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Hydrocodone for Bipolar
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Hydrocodone for Bipolar

I have been told that Hydrocodone is sometimes perscribed to people with Bipolar disorder. Is this true?
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32 Comments Post a Comment
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607502_tn?1288251140
Its alos sometimes prescribed to people who ave cancer, back surgery and a variety of other things. Its a pain killer and not a treatment drug for BP
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703238_tn?1297101958
I know it's a pain killer... you didn't answer my question though
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi

First off just a gentle note that on here we are not Doctors or Psychiatrists, we are ordinary everyday folk who have Bipolar and we share our experiences in the hope that it can offer support to others.

I have not heard of Hydrocodone being prescribed specifically for Bipolar.

I have done a quick search on the internet and have not come across any research relating to its use for BP either - admittedly it was a very quick search.

Any medications should always be discussed with your psychiatrist who will be able to advise you or you could try asking on the Expert Forum for this specific question.

Regards,
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607502_tn?1288251140
I did answer your question.  

Its not a treatment drug for Bipolar.

Pain Killers are not prescribed as treatment for mental ilnesses by any real doctors - they may be prescribed to treat side effects or for other ilnesses but this one would be rare for a BP on most medications because of its noted side effects and also because its an addictive drug and god knows most of us are dependant on enough drugs.

In fact a read of drugs.com and some other websites accesible from google will show you that its contra-indicated for mentally ill patients and may cause impaired thinking and apparently liver and thyroid problems among other things.

Its also addictive and now being sold as a street drug in many parts of the world (hence my hesitation to provide info for you - esp considering you used the name of the compound and not the actual drug IE Vicodin) , it can be dangerous when used without adequate supervision due to the acetaminophen content - this one is very important for Lithium users as it damages the liver in long term or high doses.

All of this and more is available from google.
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607502_tn?1288251140
Ahh i just discovered the post where you describe self medicating with hyrdocodone in the ADHD forums.

I wish Id read that before posting my comment as I would have not posted.

In short bombing yourself out of you head on hydrocodone is likely t make you feel better, this is not treatment its drug abuse.  heroin would do the same (its an opiate) and so would Pethedine as well and a host of other opiate class drugs.

Basically self medication with opiates is the first step to addiction (I await your reply tellin us you are not addicted you are sick and these drugs work for you) and any doctor who is prescribing these for you is taking a risk.

Finally a MAJOR word of caution to all - Opiates CAN have VERY serious side effects for mentally ill patients - they cause dorwsiness, disconnection and in some cases delusions, hallucination and serious mania and dysphoric mania - I had a horrific experience on fentanyl after surgery and found out I am not remotely alone.  Using any opiate sythetic or not without supervision of a doctor is stupid - they can all cause stomach and liver and kidney damage easily and for us its beyond stupid into major risk territory.

As to this poster, now its working but as the addiction grows and you build up a resistance you will start to take higher doses and this increases the risks of more serious reactions not to mention damage to your body.
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222267_tn?1253305810
I just had surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago.  They prescribed me oxycodone.  I talked with the surgeon  and my pdoc about the my medications and the oxycodone.  His only concern was the issue with euphoria.  That did not happen to me at all.  I was in so much pain, it was definately not a euphoric experience.  I think what he was trying to get at was the risk of dependence.  

I have not been able to sleep or eat since though.  I don't know if that has to do with the medications or my body being in shock from the surgery.  I have lost 12 lbs.  I think my body will slowly return back to normal though.  It's just going to take time.

I have never heard of hydrocodone or any narcotic be used to treat Bipolar.  Quite the opposite actually.  I know a lot of Bipolar people with addictive behaviors so it would be silly to prescribe something they can potentially abuse.  Any doctor is very reluctant to prescribe a narcotic to anyone  for extended periods of time unless absolutely necessary.
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703238_tn?1297101958
The way I look at it is that specific medications work for everyone differently, right? So why not hydrocoden... or vicodin :) for me? I wrote the post about self medicating because all doctors that i have seen in the past really have no idea what they are talking about. The medications that were prescribed to me didn't work, vicodin does. I don't have any of the hallucinations and I am sorry you had that experience... I appreciate your concern, i was just trying to get answers... as this is my first time on here. didn't really know what to expect.
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222267_tn?1253305810
So you are self medicating with Vicodin and feel that its perfectly alright?  Denial is a pretty serious thing.  You obviously want some sort of validation for even posting this on here.  Was the person who told you they treat Bipolar people with Hydocodone a doctor?  If not, you obviously took their advise.  How do you get them?  Doctor shop, online, Mexico, streets?
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607502_tn?1288251140
I did not have hallucinations in the past either, its not an always or maybe but I do not take these drugs every day.

