Bipolar Disorder Community
Epilim, dexamphetamine, ADHD + aggression...
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Epilim, dexamphetamine, ADHD + aggression...

Hi everyone :) I have a couple of questions and would like to hear people's stories (if they want to share). I have a bit of a history so I'll make the long story veryyy short...
I'm a 25 year old female Aussie

2007-2009 I was addicted/dependent on Codeine based painkillers...at a very dangerous level
Medication i have been on....

*Prozac 2009-2010 (for depression)
*Suboxone (to get off the painkillers) 2009-2010... 160 days off that and no relapses (now studying to be a drug and alcohol counselor :D )
*Xanax 2009 - Present
*Aurorix to replace Prozac...late 2010-2011 (doctor thought it might be more of a mood disorder than depression)...however we stopped that medication because i thought it made me overly aggressive, general bad moods, uhappy etc....

So by January 2011 all i was taking was Xanax when i got anxiety. My doctor had suspected i had ADHD so i went to see a psychiatrist and my doctor was right. So I was put on (and am still on) 50mg of Dexamphetamine per day....My doctor thought that my moods could be stabilized better if i used Epilim in conjunction with the Dexamphetamine, so he put me on 1000mg per day (500mg morning...500mg night).

So i have given Epilim a month...and i feel that it may not be right for me. I am getting very aggressive (not physically towards anyone...but i'm punching walls)....very agitated, insomnia, restlessness, tired during the day and just generally feeling "out of it". I also get head spins and loose my balance quite often. It has also noticeably effected my ability to study and get my assignments done :( Seeing as i have been through depression before i know what it feels like, and it's starting to get that way and fairly quickly.

I have done a LOT of research on ADHD i'm fine with that. I have researched Epilim constantly for the past month and i understand that some of the symptoms i am getting are quite normal....and i know you guys won't be able to give "medical" advice as such, but can i get some opinions? your experience on Epilim? (and/or ADHD meds)....

My doctor that i see for my Mental health issues is away until July :( i will probably be able to go see another doctor at the same clinic though, however i do live over 2 hours away from the doctors clinic and they are now charging $60 a visit.

So any advice....words of wisdom...similar experience you could share i would VERY much so appreciate it.

xox
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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520191_tn?1355639002
Hey, Not sure if my experiences will be helpful, I don't have ADHD but I have been on Epilim. I found it helpful for a mood stabilizer but i just didn't real right on it, i got nausea and  didn't feel right psychically. I lasted 3 months but my doctor did say that feeling would fade as time went on but it was to much for me. I completely can sympathize about the expense of doctors and having to see them a lot went changing meds etc. I have also tried prozac but never felt that was helpful. I am now on lithium and quitaipine, but i am wanting to change that but have to find a good doctor as i find most doctors don't listen and want to treat the real problem.
My advice would be to stick with it till your doctor gets back, unless it becomes unguent.  Unfortunately we need medication to survive. I best you the best of luck.
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1460021_tn?1327193855
Hey thanks for your reply :) I don't know if i can last til July when my doctor gets back...Epilim is definately effecting my ADHD medication...the feelings of impulsivity are returning big time, not to mention getting annoyed VERYYYY easily...aggressiveness as i mentioned...

As we know it takes a little while for medications to work but, i think a month is enough time and my studies are suffering enough having ADHD (even with meds).

So frustrating...
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520191_tn?1355639002
Yea i agree but i also have found when i go to a fill in doctor they normally mess up my medication/treatment and then leaves it for my normal doctor to fix when they get back. but if it is getting to much for you i would always err on the side of caution and go to a doctor.
I know it is not very comforting but i would say it is up to you, if you think seeing a doctor will help and of course you can afford it then i would go. I am here in New Zealand and although you can go private there is a public mental health place too which is free, so not sure if you have that option and the public servile also has an emergence part to it so instead of having to wait a few months to get in you can go to the emergence place and they fast treat you and will see you right then. Maybe if money is an issue look into seeing if you have a public sector.
I do find its good to see the same doctor as they know you and know your treatment etc so are less likely to give you something that interacts or isn't helpful. I know its a hard place to be, but i hope you an get it sorted soon.
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1460021_tn?1327193855
Well the thing is the doctor that is on holidays IS the doctor i normally see for all my mental health problems....

