Bipolar Disorder Community
Prozac vs. Lithium
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Prozac vs. Lithium

I am bipolar with more depression than anything.  I've been on effexor with Tegretol and it's not working....so we're changing from effexor to either prozac or lithium.  I don't know which one I should try....I'm tired and have no libido.  The side effects of Prozac are just that.  But Lithium has more dangerous side effects.  I need help deciding!
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i was on prozac for ten yrs from the age of 17, never had any effect on quelling my sexual apetite though wasnt diagnosed with bipolar, but major depression,

TBH since coming off (bout a yr ago) i have seen a great fluctuation in the libido / lethargy but completely unsure if due to coming offemds or jus being back to plain old me

mind you - being on meds from 17 - who knows what plain old them is?!
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337492_tn?1212462436
I have used both medications.  I used Prozac when I was still unpolar and it never affected my sex drive, but mine is really high.  Same with Lithium, no changes and I have been on it for over a year.  I really had no other side effects from either med.   Lithium is more for mania and prozac for depression.  I take a Lithium/Wellbutrin combo and it is awsome for me.  Controls both sides pretty darn good!  It is really trial and error with any med, it might or might not effect your libido.  Just have to try and see.  If it does, switch again!  I know tegretol kills it too.  So you might do better on Lithium or Prozac.  Just make sure you are on some  anti-depressent so that you do not get a deeper depression off of it.  Lithium is not an anti-depressent it is a mood stabilizer.  I am surprised they are putting you on Prozac, it tends to cause mania.  It did for me.  Wellbutrin SR boosts your energy and does not cause mania.  It actually has raised my sex drive more!  :0)     Hope this helps!
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Avatar_m_tn
prozac threw me into a total state of mania, but for one of the first times i was able to have pleasurable sex on a regular basis, and i had a whole lot of fun. i didn't know i was bipolar or know it was a manic episode at the time, but now i want to go back on it because i have tried effexor and wellbutrin and neither of them gave me back my sex drive or creativity. of course, if it throws me back into a manic episode, i'm simply going to have to have my friends and family and self-control tell me "no, you are not the uebermensch or the messiah, no you shouldn't spend $3500 in a month, run hundreds of miles away and live in a hotel, and drop out of school."

it might be hard, i hate school.
but a manic episode is way better than the past 2 years of depression.
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BTW, I have a friend that has used the Lithium/Prozac combo and has been stable for 15 years on it.  She has a great sex life with her boyfriend and she is 65!
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I tend to jump in and answer before reading the other posts, so sorry if any of this redundant.

I tried prozac and it made my mania 10,000x worse. I had to stop it immediately. It was one of those calls to the doctor where he didn't need to think twice. It was either stop taking the medication, or she's gonna kill someone...call the police!

Lithium was discussed with me. It's an older medication. I didn't take well to the fact that it can damage your liver. I already have elevated liver enzymes, so that didn't go over well with me and I refused it.

I think, if you have a good doctor, you have to have your liver enzymes monitored while on this medication. If they don't test you, demand it.

It takes awhile and a lot of patience to find the right combination of meds that work for you.

Best wishes.

