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Friday, October 31, 2014
Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)
Is Epilim safe in the long term?
Please can you help. My sister has been taking Epilim for 6 years 500mg twice daily for Bipolar disorder. She has gradually weened herself off Epilim and Lithium but has been advised by her physciatrist that should should resume the Epilim by way of precaution and take indefinitely. She is 47 years old with one child and has had Bipolar disorder since adolescence. She has been stable now for 6 years and off all drugs for many months but is very very concerned about the long-term effects of Epilim on her general health. We cannot seem to find any answer to this question. Please could you point us in the right direction. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards Jill Ward
This long history of bipolar disorder is suggestive of the need for long-term treatment, usually with mood stablizers like lithium and/or valproate.
As you are probably aware, there is always a risk/benefit ratio for all medications and the lowest dose of the least amount of medications that is helpful usually makes the best sense.
Overall, ongoing monitoring of these medications minimizes the risk part of the equation. That is a must. The previous success of these treatments certainly makes that the most logical option for the future in most of the guidelines for bipolar disorder.
Nicholas A Votolato, RPh BCPP
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University