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Early signs of mania

Aug 31, 2005

Dear Dr Howarth,

I am a Bipolar mixed affective type and am noticing early signs of mania within myself. I am very compliant to my meds. I take Lamotrogine 75mg 3 times daily, Trazadone 400mg at night and 15mg Zoplicone. I was diagnosed HIV on the 7th June this year. I agreed to take part in a drug trial and am taking sustiva 600mg, videx 400mg, Epivir 300mg and kaletra 400mg twice daily. I am also getting sustanon which is an anabolic testosterone replacement therapy here in europe 250mg every two weeks due to very low testosterone levels. I am also on tramadol 50mg 4 times a day. Now from what I understand a modd stabilisier should counteract any mania induced by anabolic steroids. I am worried that either the tramadol or the sustiva is the root cause of this early mania. My viral load was 5,000,000 and is now at 500,000 and my cd4 is at 850.I have had experience in the past due to kidney stones and morphine for pain relief that it induced mania and tramadol is an opiate. Or could it be the sustiva, I have had none of the side effects listed as commmon with sustiva ie nightmares , depression etc. In fact I have remained pretty much side effect free to date. I am concerned also as I have just recently moved to holland and lamotrogine is unknown here I have gone down the ususal route of lithium, valproate etc. and found lamotrogine the most effective. I also had a severe mental as opposed to physical anxiety attack last week and my doctor prescribed proporpanol for it? i would have though olanzapine would have been more effective? Do you feel I am having a mood swing infliceted by sustiva or am i just normal cycling for my type of BI Polar? The earliest appointment I can get with a psychiatrist here is not until the first week of september as everything shuts for the month of August here. I am worried by then I will be in the middle of a full blown manic phase. Could you be so kind to give me your opinion on this matter?

Kind regards


Response from Dr. Horwath

Lamotrigine is very effective, but the blood level sometimes needs to be monitored to get the appropriate dose. Have your doctor arrange for a blood level. If the level is too low, then the dose needs to be increased. Alternativel, another anti-manic drug can be added. Several other drugs are now commonly used to treat mania, including olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, ziprasidone and aripiprazole.

Mood symptoms are a fairly common side effect of Sustiva. I have seen several patients develop mood swings due to Sustiva. However, if the Sustiva is working for your HIV treatment, then you should discuss the problem with your HIV specialist before making any drastic treatment decisions.

Manic symptoms are not a common side effect of testosterone.

How do I tell my Wife
Why bother with meds?

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