Vicodin is addictive and its a controlled drug, I assume you have a doctor who is prescribing these to you which in itself is a breach of patient responsobility and likely prescribing guidelines in whatever country you are in but if the doctor is prescribing them and you are not telling him why you are using them its your risk.

You have not hit on a novel treatment for Bipolar, you are addicted to painkillers - Vicodin will take away any pain and make you feel better, it induces that feeling as part of its mechanism of action - the word 'opiate' is a clue btw to why it is so - its the same action as heroin and morphine which will also make you feel better - theyre also not BP treatments.

Be it on your own head, you have just given us the very things every addict says btw  - i am not like you, it works for me, I can handle it. I know what I am doing, the other drugs do not work etc.

I hope you wake up to this before you damage your kidneys or liver or have a very bad experience of psychotic episode.  

Go and see a psychiatrist.  Tell them you are self medicating with Vicodin for Bipolar.  Watch their reaction.  Then you have you answer.
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703238_tn?1297101958
maybe i am in the wrong forum lol... ya'll are so hostile. sure you are going to tell me that this is serious and harmful, etc. etc. but everyone IS different.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have not seen any hostile comments, more comments from concerned members of the forum.  People's opinions tend to differ and the people on here are always warm, generous, caring and supportive.

The fact that this medication is not for the treatment of BP is the answer to your original question, further comments from other members are regarding the very addictive properties of it and they are merely concerned for your welfare.

Please do not be put off because of differences of opinion, you are more than welcome on the site and we all try and help each other out.
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607502_tn?1288251140
We are not hostile, sorry if you feel that way but you are suggesting a course of action which is dangerous and needs to be highlighted as dangerous so other people do not consider pursuing it.

I for one am very concerned for you, addiction is never easy and painkillers are very bad because of the damage they can do to the body and the potential for gateway effects for drugs like oxy's and hydo and soma are very high - a significant proportion of users move from these drugs to real opiates like heroin.

No-one is different.  Hydrocodone like Oycodone and other opiate class drugs are dangerous and harmful and potentially fatal in some cases - convincing yourself you are different is denial and delusion and as you are also posting in the addiction forum here I suspect you know this already even if you cannot admit to yourself the truth.

If you want assistance in seeking help we will do what we can, if you need advice on how to get treatment for your illness we will advise and if you need a should to cry on we are here anytime day or night and only too pleased to help..

But if you want someone to facilitate your drug addiction and advocate the course of action you are following you are in the wrong place.

Painkillers are not a treatment for bipolar.  There is no other answer and no one is going to give you one.

For you sake I advise you to see a Psychiatrist and get some help for both the bipolar and fighting the addiciton.
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222267_tn?1253305810
Sorry if you think I was 'hostile'.  But narcotics are NOT used to treat Bipolar.  There are some pretty vulnerable people that come to this forum for answers about medications and so forth.  Vicoden is not a treatment for Bipolar.  Ya, maybe it numbs you so you can't feel anything but it's going to come back and bite you in the arss.  I know that your doctor has not prescribed this drug to you as a treatment plan.  It's just plain irresponsible.  I asked you earlier where you were getting your medication from and you didn't answer.  Do you have a psychiatrist?  A regular doctor?  We all know that everyone is different.  If you choose to self medicate, thats on you.  I wish you would listen a little to what people are really trying to say to you.  You asked.  You are not getting the response you want and it's upsetting you.  They have a great Addiction Forum on this site that maybe you should look at.  It can't hurt.  Ask them if they have ever heard of a Narcotic treatment for a mental disorder.  They might have the answers you want to hear.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you are still here, be aware that everything people are saying about Vicodin really is true. It may be that you were prescribed Vicodin after surgery or for an injury and maybe you've discovered that you don't feel as bad when you take it. You will be in for a rude awakening if you are taking it in doses larger than prescribed and/or more frequently than prescribed. When your prescription runs out, you may have a major crash. At that point, you will be going hat in hand to your doctor for more or trying to obtain it illegally. That is when things can get really out of control and you don't want to be arrested. There are better places to detox than jail!  

Please consider that addiction is a mechanism that works separately from bipolar, but one that can make bipolar symptoms much, much worse to the point of endangering your life. If you are not seeing a psychiatrist, I hope that you find one. Opiates are great for what they are meant to do, but they are not meant for people with mental illness.

