This question is addressed I am afraid to a professional. I am fed up from the terminology Mood Stabilizer what does it exactly mean?. I am serious. Because when you talk to somebody he tells you you better be taking an MS. Yet in all the sites you find antipsychotics especially the atypical ones considered as an MS. People some time mean AC as MS yet they are meant usually for epileptic i.e. used for BP off-label (e.g lamictal). Whereas AP for schizophrenia mainly also for BP off-label so usually used for BP in psychosis. The only MS i know of in books is the lithium. So why people can't be more clear saying instead of you should use an MS just say you should consider lithium. Some articles (medical) say there is no agreement on the meaning of an MS. It is something which reduces the mania say without increasing your depression, and increasing your mood without getting you manic. that's all. I am sure music can work as an MS. Sex must be counted too. Etc...Can one really explain the exact meaning - i mean the meds - considered as MS and those that are not considered yet they work fine or perhaps during titration only. OR for a short period only like the AP's yet lithium can destroy the thyroid and better be for a short period too. What really happens if you don't take any pills, i mean really. Don't say Alzheimer perhaps one can't guarantee to live forever either.
Mood stabilizers are just what the name implies , they stabilize your mood and keep you evened out. In mOst cases bi polars need a mood stabilizer and and anti depressant. One without the other will tip you in the opposite direction.
As far as which med will work the best for you well everyone is different and different meds will work for one and not for another.
Bull dozer is right. Post your questions in the doctor to patient forum
I agree this is not the forum for a response from a professional but within my knowledge as a consumer I'll give you what I know as the question is not very complex. A mood stabilizer treats bipolar disorder or other mood disorders. That doesn't mean the medication was first approved as a mood stabilizer. There is only one medication that was originally approved as a mood stabilizer first. That is Lithium. All other medications were developed for other uses and found to have mood stabilization properties. Most of them are anti-convulsants but the important thing is that they treat mood disorders. Anti-psychotics are always used in bipolar with psychotic features to treat psychosis and can work as mood stabilizers as well. Its important how effective the medication is, not what its original use was for. Medications developed for one purpose may be used for another over time. The Zofran I take is currently approved for nausea from chemotherapy and the Tenex as a blood pressure medication but both are keeping me from rapid cycling. The sites that were posted as links give more detailed information on how mood stabilizers work if you want to know.
No i mean your view as experts. I'm afraid i consider you experts. In egypt there is a proverb "ask a patient not a doctor" becayuse he has a lot of experience with meds. So it was you whom i meant
from what you wrote so far i see that my views agree with yours. Still when i mention my meds to people some of them tell me and some don't "you should take an MS". I am on risperidone 1mg, seroquel 50mg and stelazin 2mg. So i consider myself taking an MS. DON'T YOU AGREE
Atypical antipsychotics such as Risperidone and Seroquel do have a mood stabilization effect. But the older antipsychotics such as Stelazine (in the category of Thorazine) far less so. In any case 3 antipsychotics due to long term side effects is in general medical opinion too much. Why not ask if the Stelazine could be discontinued as that doesn't have much of a mood stabilization effect? The Risperidone and Seroquel are both at subclinical doses so perhaps one could be raised to a clinical dose and the other gradually titrated off. Of course speak to your psychiatrist before making any of these changes. But yes Seroquel for example does work as a functioning mood stabilizer.
However, I'm curious if you were tried on mood stabilizers that are generally used for that purpose first, starting with thet standards of Lithium, Depakoate and Lamictal? You may need an antipsychotic as well but ask your psychiatrist why. Some people have bipolar with psychotic features for example and need both. Including some people here. I could actually be more detailed but don't want to be too clinical but i think this should give you some ideas to bring to your psychiatrist. Let me know if this is helpful.
