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Tegretol and mood disorders ?

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I've been taking Tegretol XR 200mg for 2 years now for controlling Non-Complex Partial Seizure. It's working wonderfully. I'm going to see Psychiatrist on 16th to discuss treatment for BiPolar Disorder (recently diagnosed) on the 16th and am hopeful both can be treated with Tegretol, in that I've seen Tegretol as being a successful treatment of both epilepsy and bipolar. How effective is Tegretol in treating BiPolar (BiPolar II)? What is your experience with Tegretol and mood disorders?

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replied December 2nd, 2009
Bipolar Disorder Answer A8169

Tegretol can be as effective as any other mood stabilizer for acute management of the symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder. And there is strong evidence for its clinical efficacy. But the side effect profile of Tegretol makes it a second choice drug for mood disorders. Most practitioners use Tegretol in treatment resistant cases of BD II or BD I.

Having said that, since ou are already taking Tegretol XR for Non-Complex Partial Seizures, your psychiatrist might decide in favor of Tegretol, depending upon the severity of your BD II symptoms. And even in that case, you may need to take higher doses for the BD II, as 200mg is often the starting dose.

In my clinical experience so far, I have noticed that patients taking Tegretol for their Bipolar Disorder (either I or II) are managed quite well and also have a regular follow-up with long term maintenance doses. They also seem to have minor, if any, side effects. They are advised regular blood work to detect any subtle changes in the blood picture due to Tegretol.

I have also observed, and there is evidence to it in research literature (Bowden CL, 2009), that Tegretol may not be so effective for bipolar depression and/or bipolar disorder with predominantly depressive episodes. Divalproex Sodium is a better alternative in such cases.

Hope this information helps you.


Abhijeet Deshmukh, MD

This post is for the purpose of providing medical information and is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a doctor. This post is neither intended to give or rule out a diagnosis, nor to create a doctor-patient relationship.

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