Finally started depakote - need motivation to keep going!

So after a summer of trialling several types of antidepressants and having none seem to agree with me (though 1 or 2 I think I may have given up on a little soon), I decided that I would take a break and the next trial I’d do would be for a different type of med. Because I get some relief from klonopin, which has anticonvulsant properties, I decided to give depakote a try, per my doctor’s suggestion of drugs in this class. It’s only been 5 days on a very small dose but I’m feeling stranger in my head than just the usual MAV business. I guess I’d describe it as sort of lightheadedness… it’s almost like my brain is responding to my movements a few second after I make them. I am going to do my best to stick with this because I want to give it a fair trial and I am PRAYING that these are just initial side effect issues that I’ll adjust to? Anyone else experience anything like this with a drug in this class and then adjust?

Nice to see you…sorry you are still struggling…I , too , get good relief from Klonopin and wondered the same thing. Just for your info, the last 2 docs I have seen said if I chose that type of medication, they both suggested Lamictal. So if you don’t get anywher with this one…you might want to consider the Lamictal.
A psychiatrist I am seeing really thinks there is nothing wrong with using Klonopin daily if it helps…I use small amounts. I hear of other docs really limiting their patients using benzos, and a lot of them are the only meds that help…especially with a low side effect profile.
Hope you get some relief, and please keep posting…

Kelley, I know you had mentioned potentially trying an anticonvulsant – did you ever give it a go? From your other posts it sounds like your managing okay with other meds.
I have been taking low-dose of klonopin on a daily basis since the end of August. It gives some relief but not enough, which is why I’m still searching :\ My psych suggested depakote over lamictal as he said it tends to be better tolerated. So far I am not feeling so hot though I’ve experienced worse SEs.

I haven’t yet, because I have been getting decent results on the cocktail I’m on. It does seem to be waning a bit though…so it might be in my future…Is the Depakote the only thing you are taking besides Klon? No antidepressants? I think you had tried Fex, right?

I had a side effect from Neurontin similar to what you describe. Depakote was the med that worked for me with side effects that I could tolerate.

Kelley: I did try effexor & had relatively few SEs until I increased the dose. Looking back, I was also extremely anxious about having to wean off of a higher dose after I’d heard horrible withdrawal stories & I may not have given it the chance to work. If I were to try an antidepressant again, I might try that one.

Brian: How long did you trial the neurontin? Did the side effects ever improve? Are you taking depakote now?

what dose did you get up to on the fex? The thing I like about my new doctor is he goes through the meds and goes through each side effect one might experience, and with that, he puts the “clues” together and figures out what the brain needs to fix the imbalance. For some people, they try an SSRI and get worse and figure they are med intolerant and the doctors don’t necessarily know what to do after trying all the different SSRI’s…for them, serotonin not the issue…the calming someone gets from the benzos could be indictative of low GABA…I think the different anticonvulsnats actually hit different parts of the brain lobes…my doctor told me Lamictal calms the whole brain…I think depakote does a certain lobe…it’s either hit or miss depending on your situation.
That is why so many of us compare meds and find there’s so rhyme or reason to our own experiences…vs others and their experiences.
Brian, could you try another anticonvulsant?
You still falling? Did santa bring you some new knee pads for Christmas? :slight_smile:

Kelley - I only officially got up to 37.5; it was the first med I tried. Granted, I was on Zoloft when this started. When I moved up to 75 mg, I became very ill (throwing up) the first day and weaned back down to the starting dose. I never got the nerve to try going up again and then another doctor advised me to get off of it since I wasn’t seeing relief at the 37.5 dosage. I think in hindsight I should’ve given it another shot … who knows, it could’ve been coincidence that I got sick that day, but I was really terrified after vomiting at work and in my mind was ready to give up. If I’d known how many others I’d trial after I probably would’ve stuck with it.
BTW, where are you located? It sounds like you found yourself a great doctor.