Thank you both for your mail. Yes indeed what my new pdoc intends to do once i feel stable - which i am incidentally right now - except that i am fluctuating between 25mg and 50mg of seroquel, is that we shall withdraw from the stelazin as you said discontinued completely. The point is only i feel i need it these days as an anxiolytic. As for the risperidone we also intend to titrate off and in his view seroquel is enough to be a monotherapy.
So i agree totally with you but i need a bit of time to start on this new venture. I'm only worried about what monkeyc is saying that i should be on therapeutic dose (150-400) why? if already if feel 50mg is more than enough right now. Besides seroquel is known to cause cataract and diabetes in the long term.
My original question though the one at the very top of the page is whether my seroquel can be considered as an MS that's the point. Whereas all sites and articles say yes, it happens when i read your letters i feel that i should be on an MS meaning either lithium or an AC like lamictal. Could my AP do the job? that is my query
With the other antipsychotics gone, Seroquel would need to move into the therapeutic range to work. When I was on Seroquel as I saw an opthomologist I got examined for cataracts once a year at my psychopharmocologist's instructions. That's an extreme rarity. As for diabetes all the atypicals can cause it including Abilify. My friend got the first signs of diabetes from Abilify and went on a weight reduction diet and it stopped. It never happens overnight. Keep your weight down and sugar intake down and you'll do okay. And as for any antipsychotic, your psychiatrist should do a simple movement disorders test regularly. But as for any of these issues you are a lot safer by far on a therapeutic dose of Seroquel than a subclinical dose of 3 antipsychotics. And it does work well as a mood stabilizer. All the atypical antipsychotics have mood stabilization properties but Serooquel is among the strongest. See if it works at a therapeutic dose for you and then post more then. I'd say give it a chance.
You are so kind indeed, really kind, as if you tell me what you want me to hear. Especially when you said "it never happens overnight" you don't know how soothing this info came to me because i was living alarmed by the fact that i shall become blind soon. Although you can change the eye lens in 20 minutes, my father did it in a few minutes in both eyes, but no need to do it at my age. I also never thought that abilify as a 2nd generation atypical AP can produce diabetes, i thought seroquel only.
Hopefully i can titrate off both the stelazin and the risperidone in due time, but you said i have to raise to therapeutic dose of my seroquel. why is that? suppose my dose is what i take now 50mg is enough, i feel it's more than enough right now, or perhaps because it's added to the other two AP, but don't they always say that it depends on the person?
This forum is so nice, as monkeyc said once it's becoming a legion.
When I said "it never happens overnight" I was refering to diabetes. Keep your weight at a stable level and sugar intake down and it will be fine. It always starts with weight gain so don't let that happen. Get a blood test once a year but that's advisable for anyone, on any medication as part of a yearly check up. As for cataracts, that's a rarity. As I said I saw an opthamologist and he checked me out once a year I believe under FDA mandate. That's specific for Seroquel but statistically insignificant for it to be a concern for a person taking it other than the yearly eye exam I got. You know I never understate information about side effects but I try not to put it in a manner that would make a person not take a particular medication. I think Seroquel is safe and effective. On the other hand, 3 anti-psychotics in combination is not a good idea but you are having that changed.
As for a "therapeutic dose" its because you are taking 3 anti-psychotics and they have a cumulative effect, that is they work together. With only the Seroquel at 50 mg. it wouldn't. It has to move into a therapeutic range for it to work. Its short acting. I know when I took Seroquel I had to take it twice a day but I believe now there is an extended release version so that's a possibility.
I take 200mg of Seroquel every day. I was originally on a cocktail of medications, but am of the opinion that less is more. I find the monotherapy works just fine for me... Yes, I have had moments where I feel I'm slipping into a depression or manic state, but have lately come to recognize those symptoms and exert my energies elsewhere. It's a tough road, but ALL of these medications can cause long term problems. Matter of fact, ANY medication taken over long periods of time can cause complications down the road. It's just important to know that you need to be proactive in your own personal health and do regular check ups, blood work, etc....
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