood stabilizer that doesn't make you gain weight? Is there one...
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A mood stabilizer that doesn't make you gain weight? Is there one?

Is there such a thing as a mood stabilizer that doesn't increase your weight?  I am so fed up, I put on loads of weight with the depakote, since coming off it I have lost some of it and now they want me to go on zyprexa which is another one for gaining weight.

If any of you know of one please let me know so I can discuss it with the psych next time I go.

Cheers

Helen
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212753_tn?1275076711
I take zyprexa and I did gain weight at first but I have since lost the extra I gained through 6 small meals a day and walkingfor at least 30 minutes a day.  You can keep the weight off wiwth zyprexa. It just takes a little more effort but It is sooooo worth. The last time I decided to go off my zyprexa some of my reasoning was the weight I had the worst manic episode,I ended  up in jail for kicking a police offecer in the doogies and I had to ask myself while I was sitting in that jail cell Do I want to be skinny and be over the top bi polar or be stable,noram, and carry some weight.
Unforunatly most mood stabilzers can cuase weight gain but diet and exercise can take care of that.
Now since you on depakote,be sure to have your thryoid tested.Depakote and lithium both destroy the thyroid and that will worsen your bi polar or give you bi polar symptoms when you never had them before.
Good luvk to you.
Love Venora
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Avatar_f_tn
I was on depakote and seroquel and gained 30 lbs. in 2 months.  I am off those now and taking Lamictal and Lexapro.  I lost 12 lbs. in the first 2 weeks and am continuing to lose 1-2 lbs. a week.  I'm not so hungry all the time, and I have more energy to exercise 30 min a day most days of the week.

They seem to have no side effects for me, at least.
I take the Lamictal in the morning because it seems to keep me awake, and the Lexapro at night because it tends to make me sleepy.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey....wow....I am also losing weight fast after ceasing use of Depakoate (a.k.a. "Depabloat").  I hear that Lamictal is good, but I haven't tried it yet.  I have BP1 and not sure if they treat my type with this med but I am searching for one that won't cause weight gain, or make me foggy, drained, etc.  I also take Wellbutrin, which works very well for me (after trying several others that didn't, such as Lexapro and Cymbalta).  Now I need something to replace the Depakote.  I stopped it three weeks ago and have lost 9 lbs of the 35 that I gained from the drug.  I feel so much bettter!!  But I can't stay off of treatment for long.  Tell me, please, about your experience with Lamictal...thanks
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Hi, thanks for the advice.  After yet another night with no sleep I have decided I will give the Zyprexa a go.  I shall keep an eye on my diet and do regular exercise.  I agree with your way of thinking, perhaps it is better to be a little heavier and not having the extreme mood swings than thin and up and down!

I hadn't realised depakote could do that to the thyroid, I was on it for 18 months and gained more weight in the last 3 months of taking it than I had in the whole previous 15 months.  I read that you should have your bloods done about every 6 months but I only had mine checked before starting the med and haven't had a blood test since.  I am going to see my doctor next week so I shall ask for one.

Thanks.  Helen
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447130_tn?1225474466
Supposedly the 2 newer ones Geodon and Abilify cause the least amount of weight gain if any. I read about them in a study and the best was Geodon with no incidence of weight gain, and Abilify had very little chance of weight gain. The older drugs tend to cause more weight gain.
However; having said that I attended a Bipolar support group meeting and we voted on this issue and only one out of 22 people would rather be sick than be healthy and gain a few pounds. I think with this disease vanity has to take a back seat. I also think if you exercise and try to eat right you can cut back on the amount of weight you may gain. Lastly, depakote tends to cause less weight gain in men than women. That was also per a study I read from one of the universities. If you google mood stabelizers and weight gain you might find some of the same studies I found.
Best of luck!!
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447130_tn?1225474466
You know that's funny you mention you like Lamictal. I have as of yet heard one bad thing about Lamictal. It seems everyone who is on it, loves it. I never tried it because I found another drug that worked but it was going to be my second line of defense if this drug didn't work!
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been on Lamictal for several weeks now and so far, so good.  I don't notice any side effects from it.  I have read on these boards that Lamictal "might" cause thinning hair in some people  -- it may just be the power of suggestion but I'm not sure if my hair might be thinning somewhat.  I've never had a lot of hair so it's hard to tell.  In any case, it's nothing noticeable right now so it might be my imagination.

The weight is not coming off so fast now as it did the first couple of weeks, but at least I am not gaining any more and my appetite is under control, and I have the energy to keep up with my exercise routine (45 min. five or six days a week -- using home aerobic videotapes).  Keep in mind that I am a woman, 59 yrs. old, so weight loss is always harder for a woman and especially for an older woman like me!  But at least my clothes fit again and I like myself a lot better now.