He's situated in Melbourne and i lived down there for 3 years but had to move back home (2 hours away) when i went through the painkiller addiction etc...however i kept on going back and seeing him because i had finally found a great doctor and intend on moving back to melbourne. He did say they could transfer my file to my hometown doctors that i had been seeing since i was rather young but i prefer him...it's worth the trip and the money...i'm a student so i'm not loaded with money and my family isn't "well off" or anything but it is worth it.

It's just been bad timing with his holiday...and i guess he wouldn't of started me on a medication if there wasn't a doctor who couldn't deal with any odd outcomes. However i would need to see one of the 3 doctors in the clinic who understands dexamphetamine (which would be a dosing doctor) and they work limited hours....and it will mean i'll more than likely miss another day tafe (not that I've missed many).

I just want to get my overdue assignments done and let some of the stress go but i just cant focus.

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Avatar_f_tn
I would go to the doctor right away. Punching wall - not a good sign. I would ask for an emergency appointment. Don't put this off. Two hours is nothing compared to the mental pain you must be feeling right now. And if you need an extention on your assignments - ask for one. They should understand.
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1460021_tn?1327193855
Before i started my ADHD medication i was very aggressive doing the whole punching walls, so i guess it was "normal" for me. The ADHD medication got rid of my aggression i was more calm and able to focus.

But yeah since being on Epilim (about a month) all the bad ADHD and behavioural issues have reappeared. I haven't been diagnosed with Bipolar but  people with ADHD are often put on Epilim or lithium to stabilize their moods. I have looked for ADHD support groups in my local area but i can't seem to find anything. My teachers are very supportive, but i am getting sick of having to get extensions...i know i can do them....i am capeable of doing them but i just get so frustrated and loose focus.

I'm going to have to wait til monday to call the doctors clinic because i have to speak to a specific person.

Until then I'm just going to have to keep on busting my brain to get this work done... :\
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Avatar_f_tn
Good luck with the assignments. I hope you can get into that ADHD over focussed zone and get them done. I have mild ADHD, but nothing like you've described. Good for you for deciding to call on Monday. It must be terribly frustrating and scary to get to the point where you feel so aggressive you need to punch a wall.
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1460021_tn?1327193855
Yeah my poor fist has copped a bit in the past couple of months...I punched a rather solid wardrobe about a week or so ago and one of my knuckles is still sore. Early March after a doctors visit (just my local doctor) i got weighed....didn't like what i saw on the scales and when my mother and i were in the car i just burst out with "f*** i can't believe how much i weigh...i'm f*****g disgusting....etc" and then proceeded to punch the dashboard without even thinking (this was about a week before i got onto Dexamphetamine for my ADHD)