If you have an issue with chronic physical pain, there are some other non-addictive options - or your doctor may choose to alternate which medications s/he uses. There are way to manage those problems and a medicine cabinet full of Vicodin is not the way. If you were to become extremely depressed or suicidal, it would not be wise to have a pharmacy of drugs to choose from. Trust me, I know about this! The last thing most of us need is another problem to overcome. Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
It would be absurd and irresponsible for any doctor to prescribe pain meds (especially one's which are known to be addictive and misused) for Bi-Polar.  They are not meant for that, not to be prescribed as such.  

I often am suspect of anyone who wants or is trying to find a way to be prescribed pain meds for ailments other than..................pain.

It's called drug seeking behavior.
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607502_tn?1288251140
A read of other posts in the addiction forum will show that the OP is actually not getting drugs from a doctor but from another source.

She admits that she has an addiction which is step one, I wish her every success in getting the help she needs and we of course will help any way we can.
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Avatar_m_tn
While it is true that vicodin WILL make you feel better,it is NOT ment to be used for ANY mental disorder.The long term side effects are dangerous and
should be watched by your PHYSICIAN very carefully.It is extreamly important
that a patient not be fooled by he short term positive effects it can have on them.Any RESPONSIBLE PHYSICIAN would NEVER prescribe a narcotic to treat
a mental disorder.That would be a completly contradicting course of treatment for ANY mental disorder.Please talk to you physician and be compleatly truthfull about your state of mind and how you are feeling.
Your LIFE my depend on it.
Signed-----A very concerned physician.
Good luck I hope you receive the help you my need.
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1360950_tn?1277660203
I have never heard of a pain medication prescribed for Bipolar.
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Avatar_f_tn
I took a lot of pain medication for many years prescribed by a doctor for a severely painful condition. Not vicodin but I was taking percocet 3 every four hours for pain, and low dose Ketamine in the later stages. Never did anything to help my bipolar. I still got depressed. I think it may have made the hypomania worse. I can't remember. I can't remember a lot from this time in my life - likely due to the medication. Using these drugs is very hard on your body. And you will develop a tolerance where you need more to get the same effect. This happens to everyone who uses it, even if it is for medical reasons and you are not addicted.

It is not a solution for bipolar disorder, it is an addiction. And many many bipolar people self medicate. I think something like 60% of people with Bipolar Disorder have self medicated in their lifetimes. It is a really high proportion. Thing is it doesn't work. Just causes more issues. I hope you go to detox, and get yourself on some proper medications. Your life really is at stake here.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have bipolar and I am dealing with chronic pain symtoms (symptoms)...three bulging discs and horrible headaches. These chronic pain symtoms (symptoms) are burning muscle spasms all throughout my body, some fibromyalgia symptoms as well. I have my right shoulder that has been painful for about two months now. I have missed work and my the quality of life...I have none. For those who speak of addiction I pose this question to you...If you are in terrible pain what is the answer for treatment??? I am already on Elavil, Prozac, and Klonipin (klonopin) for the Bipolar, the anxiety, and the horrible pain symptoms.

I have seen doctors and they have seen me...crying, hurting, fatigued from not sleeping due to this persistant pain. Before you attack other's, and, yes you were attacking this poor person you should live this nightmare that you cannot awake from, while all along noone is listening or helping.

Two MRI's later I am still dealing with this and it continues to wreak havoc on my body.
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Avatar_f_tn
I found I got some fibromyalgia symptom improvement when I started taking lamotrigine for my bipolar. It could be coincidence though.

I am sorry you are in so much pain. I've been in similar pain and it was the hardest 4 years of my life (Thankfully surgery helped my pain. I still have pain but it is 30% versus 100%). The difference between you and this person is this person was not taking the medications for physical pain and was not obtaining them legally. They were using them to numb out mental pain and self medicate. If you take these medications for physical pain that is what they were designed for. Taking them for any other reason is usually addiction.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with you...I felt some hostility and judgement in some of those answers. Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience with you. It's why I'm on the internet now, looking for information, not opinions. For a few months I was taking hydrocone for osteoarthritis. It worked well and I kept the dose down, never more than 20mg/day, worrying about addiction. I'm an unmedicated bipolar and a recovering alcoholic. I have to admit, the happy side effect was nice, lots of energy and less pain, I was getting stuff done. Very suddenly, 2 weeks ago, the bipolar exploded. I was in the black hole type of depression and on the verge of panic at the same time, all the time for a few days and nights. I figured that the hydrocodone had to have something to do with it so I quit. Actually went through withdrawals. Now, I'm back to normal mentally and the arthritis hurts like hell. Now, I want to know if the hydrocodone caused the bipolar flareup.
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Avatar_f_tn
I bet it could. It affects dopamine to work  on the pain if I remember correctly and anything that affects dopamine affects mood. You probably already do but taking 1500mg of glucosamine a day can really help with arthritis pain. In studies it was as effective as ibuprofen, but it takes a month before it starts to help. Another option I used was injections directly into the joint. They can only do them once every 6 months as they will disintegrate the point. It burns like a SOB for a day, and then took down my pain considerably. They put it into my jaw joints.

