Any Other Meds that Would Not Make Me Gain Weight or Feel Sleepy?
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Q:  Any Other Meds that Would Not Make Me Gain Weight or Feel Sleepy?


I take Abilify 5mg and Cymbalta 60mg qd. My mood swings stabilized but I have gained 55 lbs over the last few years and I often feel tired---so I sleep a lot.  Lithium,topamax,depakote are meds that I cannot tolerate for various reasons. Can you suggest anything else that I could take that would not make me gain weight or feel sleepy?

First you need to determine which medication is causing the fatigue and weight gain.  Neither the Cymbalta or Abilify typically cause these side effects, but I would suspect the Abilify. You would need to transition to another mood stabilizer, and I would start with Trileptal since you cannot take Lithum or Depakote.  Next you could consider Geodon as it seems to have the least weight gain problems (besides Abilify) of the atypical antipsychotics. If the culprit is the Cymbalta,  I would think about Effexor since it is also a SNRI similar to Cymbalta.  You would need to be careful though because Effexor has been shown to cause the greatest mood instability when used in bipolar illness.

Dr. Plyler

Published October, 2011


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