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A mood stabilizer that doesn't make you gain weight? Is there one?

Is there such a thing as a mood stabilizer that doesn't increase your weight?  I am so fed up, I put on loads of weight with the depakote, since coming off it I have lost some of it and now they want me to go on zyprexa which is another one for gaining weight.

If any of you know of one please let me know so I can discuss it with the psych next time I go.

Cheers

Helen
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212753 tn?1275073111
I take zyprexa and I did gain weight at first but I have since lost the extra I gained through 6 small meals a day and walkingfor at least 30 minutes a day.  You can keep the weight off wiwth zyprexa. It just takes a little more effort but It is sooooo worth. The last time I decided to go off my zyprexa some of my reasoning was the weight I had the worst manic episode,I ended  up in jail for kicking a police offecer in the doogies and I had to ask myself while I was sitting in that jail cell Do I want to be skinny and be over the top bi polar or be stable,noram, and carry some weight.
Unforunatly most mood stabilzers can cuase weight gain but diet and exercise can take care of that.
Now since you on depakote,be sure to have your thryoid tested.Depakote and lithium both destroy the thyroid and that will worsen your bi polar or give you bi polar symptoms when you never had them before.
Good luvk to you.
Love Venora
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Avatar universal
I was on depakote and seroquel and gained 30 lbs. in 2 months.  I am off those now and taking Lamictal and Lexapro.  I lost 12 lbs. in the first 2 weeks and am continuing to lose 1-2 lbs. a week.  I'm not so hungry all the time, and I have more energy to exercise 30 min a day most days of the week.

They seem to have no side effects for me, at least.
I take the Lamictal in the morning because it seems to keep me awake, and the Lexapro at night because it tends to make me sleepy.
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Avatar universal
Hey....wow....I am also losing weight fast after ceasing use of Depakoate (a.k.a. "Depabloat").  I hear that Lamictal is good, but I haven't tried it yet.  I have BP1 and not sure if they treat my type with this med but I am searching for one that won't cause weight gain, or make me foggy, drained, etc.  I also take Wellbutrin, which works very well for me (after trying several others that didn't, such as Lexapro and Cymbalta).  Now I need something to replace the Depakote.  I stopped it three weeks ago and have lost 9 lbs of the 35 that I gained from the drug.  I feel so much bettter!!  But I can't stay off of treatment for long.  Tell me, please, about your experience with Lamictal...thanks
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Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for the advice.  After yet another night with no sleep I have decided I will give the Zyprexa a go.  I shall keep an eye on my diet and do regular exercise.  I agree with your way of thinking, perhaps it is better to be a little heavier and not having the extreme mood swings than thin and up and down!

I hadn't realised depakote could do that to the thyroid, I was on it for 18 months and gained more weight in the last 3 months of taking it than I had in the whole previous 15 months.  I read that you should have your bloods done about every 6 months but I only had mine checked before starting the med and haven't had a blood test since.  I am going to see my doctor next week so I shall ask for one.

Thanks.  Helen
Helpful - 0
447130 tn?1225470866
Supposedly the 2 newer ones Geodon and Abilify cause the least amount of weight gain if any. I read about them in a study and the best was Geodon with no incidence of weight gain, and Abilify had very little chance of weight gain. The older drugs tend to cause more weight gain.
However; having said that I attended a Bipolar support group meeting and we voted on this issue and only one out of 22 people would rather be sick than be healthy and gain a few pounds. I think with this disease vanity has to take a back seat. I also think if you exercise and try to eat right you can cut back on the amount of weight you may gain. Lastly, depakote tends to cause less weight gain in men than women. That was also per a study I read from one of the universities. If you google mood stabelizers and weight gain you might find some of the same studies I found.
Best of luck!!
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447130 tn?1225470866
You know that's funny you mention you like Lamictal. I have as of yet heard one bad thing about Lamictal. It seems everyone who is on it, loves it. I never tried it because I found another drug that worked but it was going to be my second line of defense if this drug didn't work!
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Avatar universal
I've been on Lamictal for several weeks now and so far, so good.  I don't notice any side effects from it.  I have read on these boards that Lamictal "might" cause thinning hair in some people  -- it may just be the power of suggestion but I'm not sure if my hair might be thinning somewhat.  I've never had a lot of hair so it's hard to tell.  In any case, it's nothing noticeable right now so it might be my imagination.

