Multiple Medications for Multiple Disorders

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/19/2009 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I joined here a while back but never posted. Short background: Husband is Biopolar and ADHD. Was diag. over a year ago. Couldn't work for 2 years before filing for disability and actual was approved after only a 4 month wait. He is currently on Abilify 5mg, Concerta CR 30mg 2x day, Ritalin 10mg, Depakote 500mg 2x day, Cymbalta 27mg 2x day, Ativan 1 mg 2x day.
Although these medications have kept his mood swings in check they have literally made him unproductive and inactive. He can't seem to go more than 4-5 hours without having to sleep. I'm wondering if this is a case of him being over medicated. I know there are times when he doubles up on his dosages of Ritalin and Concerta because he runs out of them before the refill date.
He has taken some form of antidepressant and the Ativan for 10+ years and the other medication were prescribed when he was officially diag. with the ADHD and bipolar. The 2 years prior to this diag were bad and I had to fight him to go to the psych doctor and get the additionally medication and accept the Bipolar diag. So I really don't want to suggest that he is over medicated but it's kind of like living with a zombie, but better than before the medication with the mood swings.
Should I ever expect him to be more than what he is now on these medications? Or should I just resolve to the fact that he will be "out of it" for the rest of his life? His been on these medications for over a year and a half.
What kind of physical effect will all these medications have on his body over a long period of time? Is he likely to have physical problems in the future?
Just wondering if anyone has the dule diag. of ADHD and Bipolar and what types of medication they are prescribed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 2/20/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
wow that's a lot of medication. i know my husband sleeps a lot too, doesn't help with the depression when you're sleeping all the time. maybe talk to a doctor, can you introduce a vitamin that will give him energy like vitamin b? I take vitamin B50 and it works wonders!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 2/20/2009 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
He may not be overmedicated, but these aren't the ideal combo for him, obviously. Definitely let the doc know this is happening and let him/her know you don't want this. Insist on trying something different. He/she may only explain why this is the only combo that will work for your husband, but then you'll know why. Best case scenario -- you try a new med combo and find something that works better. He should not be a zombie for the rest of his life. If you aren't content with the answer, try a new psych.

There may be other causes though -- something to consider. I was way tired for several months. A zombie also. Sleeping in the middle of the day. Falling asleep in the car, while I was driving. Everyone said it was because I was over medicated. I'm on 5 meds. But it turned out I have sleep apnea. So after some tests I ended up with a CPAP machine and now I sleep just fine and am normal during the day. Does your husband snore heavily? Does he wake briefly with little jolts during the night?

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 2/23/2009 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   

How often does your husband see his pysch.?

Please make an appointment to see his psych. ASAP and please go with him.

Let the doctor know the effects this cocktail has on your husband. And like serafena suggested, if the doctor is not willing to work with you to try something new please go to a new doctor.

It doesn't sound like your husband is in a healthy place to make decisions for himself right now with these medications.

We need patient advocates to help us.  Please don't think that your husband has to live like this the rest of his life.  Help him and yourself.

Please keep us posted.


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