I am Type 2 Bipolar and currently take 200mgs of Lamictal, 900mgs of Neurontin, and 1.5mgs of Klonopin. My doctor and I will be weaning off of the Klonopin within the near future as we don't feel that it is medically necessary. I don't mind the Neurontin as I have been on and off of it for years. We are looking at just using the Neurontin and the Lamictal.
However, a recent family even has gotten me wondering; would the Lamictal be a good enough mood stabilizer for me alone? My mother was on Celexa for depression and Topama for seizures, but was taken off of the Celexa because it was causing her problems. She's been free and clear of the Celexa for 3 months and is only on the Topamax and she hasn't had any issues since. In fact, she's the most stable she's been in a long time.
My major issue with my BP disorder was the Celexa that I used to take; it was causing me to rapid cycle. Since I have been off of the Celexa, there have been no mood swings at all. As such, my doctor and I feel that I am over medicated; that I was essentially medicating the Celexa.
Has anyone had success with Lamictal as a stand-alone mood stabilizer?
Hard to say because being that I have schizoaffective disorder I require both a mood stabilizer and antipsychotic. However, as regarding a mood stabilizer I was able to function with Lamictal by itself. Sometimes however it requires an adjunct and Neurontin is often used. Klonopin is an anti-anxiety medication that has mood stabilization properties. Your psychiatrist may be tapering you off this because a person can build up a tolerance to it. Celexa is of course an anti-depressent so it can easily make the manic aspect of bipolar worse. As regarding medications, the first step is to follow your psychiatrist's exact instructions for tapering off the Klonopin as even if you do it properly there will be some withdrawal symptoms. If they believe you may be able to function without the Neurontin they will then slowly decrease the dose of that. But its essential to understand that the reason you are not having moodswings is because the medications are working so its essential to know what dose you need for that not to reoccur but your psychiatrist could work with you to determine that but follow their exact instructions. Lamictal can work as a stand alone mood stabilizer for some people but each person responds differently to each medication.
We've got a good tapering schedule down for the Klonopin and it shouldn't be too rough, I'm on a small dose and have only been using it for six months. It's just getting me 'stoned' and neither of us feel that it's necessary. It's just too addictive, at the very least, I'd like to be on a smaller dose.
I don't mind the Neurontin, but I develop a tolerance to it quickly and have to continually up the dose. I've been off and on it for a long time; it's a nice mellow medication for me.
The Celexa was causing me SEVERE mania along with rapid cycling and mixed episodes. Since we've taken that off of the table, I haven't had a single mood swing. I was initially on Celexa, Neurontin, and Klonopin and was cycling like you wouldn't believe..Neither the Klonopin nor the Neurontin had an effect on the mood swings, in fact, they caused the depressed episodes to be much worse. So, they weren't doing much as mood stabilzers.
We added the Lamictal into the mix and the mood swings were decreased drastically, but I was still having some nasty ones until we dumped the Celexa. So, the Lamictal has been the primary agent in decreasing the mood swings.
Although I have no problem being on the Lamictal and the Neurontin, I would love to be on one medication, for obvious reasons. And, my mom got off of the Celexa because they were causing her mood swings, the Topamax has totally evened her out. And, she'd tried hard to get off of the Celexa before; it wasn't until she was forced to get on the Topamax for the seizures that she could finally do so.
I'm going to take everything slowly and have always followed my psychiatrist's instructions, but I think we're really taking steps in the right direction.
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