My medication list for Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
I’m quite stable on my current medications, but it has taken quite a long time to get to the point. And it can vary wildly from person to person. It’s a frustrating process, but don’t give up finding what’s right for you.
Note: The comments I make about medications are based on my experience with them.
They effect everyone at least slightly differently, so I don’t suggest trying to get on the exact same things – or taking what I write as guidance for your own medication in general.
Also, don’t stop taking any medication that you are prescribed without talking to your doctor!
Current medications for Mental Health
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
“used to delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder”
For me, Lamictal helps reduce the frequency of my episodes. It especially reduces the depressive states. And I have no noticeable side effects.
It’s an absolutely great mood stabilizer for me.
- Brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
“an anti-psychotic that is also used together with other medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.”
Started this somewhat recently. So far, my mood has improved slightly and I’ve had no adverse affects. It may also be increasing my concentration and motivation. I’m looking forward to seeing more positives!
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
“used to treat panic disorder and anxiety”
For me, Klonopin is absolutely the best med I’ve tried for my anxiety. Just taking the same small dose twice every day keeps me calmer and feel more comfortable, both while alone and in public. Having conversations with people is somewhat easier, and it may even help slightly with my racing thoughts.I have been on and off it multiple times over the years.It also helps prevent me from becoming manic.
HOWEVER, the problem with these types of medications (benzodiazepines) is that they can be addictive and difficult to withdrawal from. I have personally experienced Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and I suggest that you consider your options before taking a benzo on a daily, long term basis. They are meant for short term and/or occasional use only. I am now also taking a natural stress relief supplement.
- Venlafaxine ER (Effexor XR)
“Treats depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. This medicine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).”
Effexor is working great to keep most of my depression away. My lows aren’t nearly as low, and I feel good at times. It also seems to help with my anxiety some, because I’ve been using less Klonopin.
Current Medications for Multiple Sclerosis and migraines (associated with MS)
- Dimethyl Fumarate (Tecfidera)
No idea if it’s working. It’s supposed to help prevent / slow relapses. Hopefully it is doing something though. MS sucks!
- Carisoprodol (Soma)
Muscle relaxer to help with spasticity etc. – it’s very effective, but I don’t use it too frequently, as it’s also supposedly addictive.
- (For moderate pain) Tramadol
It’s not nearly hydrocodone, or oxycodone. But it’s good enough for some things, like temporarily relieving my head until my nasal spray (below) hopefully gets rid of a migraine. I have to warn you that I developed Serotonin syndrome partially due to being on this medicine at the same time as my anti-depressants while I was switching them around!
- (For migraines) Topiramate (Topamax)
Using it as a preventative for my migraines. Seems to be working better than the others I used.
Some people also use this as a mood stabilizer, and have good experiences with it apparently.
- (For migraine relief/abortion) Dihydroergotamine Mesylate Spray (Migranal) <- Ask me how to say that.
Surprisingly works VERY well for me. It’s been wonderful. I’ve tried triptans etc. but nothing worked as fast or reliably.
Previous medications (for Mental Health, and other things)
Show previous medications
Sometimes get restlessness at night, where I feel the need to move around constantly. This makes it difficult to sleep.
However, it helped to control my hallucinations well.
“used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder”
I was on Risperidone for ~8 months and feel that it helped with my energy and paranoid/delusional thoughts.
However, I have read that there is a risk of – scarily – Gynecomastia, and weight gain.
Unfortunately I gained weight from this med and that’s why I’m no longer taking it.
“used as a sedative to treat anxiety and tension”
I’m kind of “iffy” about Vistaril. What is it, Benedryl on steroids? It raised my heart rate slightly, and sometimes made me a little drowsy but not enough to bother me. I took it as needed for an anti-anxiety boost.
I stopped using it because with the combination of Klonopin + Effexor, it seemed unnecessary; and this drug also wasn’t very strong in the first place.
BRAAAAAINNNNNS. Depakote made me feel and act like a zombie most of the time. Enough said.
I don’t remember Buspar doing anything good at all for me. But it was so long ago that I don’t have a clear memory of how I felt on it.
Paxil gave me ‘brain zaps‘ for a while. I believe it pushed me towards a manic state while not taking a mood stabilizer. And I also believe it caused some hair loss for me. So, no – not for Bipolar – or me, at least.
I had bad experiences with Seroquel. First of all, it made me very hungry and therefore gain weight. Most importantly, I feel that it made me have even stronger suicidal tendencies than I already have; and I actually overdosed on all of my meds while taking this, which caused me to stay away from medication period for around 2 years. Not good.
Ugh, I took Abilify for .. 3 days. I stopped on my own due to a terrible side effect. It made my grind my teeth, like crazy; I woke up in the morning with my whole mouth (teeth and jaw etc.) hurting like hell. Never again, for me!
While Lithium may have helped with stabilizing my moods slightly, I had too many side effects.
I also got tired of the weekly blood tests that my psychiatrist ordered to monitor the levels in my blood.
Tegretol, hmm. I don’t remember it helping me too much.
It was originally prescribed by my GP for headaches, which it is helped slightly. Also helped my mood as a bonus. Made me gain a lot of weight though.
A high blood pressure med. My blood pressure is fine though; it’s also used as a preventative for headaches/migraines. Unfortunately didn’t work very well for me.
Another antidepressant. I was on small dose as a sleep aid instead of it’s job being to regulate my depression. Gave me very vivid dreams. Something changed and I ended up not needing it.
I had the sublingual (under the tongue) tablets. Let me tell you, they taste horrid; it made my body tingle and shake slightly in rejection as it slowly dissolved. Aside from that, I felt like my brain had “salt” on it while taking this med — I’m really not sure how else to explain that, it was just a very strange feeling. Although it did relieve paranoia.
Xanax was a great anti-anxiety med. However, I feel that it is more suited for panic attacks, because it’s fast acting and the effects only last for a short period of time. It can also be addictive, and the withdrawal sucks.
Not bad. I think Wellbutrin may have actually helped me stop smoking for a while! And maybe even lose a little weight, unless it was just coincidence with other things that were going on in my life. I only stopped taking it when I overdosed on Seroquel, along with the rest of my old medications.
Previous medications (for Mental Health, and other things)