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A 17-year-old female asked:

I've bipolar disorder since i was a child. i'm 17 now. i'm taking abilify + paxil but my doctor said "you should take lithium too." what can i do?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Clarene Cress
Specializes in Pediatrics
Try doc's Rx.: Your doctor knows you best and is making recommendations on how you are currently functioning. Some individuals do well with Abilify as a mood stabilizer, but it is not unusual to require several drugs to get good control of Bipolar disorder, esp during adolescence. Unfortunately, Lithium needs to be monitored to get ideal results, but it is considered one of the most effective meds for Bipolar.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
Dermatology 58 years experience
Take the lithium: Be sure to monitor blood levels and TSH [thyroid]. Do not take lithium if you have psoriasis or close relatives with psoriasis. It is the most effective med for bipolar but can be tricky. Do not take if kidney failure. Avoid diuretics unless carefully supervised.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Nov 27, 2017


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