Being forced off lithium after 35 years I am looking for the best substitute for lithium. I am bipolar manic.
Hi, Ginsmi! Tegretol is not as commonly prescribed as Topamax and Lamictal but it's also in the anticonvulsant class. Another option might be Depakote.
Bummer you're off lithium! It's the only medication that controls my severe mood swings and anger/hostility issues.
Best wishes and good luck. WCV
Tegretol worked very well for my bipolar. I was having mixed episodes and for the first time I leveled off and felt the most normal I had in a long, long time so I think that it is a great choice for bipolar mania.
The only problem I had was a bad reaction that about 7% of people have so I had to stop taking it. Of all the other things I have tried nothing has worked as well for me as the Tegretol did for calming down my mania.
Everyone reacts to different meds differently. I personally have been tried on so many I have lost count. I do remember that I did try Tegretol, but had some painful side effects. It was summertime, I lived at the ocean at that time, and if I went outside, even if all possible exposed skin was covered up, it hurt badly in the sun.The doctor took me off Tegretol immediately. And it was on to trying the next med. I felt like a guinea pig on a mood swing roller coaster. I just know what I take now, and it works great in my opinion. I actually feel like as long as I don't forget to take my meds, everything is pretty much back on track. I now take Topamax.
And it not only controls my bipolar mania, but because for a physical problem that I have with my feet and legs I have to take an antiseizure medication, Topamax has that covered too! Two medications in one!
Now, I won't lie, I do get anxiety attacks from time to time, but my doctor just added on some Xanax to take care of that. It works quick.
The Best thing about Topamax, is the One thing it doesn't do, it doesn't cause all that weight gain that all those other meds I took for bipolar caused! As a matter of fact, Topamax took that added weight off! YEA! That was a big plus! It also helps you feel a little better about yourself, and when you do, a little less depression too!
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