When she was first diagnosed at age 7, she was put on Trileptal, an anti-convulsant that doubles as a mood stabilizer. Then that stopped working after two years and she was put on Depakote, which made her gain five pounds a month. It really didn't work either, so she was switched to Lithium, which she still takes. She needed something else when it became obvious the Lithium wasn't enough, so she was put on Topamax, another mood stabilizer. That petered out after a year, and then she needed an anti-psychotic for visual hallucinations, so they started her on Abilify. That worked for two years, and then stopped working, so during her last hospital stay, they switched her to first Geodon, which didn't work, then Seroquel, which is mostly working, but then she needed a diabetic medication called Metaformin to prevent diabetes because Seroquel can mess with your blood sugar. And Seroquel gives patients severe munchies, so she has put on 10 pounds since early January. In addition, she takes sleep meds because without them she can't stay asleep (Trazadone and Clonazapem) and she takes Benadryl to counteract a nasty side effect of Seroquel called tardive dyskenesia, involuntary and sometimes permanent facial movements, which she had begun to show. We also have her on birth control pills to regulate her hormones because the ups and downs of her cycle were making her moods worse. In the fall her psychiatrist added Lamictal, another mood stabilizer with antidepressive properties because she always tends to be on the low side. Prestiq, an anti-depressant, was also introduced recently because she was so depressed. So, yup, that makes nine medications every day, totaling about 15 pills to swallow in one day. Oh, I left out claritin for allergies.
She HATES taking this many pills, and so do we. The doctors tried to reduce the number of pills she was taking every day during the last hospital stay, but as soon as they would take something out, she would get worse. At this point she takes whatever she needs to keep her life functioning, which, unfortunately, isn't even functioning so well right now. We have been told that Caroline has been unusually difficult to keep chemically stable, so we are also looking at some alternative approaches to help her any way we can (food allergies, etc.). She has endured a lot.