Ash
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337492_tn?1212462436
OHH!  I love my Lithium and I thought it was worse for the kidney's and thyroid versus the liver.  I get tested to make sure my kidney's and thyroid are ok along with my levels.  I wonder if they also check for the liver and just do not tell me.  Thanks for the tip...research time!  
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I havent taken Lithium it scared me I heard rfom people who took it that they didnt feel like there self and my doc informed me that if u give a person with bipolar just an anti depressant that it can cause them to go into a manic state  i take lamictal and love it its actually a combo of a both issues its an anti depressant and a mood stablizer I love it and i have been on a lot of meds its my favorite
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You are right. Bipolars can not take antidepressents alone.  It causes bad mania.  When I was on prozac a few years ago, it caused me little hypomanic spells but I did not know what it was.  I just knew it was time to get my stuff done before I felt low.  Then I quit meds and a year later became crazy manic and got my diagnosis. Lithium has never made me feel weird, however, just using Lithium did nothing for my depression so I felt awful and out of it from that.  Now that Wellbutrin has been added I am feeling tons better!  So I have my moodstabilizer/antidepressent combo that works for me!  I wish I could use Lamictal because it is a great med, but caused me horrible migraines :0(  Just make sure to get your liver checked on it too!  I heard it can cause problems.
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good to know because I havent heard that I usually get migrains bad ones to I cant see out of one eye lights the whole nine yards and at first i had slight head achs but they have gone away and now I just found out a week or so ago im prego just when im feeling great im not getting off though because my dose hadnt gotten very high I was only on it 4 amonth and it made tramtic changes in my attitude I feel its more of  a risk to get off I saw my doc but not an ob yet im going to see what they say and compare the 2 opinions befor I stickto it though its just a scary thing to mess with im bipolar 2 so its a little more extream
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Congratulations on getting pregnant!  Happy news I hope? Be careful though.  I would research if Lamictal is harmful to a fetus!  I was told that the only safe drug to take during pregnancy is Seroquel. I happen to be allergic to it, so I have elected to adopt.  I am also a mixed state, rapid cycler so I do not want the stress on my body.    Anyhow, Lamictal usually helps migrainers and it a great med for it.  The reason it caused me migraines is because of how it affected my birthcontrol pills metabolizing in my system.  I thought it was odd that I had two in a row.  I used to suffer weekly, sometimes more, and when I started magnesium therapy they went away.  So I researched about Lamictal causing migraines and found the info about its reaction to birthcontrol pills.  
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I did some research about Lithium causing liver damage and wanted to know where you got that info.  I found how it can elevate liver enzymes but that damage is rare.  I was wondering if you have any websites you might have snagged about it.  I want to know if it does cause problems to let my psychatrist know my concerns.   I do not drink and only did lightly before I was diagnosed, will that lower my chances of damage?  Thanks!  
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It is a very happy thing not expected at all because I had an Iud, but a great gift. For most people with BPD all the hormones cause you to feel amazing allmost like mania but not to that extream I call it feeling normal LOL....... its so weird all the little things that can effect a persons body and how diffrent everyones body is.
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I am nervous about the possibility of being pregnant due to my type of bipolar.  The doctors have warned me about the level of post partum depression.  I wish my BP was mild and I could have a baby.  I have always wanted to adopt though, so I guess it works out ok for me.  However, when it gets that time, I will discuss my options with my doc!
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I've recently been dx with bp2    i've been put on prozac & it's been sending me really really manic, it's been quite scary!  Other beepers i know that are on prozac  some have found it great.  No loss of libido with me.  Different things work on different ppl so really you gotta work on trial & error to find which is best for you
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I did have horrible post partum I had no clue at the time that I had BPD though I just thought it was me. This time I think my mind is in a different place and if I only keep positive people around me I really hope to stay in that fram of mind but if it were really that easy to controle we wouldnt have this disorder right.LOL.....
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439168_tn?1307935340
Maybe I was told that because I already have liver problems. My liver enzymes have been elevated for years. So I am more likely to have issues I guess. My kidney profile is normal so he wasn't worried about that. And all my thyroid tests are okay...possibly, my doctor was concerned about my liver enzymes...I don't know.

Ash
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Hi
I am new here.  I saw your post regarding bipolars need never be on antidepressants alone because they cause mania.  Do you think that is true of all anti depressants, or just a few?  I am always finding myself paranoid when I start thinking about my diagnosis. When I was on effexor alone, I became suicidal (never before), cut myself(never before) did sexually provocative things( my husband loved that) and as an artist, became more creative.  Was this just effexor....or do other anti depressants do this to bipolars?  I read that effexor was a medication that increased serrototin and neoriprimine( you know what I am trying to spell, right?) and that because of the increase in these two neurotransmitters, dopamine is bombarded and basically suffocated.  When the brain has no dopamine, then it goes into weird states...producing mania like symptoms, over emotional symptoms, more depression, etc.  This is why I get paranoid when I think about my dx.  If certain antidepressants wipe out dopamine, then is it really that we are bipolar, or is it that our dopamine has been attacked by too much serototin and neurophrepinen(sp?)  What do you think?  I am now on lexapro and lamictal.  No mania's since mood stabilizer...so, perhaps the lamictal balances out the antidepressants effect on dopamine?  Hmmm?
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Ashley, thanks!  That makes sense, but I am going to still bring it up with my psychiatrist.  

Spin4God.. hmm.. you bring up some very valid points.  I am not sure and I will take notes on your post and try to do some research, but I have plans this evening :-).  My boyfriends sister is also bipolar and takes effexor with great success.  I am not sure what else she is on.  I was told, that most anti-depressents need a mood stabilizer to work for bipolar.  I know prozac can be one of the worst to cause mania, but I have a friend that has used Lithium and Prozac for 15 years with no problems what so ever and that was her first combo of meds.  So I guess it depends on the person.  I am on Wellbutrin with my Lithium and it is wonderful for me and doing great.  It does make perfect sense, and something I have believed, that if someone does not have depression or bipolar and are put on these drugs, it can really mess up the brain's chemical balance.  I know I am bipolar, because I was crazy out of wack manic while on zero meds and once I got on medication I started to stabilize.  Now that I am on the right combo I feel almost perfectly normal, well as normal as a bipolar can feel!  
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