This post is in response to a question by bpnurse’s The Klonopin Chronicles. I was writing it as a reply but it got so big I turned it into a post.
My meds…. Let’s see.
I’m on Lithium (mood stabilizer) 300 mg in the morning and 600 mg at night. I’ve been on that for a little more than a year and it seems to be working very well. It was added to my other meds when I my diagnosis was changed from psychotic depression to Bipolar II. I have the “Lithium Tremors” which usually get me when I’m tired or have had too much caffeine. They make it hard to type and control a mouse, hold a glass, fork spoon etc. and don’t even try to type on a cell phone. But, like I said, it works well so I deal with the side effects.
Next is Nortriptyline an older anti-depressant that my psych-doc in San Diego put me on two and a half years ago when my diagnosis was psychotic depression. 125 mg at night. It’s been working pretty well, I had a large bout of depression earlier this year and was having problems sleeping and I was using more ambien than I or my psych-doc was comfortable with so he added the next medication.
Amitriptyline, which is also an older anti-depressant. It has a hypnotic effect, or, it helps me get to sleep and stay asleep at night. It also synthesizes into Nortriptyline in the liver. I that 75 mg of that every night, so it’s the same as taking 200 mg of Nortriptyline. My psych-doc killed 2 birds with 1 stone. Upped my anti-depressant to pull me out of my funk and helped me get sleep without the use of a narcotic sleep aid.
The last psychiatric med I’m on is Abilify. 15 mg every night. Abilify is an anti-psychotic that is working about 95% of the time. I have breakthrough psychosis, but I have learned to deal with them. Sometimes they freak me out but it doesn’t happen very often. I was put on Abilify in San Diego as well. Since my Manic episodes tend toward full blow psychoses the Abilify is there to keep the psychoses and manic episodes in check.
Before this particular cocktail was found, I was on a handful of other things like Lamictal (bad rash and sores), seroquel, zyprexa, prozac, effexor and zoloft.
The last time I talked with my psych-doc, I told him that he was well regarded in mu NAMI peer support group because most of them had him treat them when they were in-patient and we got on the subject of how he prescribes medication. He said that he likes to think of himself as a chef because he treats each patient differently and tweaks their medication until it works. I’m not sure the metaphor exactly works but I can say he has done that with me and after a year of tweaking, I think he has found the right combination.