10 Jan 19: This web page is no longer being maintained.
The Living Manic Depressive website is still active, but the information on this page has been updated and moved to other places on the website.
Check the Drugs Menu item in the top Menu for information about Drugs and Therapy. Or return to the Living Manic Depressive Home Page.
Wondering about taking medications? Wondering if they will work, or what the side effects might be like? Here are my experiences with specific drugs and well as the information the doctors don’t quite get around to telling you about the drugs.
The section on Taking Drugs – Concerns discusses various issues related to the drugs we use, such as
- Do the Drugs Work?
- If I take the drugs, will everything is fine?
- Should I take medication? Is it safe?
- Should I take Medication or use Therapy?
In addition, I’ve written about my experiences with specific drugs such as Tegretol or Seroquel. My experiences are not comprehensive – the Crazy Meds website is better (see below for more info) – but it does give you a feel for what actually taking the drugs would be like. I’ve also tried Ketamine and a few other non-standard drugs and I’ve listed my experiences here as well.
Best Website for Information on Drugs
If you can’t find the information you are looking for here, check out Crazy Meds. They had the information on pretty much every drug that us bipolar / manic / depressed persons might be prescribed.
The information includes the standard uses for the drug, what the drug is supposed to do for us, all of the warnings about the drug, how it supposed to work, what the side effects are, and – the part I like best – a section called “Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably Won’t Tell You.”
Everything is written in language you and I can understand instead of the difficult to understand information you usually get on drug websites. If you are looking for drug information go there first.
Unfortunately Crazy Meds is no longer maintained by the original author, but the site kinda still exists. It is still worth a first look.
Best Document for the Big Picture on Being Bipolar
If you are trying to understand the big picture about the drugs that are used for treating bipolar / manic / depressed persons, check out Kevin Thompson (Ph. D.)’s Medicines for Mental Health website instead.
It is the most comprehensive document I’ve come across on the current understanding of bipolar disorder and the drugs being used to deal with the disease.
Unlike Crazy Meds, it doesn’t deal with the details of specific drugs, but rather the various classes of drugs (SSRIs, MAOIs, anticonvulsants, etc.) and why they are being used to treat mania or depression symptoms. His document also explains in pretty clear language the available research on what is thought to be going on in your head, so you don’t have to wade through reams of scientific documents.
This is not exactly a short read, but it IS well worth reading. If nothing else, read the Introduction and browse the sections on Depression and Bipolar Disorder and particularly the parts about the drugs that are used. They provide a good grounding on how the drugs we take are thought to work to ease depression and mania, and their advantages and disadvantages.
You may have to read one or two paragraphs twice to fully grasp them, but this is as clear a description as you are going to get. That’s all stuff we really need to know. How else are we going to take control of our mood swings – and our lives?