Meds 4 Life

October 11, 2009

Can I stop taking drugs if I feel better?

Here’s an abrupt answer from WebMD:

Anyone who has experienced two to three episodes of bipolar disorder is considered a long-term — if not lifetime — bipolar patient. That person should have maintenance therapy. Once your doctor has helped stabilize the moods of the acute phase of the disorder (either a manic or depressive episode), drug therapy is continued indefinitely — often at lower doses.

People with bipolar disorder may take lifelong lithium as maintenance therapy to prevent relapses. When lithium treatment stops, relapses can occur within six months in 90% of patients. Moreover, subsequent lithium treatment and other treatments are less likely to be effective.

WebMD doesn’t cite their sources, so take this with a grain of sodium.

What about if a woman with bipolar wants to get pregnant?  Or don’t I even want to know?

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3 Responses to “Meds 4 Life”

  1. […] from the black & white cookie, which explains why bipolar individuals CANNOT stop their meds! Meds 4 Life Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)1,000 WordsSide Effect: Weight […]

  2. This WebMD entry is indeed both dated and Intro to Bipolar lite.

    Everyone with Bipolar doesn’t need –or want– lithium.

    There are some really good (and some really bad!`) meds for the disease. Everyone is different and our neuropathways, brain and body chemistry is totally different, obviously. Everyone needs a medical professional, or two, to help find and maintain the right medication at the right doses.

    And, don’t get me started about the U.S. insurance company-based healthcare system that doesn’t allow this or that medication in their formulary — or about so many people having no healthcare coverage or assistance at all and no money for meds. UGH!

  3. janusjana said

    Thanks for the link…. My main trouble has been communication with my psychiatrist — I’ve done so much reading online, that when he tells me “go on lithium”, I really want him to tell me his reasoning. I’ve been able to get it out of him, with great effort.

    All that said, the lithium is helping!

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