But definiatley this Epilim is making me really depressed too...I think i just want to get off it and just stay on the dexamphetamine for a while...and maybe see if they will up the dosage of that
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, I hate it when doctors prescribe new meds and not leave a door open for you if you have a bad reaction or side effect! lets face it both meds you are on are mind altering chemicals so they should know that they need to keep an eye on you..
I am on Depakote ( sodium valproate) just a different name to Epilim.. I seem to get on ok with it but I'm still cycling so I'm not sure how effective it is..
I am quite an angry bipolar and it doesn't really stop my rage, the thing that keeps on top of that is my Seroquel XR.
I am better on depakote than I was on Lithium as far as side effects go.
The thing for you I think is the mixture of Dexamphetamine and the epilim, pretty potent chemicals, so its easy to see that they can present problems..
I think your doctor would be better off treating your symptoms rather than balancing your mood, that rage really needs sorting out, it is having a profound effect on your life and you run the risk of super exploding and landing yourself in a whole heap of trouble!
I think a nice calming anti pyschotic would be best for you, something that will guarantee a good nights sleep and stop you feeling so agitated, some anti pyschotics can also stabilise mood aswell..
Having ADHD and being on the Dex is quite a agitated condition and med, it sounds like you need something to chill you out, that is probably what you were hoping to achieve with the codeine, that lovely relaxed fluffy feeling.. the seroquel gives me a similar calmness (once you get over the initial dopeyness).
Sorry this is difficult with your doctor being away but its just a suggestion for when he gets back..
Is there an emergency phone line that you could ring? over here in the Uk we have NHS direct, where you can speak to a nurse and they can help you further or just give advice..
I'm wanting to say to come off the valproate and see if that helps but it is so not a good idea to just stop taking a med but sometimes we know whats best for our body but I'm not saying to stop it, you really need professional advice on this one..
I would consider seeing another doctor if you can, just to ask if it would be safe to stop the epilim until your doctor gets back..
Good luck hun, you will have to buy a punchbag and kick and punch the hell out of it LOL!
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1460021_tn?1327193855
hmmm...ok so i get into contact with one of the doctors from the same clinic over the phone... he says it might be that my Dexamphetamine dose is too high so try and lower it.....

I told him that i was getting mood swings, aggression , depression, drowsy during the day, insomnia at  night etc...he said that the Epilim would cause the drowsiness if the dose is too high so i can lower it to 600mg a day (which means a trip to my local doctor to get a script for the 200mg tablets because these are the type with the protective coating grrr) and then if i want to stop them i have to spend a whole fortnight taking
400mg in the morning and 200mg at night....

He said that my ADHD could be misdiagnosed....WTF....i spent $520 to see a good psychiatrist...i'm sure he know's what he's talking about and i meet all the criteria. literally. My father has Tourette's which is another tell tale sign. I don't know what else it could be???

I should of just stuck with the plain old dexamphetamine for a little while longer instead of getting put on the epilim too....
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2218340_tn?1339491129
hey im 20 i get really angry sometimes punch brick walls pretty much any hard objects ive broken my hand 6 times i usally feel really down after a otherburst of anger, ive been on Seroquel 200 mg and seroquel XR 400mg, i go weeks with out sleep i feel blank and emty and have other side effects from seroquel, ive just been put on epilim 500 mg for what they think is boreder line bipolar and i high dose of phenergan to try and make me sleep, seroquel did not help with my sleep and made me feel blank and numb most of the time and if anything made me feel more irratatted, im just worryed about taking epilim for the side effects thinking about stoppin meds all together am sick of the side effects see if i can do it with will power i guess just dont really know what to do.  
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Avatar_n_tn
It seems like of the two meds your on, the Dex would be much more likely to be exacerbating and/or causing your agression than the epilim, especially at that high a dose of dex. The Dex could also be contributing to your insomnia, which definitely doesn't help you feel any less agitated.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi
I've never done this before...
Reading your story has compelled me to post.
I am now, where you were, on the date of your last post.
Did you manage to get things under control?
I'm in aus also so meds etc will be similar.
My battle with mental illness and substance abuse has been ongoing since early childhood. Since my early 20's I've been trying to get things under control. I'm now in my early 30's, diagnosed last year (age 30) with ADHD on 40mg dex daily, and diagnosed bipolar 2 recently (age 31) on 1500mg epilim daily. There's been significant improvement but what you describe is very relevant to me now.
In my wake is 20 years of failure. I have 2 children who are the light of my life. I want to be a stable, happy, loving father for my children.
Appreciate any feedback
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi my name is Sue, I was diagnosed with Bi Polar Two 3 years ago, my life has been hell, ive been on so many medications and have even had 10 treatments of ECT, nothing works, I am now on Epilem 200mg in morning and 200mg at night, together with Serequel. I was thinking of asking my Dr to go onto Dex for my depression, what are your thoughts?
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