The weight is not coming off so fast now as it did the first couple of weeks, but at least I am not gaining any more and my appetite is under control, and I have the energy to keep up with my exercise routine (45 min. five or six days a week -- using home aerobic videotapes).  Keep in mind that I am a woman, 59 yrs. old, so weight loss is always harder for a woman and especially for an older woman like me!  But at least my clothes fit again and I like myself a lot better now.

Best of luck you you!
Helpful - 0
547573 tn?1234655710
Namaste,
Two mood stabilizers which seldom cause weight gain are lamictal(a mood stabilizer) and topamax(an anti-convulsant).
Actually, topomax is known to cause weight loss.
These are two medications you might want to talk with your doctor about.

Michael
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Avatar universal
Thanks for that, I shall definitely mention those, not sure whether or not they are licensed in the UK, I think topomax is.

Helen
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Avatar universal
hi there, i to was also on depakote and i put on heaps of weight. i also got bad fluid retention in the ankles and wrists. i went from being a trim size 12 to a huge size 26 within 6 months. i felt absolutely miserable . i took myelf of the drug and i got a new doctor who put me on lithicarb which seems to be ok so far. i am still trying to lose the weight from the depakote by walking everyday and haveing a restricted diet. i am bipolar type 2.
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Avatar universal
I take lamictal and have had no weight gain or other side effects. It is a good mood stabilizer.
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Avatar universal
I take lamotrigine, trazodone, and abilify without any weight issues. I am a size 6.
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Avatar universal
Trileptal is another anti-convulsant that was popular back in the early 2000's for bi-polar.  That was when I was put on it and have been on it since.  It has not caused any weight gain for me whatsoever, and from my reading it appears to generally be weight neutral for everyone.

However, according to my doctor, it is not as popular for bi-polar anymore and is only a secondary option nowadays, but you can still ask about it.
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Avatar universal
I am on Haldol and Topamax and I am losing weight. I have Bipolar 1 psychotic disorder and it helps me a lot. Haldol makes me lose my appetite and so does the topamax so I want to eat less. They both decrease my weight. It is another two to try. I lost 17, 18 lbs so far and I am working out at the gym.
I agree that exercising is a really good thing. I know to stay on meds because I have a similar disorder to you, but it is bipolar with psychotic features. I take 10mg of Haldol and 200mg of Topamax plus I do take xanax for anxiety but I am careful to only take that as needed because that is the one pill that makes me want to eat, but it does relieve anxiety and makes me feel euphoric.
PS I was on depakote but for some reason didn't get heavier. It was the strangest darn thing ever. In fact I lost my appetite on that one too. I guess everyone is different
Love,
Linda Marie Jourdain
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Avatar universal
IF YOU WANT ANYTHING OUT OF LIFE YOU HAVE TO BE A FIGHTER
(much more happened between all of this but here is the short version)