Best of luck you you!
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547573_tn?1234659310
Namaste,
Two mood stabilizers which seldom cause weight gain are lamictal(a mood stabilizer) and topamax(an anti-convulsant).
Actually, topomax (topamax) is known to cause weight loss.
These are two medications you might want to talk with your doctor about.

Michael
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for that, I shall definitely mention those, not sure whether or not they are licensed in the UK, I think topomax (topamax) is.

Helen
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Avatar_f_tn
hi there, i to was also on depakote and i put on heaps of weight. i also got bad fluid retention in the ankles and wrists. i went from being a trim size 12 to a huge size 26 within 6 months. i felt absolutely miserable . i took myelf of the drug and i got a new doctor who put me on lithicarb which seems to be ok so far. i am still trying to lose the weight from the depakote by walking everyday and haveing a restricted diet. i am bipolar type 2.
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Avatar_f_tn
I take lamictal and have had no weight gain or other side effects. It is a good mood stabilizer.
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Avatar_f_tn
I take lamotrigine, trazodone, and abilify without any weight issues. I am a size 6.
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Avatar_m_tn
Trileptal is another anti-convulsant that was popular back in the early 2000's for bi-polar.  That was when I was put on it and have been on it since.  It has not caused any weight gain for me whatsoever, and from my reading it appears to generally be weight neutral for everyone.

However, according to my doctor, it is not as popular for bi-polar anymore and is only a secondary option nowadays, but you can still ask about it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am on Haldol and Topamax and I am losing weight. I have Bipolar 1 psychotic disorder and it helps me a lot. Haldol makes me lose my appetite and so does the topamax so I want to eat less. They both decrease my weight. It is another two to try. I lost 17, 18 lbs so far and I am working out at the gym.
I agree that exercising is a really good thing. I know to stay on meds because I have a similar disorder to you, but it is bipolar with psychotic features. I take 10mg of Haldol and 200mg of Topamax plus I do take xanax for anxiety but I am careful to only take that as needed because that is the one pill that makes me want to eat, but it does relieve anxiety and makes me feel euphoric.
PS I was on depakote but for some reason didn't get heavier. It was the strangest darn thing ever. In fact I lost my appetite on that one too. I guess everyone is different
Love,
Linda Marie Jourdain
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Avatar_m_tn
IF YOU WANT ANYTHING OUT OF LIFE YOU HAVE TO BE A FIGHTER
(much more happened between all of this but here is the short version)

