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Bipolar Medications Side Effects in Adults

My husband is 45 years old and  diagnosed with bipolar OTHER just over a year ago.  He currely takes 500mg of Depikote once a day and 1 mg of resperdol twice a day.  Although he says he feels better on this cobonation of meds, he appears over medicated and has develoved a shaking of his hands, face and legs since starting it 3 motnhs ago.  H emoves in slow motion and sleeps a great deal.  I spoke with his doctor and she said she noticed the "slight" tremmor during his last visit and suggested he start taking vitamin B6 to help and reducding his dosage from 2 mg twice a day to 1 mg twice a day.  She also wrote a consult for him to see a Neurologist about the tremmor.  I'm trying to get my hustband to seek another doctor for a second opinion, but he refuses.  He said that he will request to go back to Abilify because he didn't have the tremmor after beingon it for several months.  I'm not comfortable with my husbands doctor because of her treatment plans over the last year.  He doesn't want to see another doctor because he's comfortable with her.  He was intially on Lithium and developed a very bad skin condition and protien in his kidneys.  She din't change his meds until  the labs shows the potien in his kidneys.  This week I'm looking for a new doctor for a second opinion. It breaks my heart to see my husband this way. Everyone who knows him is constantly asking what is going on with him.  When a patient is being treated for bipolar should they appear to everyone around them to be on meds?     My husband acts as if he's an elderly man.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
It sounds to me as though he is overmedicated.  Sometimes docs overtreat, not intentionally, but to get results.  I think it's an excellent idea for you to seek a second opinion, especially since you are not happy with the care he's getting.  You are in a better position to judge than your husband I would think. Now the problem is to get hubby to cooperate.  I wish you all the luck in the world.
Avatar universal
He difinitely sounds overmedicated.  I just came off of one of my meds because I felt overmedicated.  He needs to talk with the doctor and be clear about it.  If the doctor allows you to speak with them, explain your concerns.  The mistake that I made was just believing that my doctor new what was best and not really voicing my concerns to him.  BIG mistake.  As a matter of fact, he fussed at me for not being truthful about how I was doing!  I had months where I felt horrible and I don't think I would have done that if I had told him.  

He shouldn't be walking in a daze (I did the same thing), and surely shouldn't be wanting to go back to Abilify without really talking to his doctor about everything that's going on.  Talk to your husband and tell him you want to go with him to understand what's going on (but not like you are undermining him - like I know isn't the case, but we are sometimes paranoid....) and talk openly to the doctor about your concerns.  

The tremors are concerning.  That's a side effect that I have heard on anti-psychotics that is pretty serious.  I would definitely talk to the pdoc about that.  Before you get a second opinion (which is a good idea, in my vote), give his pdoc a chance.   It might help the pdoc to communicate with someone on the "outside" of the illness.  I know my husband can see things that I can't see from the "inside".  

Good luck.  Hang in there.  He's lucky to have a wife that cares so deeply.
Avatar universal
Thank you both for your comments.  This is new to me and your experiences have given me some comfort.  I did find a new doctor for the second opinion but it's going to be a few weeks as they are requesting medical records from his current doctor.  They won't see him until they review is treatment plan with his current doctor.  I feel much better. Thanks again.
Avatar universal
Let us know how he does.  Hope everything is better soon.
1237757 tn?1323146719
There is a genetic test you can get done now that helps with understanding how a person metabolises different antidepressants.  I wrote the results of mine I had done in a recent post you can have a look and see what you think.

I'm not sure if you can get it where you live but I certainly found it useful as I had a bad reaction to antidepressants.  Might be worth a look.

Send me a message if you want to know more as last time I wrote the name of the test on this website someone reported me when all I was doing was letting people know about a new genetic test.  No bucks in it for me.

Just want to help people :0)
Avatar universal
Today my husband received a second opinion and the doctor felt he needed a medication adjustment. She said he should not appear to be on meds just because he's bipolar.  She also suggested he needs to decrease is Depakote because that it what is causing the tremmor.  She will do a report with her recommendations and forward it to his current physician.  If my hisband's current doctor  fails to incorporate these recommendation I will continue to encourage my husband to find a doctor that will listen.  I feel like a weight has been lifted since finding this site and receiving the second opinion today. Thanks again for all of your  insights and opinions. My husband is scheduled to see his current doctor in a few weeks and I will follow up with you all at that time.  Unfortunately, because we live and commute in two separate states, his primary residence is not here.  He is not here with me often enough to continue to see the doctor he saw today on a regular basis, but I will continue to seek the best care from him.
Avatar universal
Fantastic.  I hope he's better soon.  He's lucky to have someone who loves him so much.

