Best mood stabilizer for a WOMAN??

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BerryBlonde81
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 5/11/2011 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Currently riding the withdrawal wagon of Paxil after it pooped out on me, starting Cymbalta the same time (see signature), my moods are swinging so much every day from very angry/irritated/aggitated, to depressed/hopeless/crying, to periods of "normal" (short lived) maybe this is what is referred to as cycling, I dont know. I have BP II.

Anyway, I need to get information on the best mood stabilizer for a woman, I am not going to have any more babies, I have 3, and I am considering Depakote increase, or trying Lamictal?

Any suggestions??

Thanks in advance!<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
Bipolar II - Second Opinion Diagnosed 4/11/2011
Fibromyalgia - Diagnosed 12/2009

Zoloft 1996-2002?
Paxil 20mg 2002?-2011
Paxil 30mg 1/28/11-4/4/11 - increase not helpful; more anxiety; backed down to 20mg nightly
Switching Meds:
4/11/11 Paxil 20mg; Cymbalta 30mg nightly
4/18/11 Paxil 10mg; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
4/24/11 No Paxil; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
Klonopin .5 as needed

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 5/12/2011 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
1 vote for Lamictal
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Lamictal 250mg,
Seroquel XR 300mg,
Lithium 1,050 mg,
Celexa 20 mg,
Loratidine 10 mg,
Klonopin 0.25mg - 2.0 mg as needed

BerryBlonde81
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 5/12/2011 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I am leaning that way myself, I have my doc appt on 5/16, and we will be talking about it...I hope/assume that the extreme mood swings I am having are from the paxil withdrawal, because I have never had issues with swinging into several moods every single day! So far (fingers crossed/and praying) I have only had 2 episodes, which I felt were just nervous breakdowns, but I guess that is actually a bipolar episode...i hope its normal/common to have a long span in between episodes, mine were caused by extreme stress both times. I am on tiny amount of depakote, which doc says is not enough to do squat, have been on that for years, if I tried in the past to raise it, my anxiety sets in and I have a total freak out panic. So, I am going to do my best to stay offline searching for side effects, etc! That is a compulsion and makes me feel much worse so I dont know why I do it.....I read Lamictal is better for the ladies, and I would want to start out REALLY slow -- have you had any negative effects from it?? I want to take the lowest dose that will benefit me...
Bipolar II - Second Opinion Diagnosed 4/11/2011
Fibromyalgia - Diagnosed 12/2009

Zoloft 1996-2002?
Paxil 20mg 2002?-2011
Paxil 30mg 1/28/11-4/4/11 - increase not helpful; more anxiety; backed down to 20mg nightly
Switching Meds:
4/11/11 Paxil 20mg; Cymbalta 30mg nightly
4/18/11 Paxil 10mg; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
4/24/11 No Paxil; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
Klonopin .5 as needed

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 5/12/2011 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Lamictal you have to start REALLY slow to minimize side effects. There is a rash that is very rare but can be fatal. Starts at 25 mg and takes 2 months? to get up to 150 mg which is still fairly low.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

Lamictal 250mg,
Seroquel XR 300mg,
Lithium 1,050 mg,
Celexa 20 mg,
Loratidine 10 mg,
Klonopin 0.25mg - 2.0 mg as needed

BerryBlonde81
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 5/12/2011 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Can you tell me how soon you felt more "stabile"?
Bipolar II - Second Opinion Diagnosed 4/11/2011
Fibromyalgia - Diagnosed 12/2009

Zoloft 1996-2002?
Paxil 20mg 2002?-2011
Paxil 30mg 1/28/11-4/4/11 - increase not helpful; more anxiety; backed down to 20mg nightly
Switching Meds:
4/11/11 Paxil 20mg; Cymbalta 30mg nightly
4/18/11 Paxil 10mg; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
4/24/11 No Paxil; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
Klonopin .5 as needed

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 611
   Posted 5/12/2011 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Lamictal is the best mood stabilizer out there; it has a low side effect profile (if you do not get "the rash" which is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome that can be fatal but it is very rare and if you stop upon first notice you are out of the woods most times), and it may help chronic pain like fibromyalgia. Cymbalta was a step in the right direction because you need to try agents that have a pain controlling effect due to your circumstances. Lyrica and Neurontin have a mild mood stailizing effect mostly when added on to a base stabilizer like Depakote. Depakote has drawbacks for you because one; it has not shown to be a great adjuvant analgesic for chronic pain conditions other than headaches, two, it has a high side effect profile in higher doses. a med that can double for a stabilizer and a fibro. matinence med is ideal. Trileptal which is closely related to Tegretol but it does not have the effect on blood cells so unlike with Tegretol no blood work every 3 months is needed. Trileptal can be used with Cymbalta and Lyrica. that whould help the fibro. but possiblely not be a strong enough stabilzer with that and Lamictal is a great stabilizer and has under-rated pain controlling effects (it has some effect on one of the opioid receptors). you have multiple options so find a doctor that has experience with chronic pain and psychopharmacology, that is not easy but they are out there. some psychiatrist, rheumatologist, or even ask the local pharmacist which bi-polar meds are selling the most and same with chronic pain meds, new ones are right around the corner. watch out for ZYPREXA, i think it may be dangerous, it is basically the schizophrenic med Clozaril or Clozapine in generic.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: MScontin 100mg q8hrs. , dilaudid 8mg q6hrs. prn, oxymorphone IR 10mg q6 ,vistaril 50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Elavil 25 HS, diazepam 10mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 1000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, ALA

BerryBlonde81
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 5/12/2011 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow SS thank you so much for that information, I am still leary of the Cymbalta as I have not received any pain helping effects yet; I am hoping that it is still just early in my starting the meds, would love to be having less pain!!! If I can stop cycling with my moods from the paxil w/d I think that I will be able to see that Cymbalta is helping, right now I keep concentrated unfortunatly on what I feel from coming off paxil, which sucks. I keep reading and hearing about trying Lamictal and that the side effect profile sounds good except rash -- I would pray that the rash would stay away!! Just need to get stabile for my family and for me I just want to feel back to normal like I felt for so long inbetween my first and second episode has been 4 years..... thanks again soo much for all replies!
Bipolar II - Second Opinion Diagnosed 4/11/2011
Fibromyalgia - Diagnosed 12/2009

Zoloft 1996-2002?
Paxil 20mg 2002?-2011
Paxil 30mg 1/28/11-4/4/11 - increase not helpful; more anxiety; backed down to 20mg nightly
Switching Meds:
4/11/11 Paxil 20mg; Cymbalta 30mg nightly
4/18/11 Paxil 10mg; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
4/24/11 No Paxil; Cymbalta 60mg nightly
Klonopin .5 as needed
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