I am 24, have a 3 year old daughter and am dysphoric mania schizoaffective bipolar. It *****.  I ended up getting postpartum psychosis after I had my daughter and would stand over her crib all night so aliens wouldnt abduct her..not to mention the grusome thoughts that pop into your head when you have postpartum...I was a wreck but sought help for this, I refused to take any meds when I was Pregnant and while breastfeeding...if I was going to do something right this would be it! After she weaned herself I was put on setraline 100mg, seroquel 100mg, lithium 900mg, and ativan(I cant remember the dosage as it was PRN)...after 6 years, I ended up breaking up with my daughters father just after her 1st birthday...not that I wanted the unsupportive drunk anyway, but he ended up running out and getting another woman pregnant within a month, I had a breakdown...I left my daughter with my mom and dad and went on a binge, cocaine, acid, alcohol...Im sure I was trying to kill myself, and I stopped taking my meds I was usless for 8 months as a mother and a human being and lost 60lbs putting me at 220lbs...I ended up hopitalised for the 13th time in my life and decided I needed to be there for my daughter...It was very hard to bond with her as psychosis would take over and I wasnt sure if she exsisted or not...I wasnt sure if anyone actually exsisted...Now I am on 100mg of geodon spreadout throughout the day 900mg of lithium, 150mg of wellbutrin and 5mcg of cytomel(thyroid hormone)I ended up gaining my 60lbs back ....Now.I push through it and work casual as a care aid(and graduated college for this certificate) which works great for me because im busy and not left alone with my thoughts. I have always been a good worker and had a job(except when im in the hospital).My new boyffriend of a year and a half finds it hard when i call him at 3 am when hes out of town at work and I call him about aliens outside of the house or me running out to the sidewalk with a knife because they are trying to get in our house, or me seeing ghosts in the care home, or the many delusions of why he is out cheating on me in BC rather then at work for the week(we live in saskatchewan) I do find that I have aside from the distortions of perseption and parinoia a very hard time with empathy and sympathy. I had a very hard time connecting with others emotions. I am 5'10 and weight 245lbs...5 months ago I weighed 285...I find that exercising regularily and pushing myself to do it as the geodon makes me just as sleepy as seroquel or risperadol, and eating a high protien diet helps to make me feel full as well as keeps the weight coming off...its not easy, Ive struggled with weight my whole life and lithium makes it very hard to come off...I just beleive if u keep on it it will happen and watch what you eat because we crave carbs when we are on sedating meds...but sanity is much more important then immediate weight loss!
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Avatar_f_tn
That is a very interesting story and quite moving.. I'm glad for your sanity and your beautiful daughter. I was on Lithium and it worked but made me feel really numb so I realized I had to put up with a few ups and downs to be emotionally normal because I don't like feeling flat. I found something else though that keeps my mind in check but doesn't affect my weight negatively, but I exercise also and eat right. I'm on 10 mg of Haldol, 200 mg of Topamax and 2mg of Xanax for anxiety and that places me at the right state of mind. I just take the xanax as neeeded though so I don't get addicted. You seem you are in the right place and you finally found what you needed and you are very brave for having kids with a mental illness because I don't know if I could do that with my condition the way it is.
Thanks for your story.
Love,
Linda
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599945_tn?1240385954
i was also going to recommend topamax. it does not cause weight gain and of all of them i have found it very effective. good luck with it. prozac with mood stabilizer doesn't cause weight gain either.
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Avatar_m_tn
Lamictal :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Lamictal is also an anticonvulsant.
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Avatar_f_tn
Lamictal also doesn't cause weight gain and topamax is an anticonvulsant
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3136619_tn?1345390921
Trileptal has a lower incidence of weight gain.
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Avatar_f_tn
The biggest issue with Lamictal is "the lamictal rash," but this is actually usually either very temporary or the sign of a serious allergic reaction (like it was for me) I got awful purple splotches head to toe that itched and then eventually hurt like bruises. I wish I wasn't allergic because I gained 40 pounds while taking Seroquel over a six month period!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I have BP1 and I take Lamictal. However, it works best on depression, not so well for mania,
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Lamictal isn't supposed to cause weight gain, but since I've been on it (5 months) I have gained 30 lbs and gone up two sizes. None of my clothes fit anymore. And the rate of weight gain seems to be increasing, not decreasing.
No change in my other meds, diet, or exercise level.
From reading around the Internet, it seems lamictal is commonly weight-neutral but does cause weight gain in some people.
In my case, enough to cause enough weight-related health risks and self-esteem issues, I am going to go off it.
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4068459_tn?1349505700
I am taking Lamictal 200 mg and Haldol 2 mg. When first diagnosed with Bi-Polar I was apprehensive to take anything that would make me gain weight. My psychiatrist prescribed me Lamictal and it has been a true lifesaver. One thing to know about Lamictal is that it can cause a very serious and life threatening rash dubbed, "Lamictal rash". If you decide to take Lamictal, don't play around with it. Most people that get the rash abruptly quit taking the medication with doctor's approval or increase the dosage without the doctor knowing. I've been on it 5 years and going strong. I've also heard good things about Geodon. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I would recommend Lamictal.  I've been on 200 mg for almost a year with no weight gain.  Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
To eveyone out there - Lamictal causes a life-threatening RASH which I got.  I'm happy it's worked for you, but it almost cost me my life.  I also came close to losing my life when on Lithium.  It shut my kidneys down and stopped my thyroid from functioning.  I also gain an extrodinary amount of weight.  I don't mean to sound vain, but after all I've been through on all (yes I was on more - including Depakote) these drugs, why can't I have one that works without making me fat?
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585414_tn?1288944902
   Yes I experienced some side effects with some mood stabilizes and was unable to tolerate them. Other mood stabilizers didnt work. Its been a matter of trial and error but right now I am doing well on Lovaza which is used as a mood stabilizer in study that is prescribed off label. However each person responds differently to each medication. i found the thing that was most of help when known mood stabilizers didnt work was to see a psychopharmocologist who are medication specialists
    This has full information on known mood stabilizers (I believe some of the sites update themselves) that a person can read for informational purposes and discuss with their psychiatrist:
http://www.medhelp.org/tags/health_page/167/Depression/Useful-Bipolar--Depression-Webisites?hp_id=523
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1393198_tn?1365066163
Also regarding Lamictal it is very important to slowly titrate the dose up as directed. And if you go off the med for 5 days or more you can't just pick up where you left off. You have to start over the weeks long titration schedule. If not you run the risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It starts as a rash but can be fatal.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been on Lamictal for years 200 mg per day and have not had any side effects or weight gain.

