It has been 11 years since I was first diagnosed with a bipolar spectrum disorder: first, cyclothymia, soon after bipolar 2, and, recently (after thorough re-examination of my long-term history) bipolar 1. My medication regimen has evolved to the point now where I'm maintaining on Lamictal and Celexa, with later additions of bupropion and most recently Strattera for symptoms of ADHD that persisted. RE: Strattera, it helped with concentration, not much with attention, but overall improved mood significantly to the point I feel well and stable more than I can remember in my life.
My psychiatrist, however, is concerned that despite my current situation the number of different meds I now take worsens the odds of a good outcome longer term. I admitted to him that my preference all else being equal was to take fewer meds. We tried reducing the dosage of Celexa from 40 mg to 20 mg, but after a couple weeks I started feeling worse and worse, so we returned to 40mg.
I was having a very stressful time involving money and my partner's chronic illness, so I thought it wasn't a good time to experiment any more. Now, things have improved to the point I'm thinking about returning to paring down on the meds.
My psychiatrist suggested I could benefit from electroshock treatments, but I don't feel ready to make that decision yet, so I'm puzzling about what to try next to transition to fewer meds. I think Lamictal and Celexa should remain as I've had good experience with that combo. I would be OK with reducing or eliminating Strattera (I now take 60 mg a day). Then if all went well enough I would try to taper down Wellbutrin--I now take 150 mg twice a day. Cut to the chase I would like to try adding another mood stabilizer in place of the two antidepressants Strattera and Wellbutrin.
I have a problem with weight gain and for that reason I had to drop Depakote years ago. I also had been on LIthium with Lamictal but after seven months I experienced extreme muscle weakness in my legs and arms where I couldn't keep my balance and my legs shook uncontrollably when climbing or descending stairs and getting off the bus.
Could one of the antipsychotics possibly go with Lamictal and Celexa? (Years ago I briefly took Zyprexa for mania but gained weight fast and felt dizzy all the time, so strike out that one). Are any of the older meds suitable?