Thinking of going back on Tegretol - what do you think?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 5/14/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey, hope all is well with you guys.
I have done some research on Tegretol and pregnancy.  I am 18 weeks and all the research says that Tegretol causes birth defects during the first 3 months of pregnancy.  So I am thinking of talking to my Psych and seeing what he thinks about me going back on the Tegretol.  I just can't take it anymore.  This pregnancy is so much worse than my first one.  I can't even enjoy being pregnant or my 9 month old feeling depressed so much.  I am down 3 - 4 days out of each week.  My Psych increased my Seroquel to control the mania and that is under control but the depression just keeps getting worse.  I simply cannot take it anymore.  I feel like I am missing out on life!!  I can barely keep from cutting myself anymore.  Yesterday, my sister and neice came by my parents for a visit and I couldn't visit with them because I felt so bad and couldn't stand being around people.  I am tired of fighting it; it is wearing me thin.  It is even hard to eat anymore and that is not good for my unborn child either.  Something has to be done. 
What do you think?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 5/14/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I suggest you read - buy - Kristen Finn's book BiPolar and Pregnant: How to Manage and Succeed in in Planning & Parenting with Manic Depression

It is collaboration of research by genetic researchers, psycholgists, psychiatric researchers and providers, and real patients. It is a support group in a book style reading, that was presented by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance as on-line educational event last Feb.

I would suggest you avoid tegretol since it well known for causing spina bifida (where the spinal cord is outside the body.) Try lithium, it appears safe. Do not take Tegretol,depakote, and Lamictal all are shown to have a high propencity for malformations. I have a friend , bipolar who took lamicatal while carring twiins. One has three kidneys that are all not working properly and one had to be removed- she will need a transplant. Her brother has missing fingers and claws shapped hands as well as learning disabilaties. They are still great kids, 8 years now, and it is fun to see how they have overcome their handicaps. The little boy has had a few surgeiries and can even do the monkey bars!

I would try to stay off those drugs, try something new even. Keep us updateed on your pregnancy, I for one am very proud of you and think you are amazing.


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 5/14/2008 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, quietpain.  Thank you. :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/14/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I took lamictal while pregnant and everything was fine. My research showed quite the opposite. The rate of malformities was very nearly the same as it was for patients not taking any medication at all. Talk to your doctor, as always.
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 5/17/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   

They usually discourage you taking most of these meds in your 1st trimester, but some of them are okay to take after that. I think that Lamictal is one of them, but I am not sure about Tegretol. I know that Lithium or Depakote are not good to take during pregnancy. You should talk to your pdoc about it, I know there is something out there for you. Hang in there.


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~Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. ~Robert Rodriguez

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 5/17/2008 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish there something that we could all do to make you feel better, to take the depression away. But as quietpain said, you are an amazing woman. You are strong. You have made it this far. Try to hang in there until you can see your pdoc again. Definately talk to him and see what you can take. He may suggest something totally different. But he definately needs to know. I am sorry you are suffering so much. But remember we are here for you any time you need us.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!

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