Years ago I was on Zyprexa for one year and gained 60 lbs.  I then took Seroquel for several years and my weight stayed stable, but still overweight 60 lbs.  I then took Geodon (Zeldox) and within a year I had lost 30 lbs without changing anything in my diet or exercise.  For the first 10 months I felt great.  I had so much more energy, I felt like I was coming out of a long period of being a zombie.  Unfortunately I had to stop Geodon because it started causing anxiety.  So went back to Seroquel XR last year and have gained 20 lbs and back as a zombie.  Now I'm starting Latuda, which apparently does not make one gain weight.  I don't know whether it will make me feel anxious like Geodon did.  On Seroquel XR my anxiety was completely under control but I did feel like a zombie a lot of the time and needed at least 10 hour sleep.

I also take the anti-depressant Pristiq, anti-anxiety Rivotril, and those do not make me gain weight.
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Avatar_m_tn
I take Latuda, the newest mood stablizer for bipolar and borderline and you do not gain any weight
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5764859_tn?1400885356
Yikes! Thats a first to see that about depakote ruining the thyroid! Oh brother! Its bad enough with all the stuff about it causing weight gain, my APN who specializes in mental health said nothing to me about that, I'll have to bring it up next time. Glad I am aware of that now. Best to you, Robbi
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5764859_tn?1400885356
May I get more info on Steven Johnson syndrome? I am new to lamictal and am watching the discussions on the severe rash that can be life threatening, how so? Thats awful scary, but I have only started the drug a week, so far so good. Thanks and best of health to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I took Lamictal for 5 months. I had to start over twice on very slow titration, first time I started to itch and got paranoid about "the rash" but it was just dry skin. The second time I had to start over was because I started taking Lyrica for diabetic nerve pain and it made me very spacy and forgetful, when I filled my pill container for the week I forgot the Lamictal and didn't even realize it for 5 days so doc said I would have to start over on 25mg, I was on 150mg when i forgot. So as far as side effects I didn't have any at all until my dose increased to 150mg, insomnia kicked in and when I went to 200mg I stopped it completely, I was going days without sleeping. It also made me feel like I was restricted from getting too high or too low, I guess this is what it is supposed to do but it just felt too weird for me, just having such a flat mood. When I finally stopped it I started sleeping again, except for the hypomanic episodes when the insomnia kicked in again but it wasn't as bad as it was on Lamictal. I have bipolar II with chronic depression, ADD, social anxiety, general anxiety. Going to try something else now but has to be weight neutral, being diabetic weight gain is too serious and issue. May ask about Geodon.
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1696867_tn?1312613191
I have stopped take sodium valproate for the same reason. Over the past years I have gained 18 kgs. I am now taking lamotrigine instead. My doctor said that now I should start losing weight fairly quickly.
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909415_tn?1390585342
I've had good luck with Lamictal, not so much with the accompanying Zoloft (which I don't take anymore and have lost weight) but I didn't notice any weight gain when I was put on lamictal.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been taking Lamictal for 4 years. I've had terrible irritability!!!! I read that 1 in 20-30 people will actually get worse as far as irritability and sleeplessness and anxiety go. Mine was just the bad irritability.
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Avatar_m_tn
Am getting off Lamictal! Can't stand being in a terrible mood all the time & awful towards everyone!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been on Lamictal for almost 2 years now and it has caused me to gain 45 pounds, and that number keeps slowly increasing.. Despite the fact that I have completely changed my diet to mostly fruit and veggies, drink water 98% of the time, no sweets. My psych doc REFUSES to believe that its the  medication side effect since its one of the medications that isn't suppose to cause weight gain.

I'm not expecting to lose a ton of weight, just get back to a healthy weight like I was before. Does anyone have any idea what I could do? Maybe lowering the dose would help? I am pretty desperate, if I could lose even just 5-10 pounds that would be wonderful.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have gained 70 pounds on ability....over a period of 4 years....it causes sweet cravings like no other...if I didn't know better all I would eat is ice cream on ability......I hate bipolar meds...on lithium it messed up my thyroid pretty bad had to go on synthroid but as a typical bipolar person I went off all my meds several years ago and although I went back on bipolar meds I didn't the thyroid one.
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel just like you. I have been through hell and back. I'm not even asking to be thin, I want to weigh a normal amount of weight.....I would be thrilled with 160 lbs, I'm currently over 200, and Depakote which is making me miserable with the weight gain. All I can say is you must not give up and keep looking until you find the right combination for you with the least amount of side affects. It's out there.
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Avatar_m_tn
I didn't read all the blogs.  But be careful with lamictal.  I had good results on it moodwise.  However, there's always the chance of getting a rash.  And if you get the nasty rash, it goes just about everywhere.  And most of the rashy sores will leave scars.  I was depressed (not because I was on a low haha) because I had to cease lamictal due to the rash.
I am not fighting like crazy to see what will work at this point.  Lamictal, topamax, and depakote are out for either weight gain or other reasons contrary to my physical health (bp, cholesterol, etc.).


Good luck out there.
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