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Meds not working

Talk about meds, side effects, and the 'med-go-round'.

by alenq » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:02 am

I'll start from the beginning of my last post:

In April, I had a scary psychotic break and my mania took over my body, making me delusional and paranoid for weeks in the hospital. I was put on Lithium and Geodon (Ziprasidone) and I got discharged after a month. Mid-May, my appetite started to decrease until fully disappearing. I was slammed with crippling fatigue, lack of focus, and my libido plummeted. My emotions felt flat; I had no ups and downs. It took me months but I switched to Lamictal and Latuda and I felt pretty much the same. My psychiatrist even prescribed me Nuvigil (a medication for people with sleeping disorders) to help my fatigue but it just made me restless and overly anxious with no change in mood or interest levels.

It's been over three months and I still have no appetite, flat moods, low libido, fatigue, inability to concentrate (I've been out of work for months) and little motivation to do anything. My physician ran bloodwork and only found low testosterone (she thinks I may have sleep apnea). I'm losing hope here and I'm scared that switching meds won't help. I was off of meds for nine days as a mini experiment with my psychiatrist and nothing changed. Two weeks ago, my psychiatrist prescribed me 5mg of Abilify and I don't feel much different.

Is treatment resistant bipolar depression a thing? I'm confused why switching meds hasn't resulted in any changes in my symptoms. Has anyone else struggled for months to find their magical cocktail that makes them feel functional and better? Should I ask my psychiatrist for more medications to try to alleviate my depressive symptoms?
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by Duckysmom » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:47 am

It can take time fir new meds to fully kick in. It took me over a year to find the exact right mix the first time around, 11 years ago. A year and a half ago, I destabilized due to a gastro doc giving me steroids and not telling me what they were. I ended up in the hospital in a severe mixed episode (deression and mania at the same time) and the pdoc in there did no labs and raised my meds so high I became toxic. It's been a year of the med-go-round for me to get back to pretty stable. My pdoc and I are still making minor adjustments.

I think we all hate the med-go-round! It takes experimentation and a lot of patience. So of us more than others.

Hang in there. You'll find the right mix eventually.

I did go flat for a time in the last year. Pdoc switched up my meds and dosages slowly. Rexulti was my lfe-saver for the depression side of things. Lamictal also helped my stabilization.

I'm not advocating any particular med. Just sharing my experience. I'm sure others will come along with their input.

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by Stuckles » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:00 am

I hear your frustration as I have been through it my self. Finding the right mix of medication can be a rough road and I think most here would attest to it. Your PDoc would most likely focus on "stabalising" you first and then look into the side-effects. Some side-effects you might never be able to eliminate entirely if it means that it would reduce the effectiveness of the medication in areas where it clinically matters. My PDoc refers to it as "The lesser of two evils".

Psychological/Mental medication is kinda like the 'black-sheep' of medicine as it's not as simple as "For this problem, you take this". The same medication can have very different affects on different people. It's one of the main reasons you never share your medication as it's not like aspirin that has a predictable result. Medication that can help for depression in one patient can actually Lead to depression for another.

Switching of medication till you find what works is almost the norm rather than the other way around. Combine this with the fact that most medicine takes some time to actually show any noticeable change and also takes time to come off of safely and it does tend to become a very lengthy process.

Keeping your PDoc in the loop and telling them what you feel you need, is good and will ultimately help towards finding a 'cocktail' that helps.
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by Spm24 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:42 pm

There are some members who are resistant to certain types of meds. It takes them longer to find the right combination.

It has taken me going on a year and a half of this med then that. Up this med add this one then up it. So on and so forth.

It just takes time. It is a different story for everyone....

Hope you and your pdoc can find the right cocktail for you...
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by hal » Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:19 pm

On the other hand, once you find a combination that works, it might work for a long time. I've had that experience.
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Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone.
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by MochaAdmin » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:59 pm

As you can see by the other members' posts, it can take a while to find the right cocktail for some of us. Three months isn't very long.

I see that your pdoc has had you on several antipsychotics probably because of the psychosis, etc. And for sure they can make some of us feel flat and tired for a while.

There are many other meds out there to try. Mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants for instance. Maybe that's something you could talk to your pdoc about.

We all know the med go round is no picnic for sure.

I hope you'll find something that works for you soon.

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