I live in Las Vegas but my doctor is in Laguna NIguel, California. He has a website at I believe he does phone consults as well. While he’s not versed at MAV in particular, he is really into brain chemistry and knows his stuff. He’s also been doinga lot of research on virus impact on psychiatric and neuro conditions. I found out I have a really bad virus that my body is in constant attack mode with, that I most likely was born with. It is fascinating, and a little frustrating because there’s not much you can do with a virus to get rid of it. He does believe that when the chemistry is balanced, the body functions properly.
I would say if you went up to 37.5 on Fex (did you titrate up or just jump in?) the nausea is one of the most common side effects. It can be helped by starting slowly and taking with food. Cymbalta has a high incidence of nausea as well, but i never got any of that personally. I always start slowly as well. I tried Fex twice, and wasn’t able to get on it…
side effects got in the way.
Best of luck,

Neurontin made me feel “stoned” and very difficult to wake up in the morning. Just couldn’t function like that.

I’m not taking Depakote any more because it’s desired effects wore off, but the side effects didn’t. The side effects I experienced were pretty much the same as Topomax without the anger issues. It gave me a problem with IBS, and I started grinding my teeth so bad that I chewed threw a night guard, and broke a tooth off.

It’s weird because they say Cymbalta and Effexor are along the same line of SNRI and I couldn’t tolerate Cymbalta at all. The effexor I was ok until I raised that dosage. Then again, it was the first drug I tried and I feel like I’ve become even more sensitive the longer I’ve had this.

I’m going to give depakote at least another week. How long is considered a fair trial to see if side effects subside?

How did you end up seeing a doctor in California, Kelley? I imagine he doesn’t take insurance.

I found him through a friend of mine. No, he doesn’t take insurance. Although you can always submit it to your insurance once you pay him.
If you couldn’t go up on Fex, and you couldn’t tolerate Cymbala then chances are you don’t need your norephinehrine tweaked. Did you ever try any tricyclics? They hit the NE as well, but i know they have been very helpful for many. I sometimes wonder if I would have done well on Nori…but getting off of Cymbalta would be a tough one.
I would totally consider trying the Lamictal if i were you, if the D doesn’t pan out…
Do you respondwell to benzos?

I tried nori for 2 day and it was byfar the worst I’ve ever felt on this so I am not willing to use a tricyclic. Yes, klonopin is my one saving grace. It definitely helps to an extent – just not enough. And taking higher dosages does not increase he effectiveness on the dizziness but does make me very tired…

Do you think being unable to tolerate Fex at a higher dosage for one day was a good enough indicator that it wasn’t for me. After all I’ve read here I feel like maybe I just gave up on it too soon as I was doing okay at the lower dosage.

My most recent doctor says that when you hit on the right meds…it’s pretty apparent and works quickly. I have noticed that to be true for me thus far. When an “expert” like Dr. Hain says that Effexor is the key, it’s hard not to second guess and try to hang in there…I’ve tried twice and I still wonder if I quit too early…
I would say another med class might work either as an addition, or a substitiute …
How is the Dep going?

I still am feeling more disoriented than I was before I started the depakote. Yesterday was not as bad and I was getting hopeful. Would you agree at 12 days it’s quitting time – or should I hang in a little longer?

what dose are you on? Could you cut back maybe or ???
Are you on anything else too?

I’m on the smallest dose - 125 mg. I’m also taking .5 klonopin daily.

Klon once a day or splitting dose? Does it help? It helps me.
Did your dr say when you should start feeling better?

He said give it 2 weeks, if you’re not feeling better, stop. If you are, increase dose. So I have until Wednesday…

I do split the dose between klon if I end up taking the full .5. Some days I do only 2.5 if I’m not anxious in the morning.

Well, maybe it’s not the right med for you. Perhaps on to the next? Maybe Lamictal or what about Lithium? I have been doing some reading on that…supposedly good for chemical haywire in the brain…
Perhaps your doc will have some other ideas?
Did you try Top yet?