I am 24, have a 3 year old daughter and am dysphoric mania schizoaffective bipolar. It *****.  I ended up getting postpartum psychosis after I had my daughter and would stand over her crib all night so aliens wouldnt abduct her..not to mention the grusome thoughts that pop into your head when you have postpartum...I was a wreck but sought help for this, I refused to take any meds when I was Pregnant and while breastfeeding...if I was going to do something right this would be it! After she weaned herself I was put on setraline 100mg, seroquel 100mg, lithium 900mg, and ativan(I cant remember the dosage as it was PRN)...after 6 years, I ended up breaking up with my daughters father just after her 1st birthday...not that I wanted the unsupportive drunk anyway, but he ended up running out and getting another woman pregnant within a month, I had a breakdown...I left my daughter with my mom and dad and went on a binge, cocaine, acid, alcohol...Im sure I was trying to kill myself, and I stopped taking my meds I was usless for 8 months as a mother and a human being and lost 60lbs putting me at 220lbs...I ended up hopitalised for the 13th time in my life and decided I needed to be there for my daughter...It was very hard to bond with her as psychosis would take over and I wasnt sure if she exsisted or not...I wasnt sure if anyone actually exsisted...Now I am on 100mg of geodon spreadout throughout the day 900mg of lithium, 150mg of wellbutrin and 5mcg of cytomel(thyroid hormone)I ended up gaining my 60lbs back ....Now.I push through it and work casual as a care aid(and graduated college for this certificate) which works great for me because im busy and not left alone with my thoughts. I have always been a good worker and had a job(except when im in the hospital).My new boyffriend of a year and a half finds it hard when i call him at 3 am when hes out of town at work and I call him about aliens outside of the house or me running out to the sidewalk with a knife because they are trying to get in our house, or me seeing ghosts in the care home, or the many delusions of why he is out cheating on me in BC rather then at work for the week(we live in saskatchewan) I do find that I have aside from the distortions of perseption and parinoia a very hard time with empathy and sympathy. I had a very hard time connecting with others emotions. I am 5'10 and weight 245lbs...5 months ago I weighed 285...I find that exercising regularily and pushing myself to do it as the geodon makes me just as sleepy as seroquel or risperadol, and eating a high protien diet helps to make me feel full as well as keeps the weight coming off...its not easy, Ive struggled with weight my whole life and lithium makes it very hard to come off...I just beleive if u keep on it it will happen and watch what you eat because we crave carbs when we are on sedating meds...but sanity is much more important then immediate weight loss!
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Avatar universal
That is a very interesting story and quite moving.. I'm glad for your sanity and your beautiful daughter. I was on Lithium and it worked but made me feel really numb so I realized I had to put up with a few ups and downs to be emotionally normal because I don't like feeling flat. I found something else though that keeps my mind in check but doesn't affect my weight negatively, but I exercise also and eat right. I'm on 10 mg of Haldol, 200 mg of Topamax and 2mg of Xanax for anxiety and that places me at the right state of mind. I just take the xanax as neeeded though so I don't get addicted. You seem you are in the right place and you finally found what you needed and you are very brave for having kids with a mental illness because I don't know if I could do that with my condition the way it is.
Thanks for your story.
Love,
Linda
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599945 tn?1240382354
i was also going to recommend topamax. it does not cause weight gain and of all of them i have found it very effective. good luck with it. prozac with mood stabilizer doesn't cause weight gain either.
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Avatar universal
Lamictal :)
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Avatar universal
Lamictal is also an anticonvulsant.
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Avatar universal
Lamictal also doesn't cause weight gain and topamax is an anticonvulsant
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3136619 tn?1345387321
Trileptal has a lower incidence of weight gain.
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Avatar universal
The biggest issue with Lamictal is "the lamictal rash," but this is actually usually either very temporary or the sign of a serious allergic reaction (like it was for me) I got awful purple splotches head to toe that itched and then eventually hurt like bruises. I wish I wasn't allergic because I gained 40 pounds while taking Seroquel over a six month period!  
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Avatar universal
I have BP1 and I take Lamictal. However, it works best on depression, not so well for mania,
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Avatar universal
Lamictal isn't supposed to cause weight gain, but since I've been on it (5 months) I have gained 30 lbs and gone up two sizes. None of my clothes fit anymore. And the rate of weight gain seems to be increasing, not decreasing.
No change in my other meds, diet, or exercise level.
From reading around the Internet, it seems lamictal is commonly weight-neutral but does cause weight gain in some people.
In my case, enough to cause enough weight-related health risks and self-esteem issues, I am going to go off it.
Helpful - 0
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