Good luck. I know how hard it is to be in pain. Thankfully surgery took my pain from a '9' out of ten most days down to a more manageable '3'.
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Avatar_n_tn
The question was:

"I have been told that Hydrocodone is sometimes perscribed to people with Bipolar disorder. Is this true?"

The answer, according to Dr. David Sosin (who does not do it), is "Yes,
Vicodin is prescribed for biplor patients."

Whether it treats the condition well or at all is not what was asked.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a massive manic break after a ten day recovery from surgery in hospital. I was on Dilaudid there; sent home with Vicodin. Took a Vic in the evening, stayed up all night scribbling weird notes. have not been the same since. googled a little and see that it's apparently happened to others--unless they are all shills for Scientology.

I don't think heroin causes any tissue damage in the abdomen. It's quite benign other than ruining your life if you can;t afford it. if you can, you're all good.

But, it does not treat bipolar illness. It could only mask symptoms or make them worse.
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2010625_tn?1329375656
I know lortab can actually cause mood swings which is not good for bipolar. Not to mention pain killers can be addictive. Its not good to self medicate.
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Avatar_m_tn
to each their own...some people get hysterical about opiate use or addiction...addiction is doing what i want to do repeatedly to the exclusion of wholeness...if something is taking away from becoming a more complete person then one may be missing out...
...when i went into my doctor for the required pain management paperwork he agreed with me that 'Norco' may darn well be good for my head (bipolar)...
...each person is different and reacts differently to opiates...some are simply afraid or poo poo their use because society says this or that...
...my doctor said 'KNOWING YOU, IT DOES'...now, some other person with bipolar may be aggravated...sometimes the use may calm and at other times it may not calm...generally speaking i found, without doubt, moderate opiate use will absolutely calm me and , right now , keep me from saying something i shouldn't...
take care
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Avatar_m_tn
you are hostile and drive people away...when i went into my doctor for the required paper work for pain management with a specialist there i told him Norco is good for my head...he said 'knowing you , it is'...he diagnosed me bipolar years ago and knows me well...absolutely, an opiate can be used moderately to calm a biploar episode...definitely , in my experience can avoid a needless anger episode with grace...Monkeyc and others on here deny being hostile but what i'm reading is a whole lot of anti drug, hysterical, look out you might be a dope addict stuff...many of you have had problems with drugs, ok...many others may be helped by them...check with your doctors...you ain't no doctor that's for sure...i just hit on this post and seems to me you're so quick to play drug rehab counselor...for anyone out there wondering if an opiate can help calm you...for me, for me and my doctor agrees...YES...just be careful...and don't listen to these guys telling you you are this or that or in denial...nonsense
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Avatar_m_tn
you're wrong
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707563_tn?1395081210
Hi everyone -

This thread is from several years ago.

Please note that narcotics are indeed addictive, and take with caution. Some people do need them for medical reasons, but even when taking them for valid reasons, you can still become addicted.

Emily
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have Bi Polar disorder. I take Vicodin or Oxycodone for knee pain. 60 tablets can last me a year. I do not take them everyday, but I have noticed that I have more energy, in a more positive mood and actually feel like doing things when I have taken either pain med. So like you, I have the same exact question and cannot seem to get a reasonable answer.
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10023336_tn?1407296146
Its funny I ran across this. Although years later, but someone might read this. I have been battling Bipolar with psychotic episodes for nearly 30 years now. The only pill that ever worked is Hydrocodone. I will go to the emergency room and pretend I'm in pain to get it to stay even keel. A lot of doctors are nutty as fruitcakes and don't want us on this. I am still in search of a great doctor to prescribe this to me as treatment on a regular basis. The only thing is DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL, or do drugs. This stuff calms me from mania and keep me regulated from tripping and going into a depressed state. I don't sense a "high" I guess because that is how bad my chemical imbalance is.
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