Sunday, May 6, 2012

Need to Increase Your Dose of Bipolar Medications?

Do Your Bipolar Disorder Medications Need to Be Adjusted

After a long episode of bipolar depression, and many visits to a new psychiatrist who tried a number of medication changes, we finally hit on a winning combo, and, to my surprise, it was the same meds I had been taking for years, but at a higher dose. I guess the solution does not always need to be complicated.

For the past few years I had been on:
  • Seroquel ER 100mg
  • Wellbutrin SR 150mg

Then the protracted episode of depression, and mixed episodes hit. I first asked my general practitioner to try a few things. He first had me take Zyrtec (with very bad results), then Prozac, then 2 Prozac, but it wasn't resolving the depression. I was referred to a psychiatrist who immediately increased my dose of Seroquel, and tried a few things I can't even remember to manage the depression, but, again, no dice. The psychiatrist then suggested just upping my dose of Wellbutrin. I wasn't that enthusiastic, but was running out of options. Surprise. It worked!

Now I am on:
  • Seroquel ER 200mg (taken at bed time)
  • Wellbutrin SR 300mg (taken in the morning)

If you are currently having problems managing your bipolar disorder, you may want to ask your psychiatrist if an increase in dose might be helpful, but DON'T increase your meds without first discussing it with you psychiatrist!

Good luck! If you have had a medication adjustment that worked, or didn't work, for your bipolar, please post a comment and share your experience.

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional, not a computer.


  1. I am a 30 year old wife and mother of three wonderful children. I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder about 4 weeks ago. Thought it was painfully obvious that I have been having symptoms of it for at least 12 years. 2 Weeks before getting diagnosed I just got out of hospital after 5 1/2 weeks. I am currently taking the same meds as you are. 300mg wellbutrin in the am and 200 mg of seroquel before bed. Added to that combo is 1/2 zopliclon ( sleeping pill) and adivan as needed. It definitely has been helping me. Thought I am very shakey. I went into Hypomania about 2 weeks ago, took on a ton of new projects and just cannot stop, and other symptoms as well. I gave my therapist permission to call my phychatrist, so I am assuming I will get a med change in the comming week. Really hoping he will call tomorrow because I am quite nervous.

  2. Xaleah -

    Thanks for your post! Glad you finally got diagnosed. Sounds like you are on the right track with your meds. Just a little tweaking now to help eliminate the hypomanic jitters. Make sure to get enough sleep at night. Lack of sleep can throw you into even worse mania. Good luck!

  3. Hi, I don't usually comment on blogs, forums, or any other types of social media, don't even have a facebook account, but after stumbling upon your blog I just wanted to let you know that I am grateful for your time and effort on this blog. Last week I was diagnosed with Bipolar II and ADHD, and have been doing some research on the Bipolar subject, already know enough about ADHD (enough for now). I had break emotional/mental break down in school last month and went a walk in clinic for anxiety. I always thought I had an attention problem, after graduating from high school 8 years ago I have made many attempts to get my college degree but never was able to stay interested enough to go back the following semesters. But this time I was determined to follow through and finish. Winter semester was difficult (focusing), kept procrastinating and getting behind, but was able to catch up and finish all the classes. I told myself that spring would be better, I will stay on top and not only finish but also get A's. But like usual, I kept putting assignments off, until the anxiety was too much and I couldn't get myself to catch up.
    While I was waiting to speak to a doctor I did some research on ADHD, and didn't expect to get any other diagnosis. I didn't even know exactly what bipolar disorder was until I was told I had it, but now I can make a lot more sense of my life after reading other peoples personal account of their life. Reading medical articles doesn't help nearly as much as reading your blog, I can relate with what you have mentioned about your life. I never thought I was hypomanic, I thought that my actions were different from others but not a symptom of a disorder. I could write a short novel on bad/irrational decisions that I made on an impulse, that left me in regret. But even after being diagnosed by a psychiatrist I had doubts on his diagnosis, but again after reading personal story's such as yours, I feel more confident in his diagnosis. His suggested medication for my bipolar disorder was lamotrigine and Seroquel, and then treat the ADHD later.
    I'm sorry for the rambling, I haven't had a chance to talk about this with anyone yet, not even friend or family, don't know if I even really want to (but that might change). I still haven't taken any medication except for the adivan that was prescribed at the clinic, so I am still "cycling", often, sometimes mixed, other times just confused and numb. But what really inspired my to write to you was your list of songs that you like, I don't come across a lot of people that like Psycho Killer, that is one of a few songs that I can enjoy whether I'm hypomanic or depressed. Thanks again -Tim

    1. Ficklepickle Tim- Thanks so much for your comment. I am so glad that you have found the information on this blog helpful! I think that people with bipolar disorder can help each other by communicating their experiences. Maybe by learning from others bad times and good decisions we can avoid some of the suffering that comes with this disorder.

      Seroquel is a really good med for bipolar, at least it has been for me. It will make you really sleepy, but that goes away after your body adjusts to the meds. I take it at night. It helps me slow down and sleep.

      Good luck. Now that you are diagnosed and are being treated, things should get a lot more stable for you overall.