Thanks for letting us know.
1237757 tn?1323146719
Thanks for the heads up, good luck and I agree with cowgirl above he is a very lucky man :0)
1237757 tn?1323146719
Also I thought I should comment that I too was diagnosed later in life only last year in fact when I was 36 years of age.  Although this at first may sound bad, it can have its benefits as well because normally the late diagnosis means it may only be relatively mild until recently.  With this he is likely to have made his way through the late teenage years without too much trouble which can be quite troublesome if you are diagnosed at a younger age as this is the time when you build your social network etc. isolation and despair during those times can make it harder for others.

It's important he do his best to throw himself into learning as much as he can about being bipolar.  The best thing I was recommend to do was to use a mood tracker which is how I came across this website.  Although it may sound funny I've personally got more out of using the mood tracker than anything else.  It helps with early detection of episodes.   Also I use the journal section to write (when I'm feeling relatively normal) a bit of my back history that I think a psychologist might find of use.  The great benefit of that is it allows you to get the most out of your sessions with the psychologist as they already have the history and you don't have to waste so much time (and money) to bring them up to date.  Also it makes it very easy to change psychologists as well if you feel you want to change from one to another as they can then just read the back history to get up to speed.
Avatar universal
Thanks. I will bring your suggestions to my husband’s attention and we’ll look at the trackers and see if he's willing to do it.  It sounds as if it's a very effective tool.  I'll work on him gently about keeping organized and being aware of his mood.  I don't ever want him to feel like he explained before being treated.  I feel bad that he felt he had to walk around feeling this way most of his life.  You are right about the late diagnosis being mild because we all just though he was hyper/ high strung or had ADHD or something.  In the last few years he became very aggressive, but without being physical or getting into legal trouble. He spoke rapidly and would get very agitated if you said anything while he carried the conversation.  You couldn’t even agree with a yes or excuse me while he was talking.  He would say things like; let me let you talk if you tried to have a two way conversation with him.  He would trip over his words because he spoke so quickly and would say, excuse me I thinking faster than I can speak. He would brake things when he got angry and talk really bad to people.  He sought help on his own because he said he knew something just wasn't right. The entire family knew something was wrong.  We all started to avoid talking to him because of his anger.  I'm only glad I have this site because everyone here understands and I don't have to worry about the judgment and stereotypes that comes with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Thanks again.
1237757 tn?1323146719
Hi Again,  He sounds very similar to me in the way I've been reacting as well.  For me I was only diagnosed after I took an antidepressant and went manic for four months last year.  After it I've been completely burned out and have had a hard time holding down an job and it has put a lot of pressure on my relationship with my wife.  Luckily for me I found triathlon which helped me burn of the energy or at least centre me.  Swimming is the best no matter if I'm feeling up or down, swimming centres me.  If he has concerns going on meds or whatever I can't recommend enough exercising.  I've been able to basically control my bipolar purely from regular exercise and by taking vitamin supplements.  I was drained after my manic period and had a vitamin D deficiancy, Zinc deficiancy and my adrenals were exhausted causing my cortisol levels to be all over the place.  Also I had a lot of trouble sleeping and found this was partly because I had high levels of cortisol in the evening which was like taking speed just before bed (well not really that just the way my doc described it) and my body had trouble producing melatonin which is what makes your body naturally sleepy.  Taking supplements for all of these has made a massive diffference for me.  It takes a while for it to kick in but it really did make a difference.  I'd highly recommend he have his levels checked out by a doctor who specialises in nutrients.  I was put onto one of the top sports nutritionists here by my triathlon coach.  Really has helped. The vitamins can be pricey, but it is normally just until your body gets back to a point where it can support the production of the hormones itself.

I've had to do it bit by bit and am now just about to start taking some testosterone as my levels here have dropped as well but we kind of left that until later as initially my body wasn't in great shape.

When I started the triathlon training I couldn't swim to save my life, and I didn't have a bike.  Last year though I managed to do 6 triathlons and am planning if my finances work out to do the Half Ironman in Hawaii next June.  I'm looking at it now as if it is just a bit of a wakeup call that I'm getting a bit older and need to start to put my health a little bit further up the priority list.  If he is able to do this a well, he will feel so much better I know I have.

Also during my more healthy normal periods I've put together a bit of a bipolar toolkit so that just in case I have a really bad problem at work I have a ready made document that can explain what is going on to my managers at work, an explanation of the different types of bipolar and a tailored guide for the managers as to how to best manage me.  I also include in this all the different things I do to manage my bipolar to show I have a management program in place.  I also include some information around my rights and how I don't have to disclose but have chosen to in order to help provide them with guidance.  Its a work in progress but just having that in place helps make me feel more secure.  If you like I'm happy to send you through a copy of it for you.  
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