Trying to get on bipolar meds

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Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby lattejunkie » December 1st, 2013, 8:37 am

Morning all -

So my doctor called me into his office last week right before the holiday because he had been in touch with my therapist. My therapist wants me to go on Abilify or Lamictal. So because my therapist preferred the Abilify that's what my doc wrote the prescription for. He warned me that there may not be a generic available. Well, I go to wal-mart (which by the way is enough to give me a panic attack) and ask for my meds. The cashier lady made this face like ohmygod, and I asked how bad? Nothing could have prepared me for $1,100 a month (60 tablets). That's with insurance. Without insurance the Abilify would have been $1,600. WTFFF? Who would pay that? Needless to say I did not buy it.
My doctor told me that if I ran into a problem to call him Monday (tomorrow) to have him switch it to Lamictal. Can anyone out there please tell me the Lamictal is much more affordable, with insurance? I don't know what to do if I can't afford the Lamictal. I am on Wellbutrin which works okay for the depression but then brings me up to an irritated state when I'm not depressed.
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby manuel_moe_g » December 1st, 2013, 8:34 pm

tell your therapist to try generics first

frankly, it is bullshit on the part of your therapist to not try generics first, given the stress of filling prescriptions

strong signal your therapist is a mindless prescription pad filler, sorry your therapist let you down


I found this link for financial help with Abilify from the pharmaceutical company itself

will close out with low/no cost therapy and meds copypasta, good luck to you, you deserve better than this

:D :D :D :D 8-)


Low/No Cost Mental Health Resources

United States website to find sliding scale "low/no" cost mental health services. Also information on medication assistance: NeedyMeds - Free/Low-Cost/Sliding-Scale Clinics U.S. Database

Discussion of low and no cost therapy resources, even in usually under-served areas: Maria Bamford podcast, Episode 95, Jan 04 2013 at minute 6:00.

If you think you might need this resource, then you definitely need this resource - please check out the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network - RAINN at

Google searches for low and no cost therapy resources, even in usually under-served areas: your town or county + one of these terms:

  • low cost counselling service
  • sliding scale counselling service
  • CMHC
  • community mental health
  • community service board office
From this MentalPod board - some places to get help for people with limited resources:

Here is a post and thread on Reddit about getting medication at low or no cost: Community Assistance Program, accepted at Target pharmacy and many other pharmacies

Cheers to you, for scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this copypasta! :D
~~~~~~ -- Obsequious Thumbtack Headdress
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby nikolasix » December 2nd, 2013, 7:34 am

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 a few years ago. My doctor prescribed Lamictal and I took the generic, Lamotrigine. With insurance I paid less than $15 a month for 30 pills. I had no side effects and simply felt like myself but less fucked up emotionally. It was a great drug for me.
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby lattejunkie » December 5th, 2013, 7:53 am

Thanks for the advice.
It's kind of odd how the Abilify was prescribed to me. My therapist can't prescribe, I guess that means he is actually a counselor, but anyway his recommendation to tell my doctor was Abilify or Lamictal.
My doctor called me in for a consult and warned me that he didn't think there was a generic available (here?) for the Abilify but he would write the Rx for them to fill it with a generic if possible.
Uggg, wait a min. I already mentioned all this. I guess I should reread my post.

Anyway, long story short I am now on lamotrigine, the generic for lamictal and it seems to be working okay. I have to titrate up from 25mg to 100mg in the next three weeks which I'm a little nervous about but we will see how it goes.
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby Moses » December 6th, 2013, 6:20 pm

Hi there,
Not sure how long you have been on BP meds, but I was "just" diagnosed with BPD after 30 years of therapy. It was only when I had exhausted most of my antidepressants and my previous therapist wasn't helping anymore that I started seeking help from a new psychiatrist. Not that I hadn't seen one throughout the years, I have - all the same diagnosis - depression - until this year. Well, the guy I'm seeing had another woman who had failed multiple antidepressants and went down to the University of Michigan and had all these tests and what not, round table discussion with psychiatrists, etc., and their final conclusion was that lithium might help. So I've been on that for 3 days. My daughter takes Abilify and lamotrigine, which seems to help her quite a bit, but it is a combination of the 2, not one or the other than works. Personally I would suggest the therapist consult with an on-staff psychiatrist before making any kind of medication recommendations, otherwise this person is over-stepping their boundaries big time (while I understand this person was just trying to help, they could really get in big trouble over it.) My doc also has me on oxcarbamazepine which is in the category of seizure meds, and those are DIRT cheap. See, the problem is medication choice depends on whether you are in your child-bearing years. I personally would not take Abilify because I am 50, and I don't need the added aggravation of worrying about it causing diabetes. But neither do I have to worry about messing up a new life, either. And with lamotrigine blood levels need to be checked periodically to ensure that your liver isn't getting blasted away. But maybe the therapist when making that recommendation did not realize that. Don't expect the GP to automatically know it - question it. Ignorance is not bliss. . . .
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby lattejunkie » December 7th, 2013, 4:44 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm not having anymore kids. My daughter, she's five years old, is autistic and frankly I can't handle any more than her. So I don't need to worry about that. I'm not on birth control (husband had a vasectomy), but apparently there is a concern with taking lamotrigine and being on birth control.
My therapist consulted with my doctor and then I had to go in and talk with my doctor before he'd consider prescribing it. At the point I was at before going on it I was willing to try anything so I trusted them. I'm hoping it works well for me but I'm still on a really low dose so I'm not sure yet.
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Re: Trying to get on bipolar meds

Postby abbysmom21299 » April 5th, 2014, 2:00 pm

I was just diagnosed with Bipolar II after 30 years of being misdiagnosed with clinical depression. I am on the generic of Lamictal and a new med called Latuda. I feel like a new person. I was on Abilify first and it made me so jittery I couldn't stand it. Try the Lamictal. It is an older drug so it shouldn't be expensive. Best of luck to you. We are here for you.
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