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Overview

Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet

Manufacturer: Alkem Laboratories Ltd
Medicine composition: Divalproex
Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet is an anticonvulsant that is used to control seizures and migraine headaches. Take this medicine at the same time regularly. Do not take this medicine if you have are suffering from impaired liver function.
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet is used in the treatment of Epilepsy which is a brain disorder that causes repeated seizures. Uncontrolled jerking movements and loss of consciousness are some of the symptoms of Epilepsy.
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet is used in the treatment of mania which is a mental disorder characterized by hyperactivity and racing thoughts.
Migraine Prophylaxis
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet is used as prophylaxis in migraine headaches characterized by severe headache, eye pain, nausea and vomiting.
Do not take this medicine if you have a known allergy to Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet.
Do not take if you have any liver injury or a family history of liver injury.
Urea cycle disorders
Do not use in patients with urea cycle disorder (high ammonium levels in the blood) or family history of urea cycle disorder.
Mitochondrial disorders
Do not use in patients and in children who are suspected to have the mitochondrial disorder (POLG e.g Alpers-Huttenlocher Syndrome).
In addition to its intended effect, Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet may cause some unwanted effects too. In such cases, you must seek medical attention immediately. This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please inform your doctor if you experience any adverse reaction to the medication.
Diarrhea Major Common
Confusion Major Common
Headache Major Common
Muscle pain Major Common
Unusual tiredness and weakness Major Common
Sleepiness Major Common
Anxiety Major Less Common
Blurred vision Major Less Common
Yellow colored eyes or skin Major Less Common
Weight gain Major Less Common
Acid or sour stomach Minor Common
Skin rash Minor Common
Forgetfulness Minor Common
Irregular menstrual periods Minor Less Common
Ear pain Minor Less Common
How long is the duration of effect?
The effect of this medicine lasts for an average of 1 to 2 days.
What is the onset of action?
The peak effect of this medicine can be observed in 2 hours for a delayed release tablet.
Are there any pregnancy warnings?
This medicine is not recommended for pregnant women.
Is it habit forming?
No habit forming tendency has been reported
Are there any breast-feeding warnings?
This medicine is recommended only if clearly needed when no safer alternative is available. Monitoring of undesired effects like discoloration of eyes and skin is necessary.
Below is the list of medicines, which have the same composition, strength and form as Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet, and hence can be used as its substitute.
Unichem Laboratories Ltd
Unichem Laboratories Ltd
Wockhardt Ltd
Zydus Cadila
Micro Labs Ltd
Are there any missed dose instructions?
If you miss a dose of Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.
Are there any overdose instructions?
Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
India
United States
Japan
Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you're at risk of a drug interaction.
Interaction with Disease
Depression Major
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet should be given with caution in the patients with depression and suicidal thoughts. Frequent monitoring of depression symptoms is necessary. Dose adjustments are to be made based on the outcomes in the patient.
Liver Disease Major
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet is not recommended in patients with liver injury or a family history of liver injury. This risk is more in children less than 2 years of age. Liver function tests are to be performed before starting the treatment. Discontinue the medicine if any abnormality is identified.
Interaction with Alcohol
Alcohol Moderate
Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of side effects like dizziness, difficulty in concentration. Do not perform activities that require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery.
Interaction with Lab Test
Lab
Information not available.
Interaction with Food
Food
Information not available.
Interaction with Medicine
Lamotrigine Major
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet may increase the concentration of lamotrigine and can cause serious skin reactions. Frequent monitoring of undesired effects like skin rash, seizures, tremors is necessary. Suitable dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based under the doctor's supervision.
Imipenem Major
Use of these medicines is not recommended as it increases the concentration of Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet. An alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition under the doctor's supervision.
Warfarin Moderate
Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet should be given with caution in patients with warfarin or other anticoagulants as this combination may increase the risk of bleeding. Frequent monitoring of blood cells count and prothrombin time is necessary. Suitable dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition under the doctor's supervision.
Ethinyl Estradiol Moderate
The desired effect of Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet will not be observed if taken with oral contraceptives. Inform the doctor if you are receiving either of the medications. Monitoring of behavior changes and seizures are necessary. An alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition of the under the doctor's supervision.
Metoclopramide Moderate
Use of Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet with metoclopramide should be avoided if possible. Do not operate heavy machinery if you are using these medicines. Suitable dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition under the doctor's supervision.
What are you using Valkem Od 250 MG Tablet for?
Other
Epilepsy
Migraine Prophylaxis
How much was the improvement?
Average
Poor
How long did it take before seeing improvement?
More than 2 days
How frequently did you take this medicine?
Twice a day
How did you take this medicine?
With Food
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello sir. My BP was 169/122. Heart Beat was 106. I also have fear, shortness of breathing, racing thoughts (sometimes), sleepiness, frequent dreams, nervousness, Head Heaviness. Unable to clam down. Always having fear of what is happening with me? I have consulted neurologist .and he prescribed me Valkem OD 250 (2 tab) per day and. Rexipra 5 mg one at morning. He Also advised me for a cardiac checkup. After cardiac check up ECG AND ECHO are ok. Doctor prescribed me TAZLOC BETA50 one at morning. Medication started 15 days ago. Now all day I feel sleepy, low mood, headheaviness, nervousness. shortness of breath. Is it due the medicines. Sir can I be curable?

PhD, Human Energy Fields, Diploma in PIP, EFI, Aura scanning for Health evaluation; Energy field assessment, Fellowship Cardiac Rehabilitation, Cardiac Rehabilitation, MD (Ayur - Mind Body Med), Mind Body Medicine
Non-Invasive Conservative Cardiac Care Specialist, Pune
Hello sir. My BP was 169/122. Heart Beat was 106. I also have fear, shortness of breathing, racing thoughts (sometime...
You are being medicated for your nervous symptoms. These medicines are surely to have side effect of drowsiness, sleeepy feeling like you are feeling now. If you are able to learn different methods to relax your body and mind with proper yogasana, proper diet, meditation, you will not need any of these medicines. All your medical reports are within normal limits. If you remain medicine dependent, in future your health is likely to suffer. Try to learn at a reputed Yoga Pranayama center.

I am suffering from bipolar disorder for past 7 years. My doctor giving -divalproex Sodium 500 mg tablets (Divalgress ER 500), quetiapine sr 200 mg, Amisulpride 50 mg, paroxee CR 25 AND modalert 100. I have better than before. But the main burden is dizziness ,too much tiredness ,fatigue, high heart beating and sleepy. Please help me.

M.Phil - Psychology, PhD PSYCHOLOGY
Psychologist, Delhi
I am suffering from bipolar disorder for past 7 years. My doctor giving -divalproex Sodium 500 mg tablets (Divalgress...
Generally speaking, before starting medicines from a psychiatrist, it is advisable to get psycho-diagnostic testing done to determine what is the nature of symptoms- is it psychological –requiring counselling/psychotherapy or does the symptom require medicines from a psychiatrist. HOWEVER, WHEN SYMPTOMS ARE NO LONGER NORMAL OR TOUCHING UPON INSANITY, SEE A PSYCHIATRIST IMMEDIATELY. PSYCHIATRIST IS MBBS PLUS MD IN PSYCHIATRY- HE GIVES MEDICINES ONLY. TREATMENT STARTED EARLIER WILL CONTROL THE PROBLEM VERY FAST. YOU MUST SEE A QUALIFIED AND TRAINED PSYCHOLOGIST FOR CORRECT DIAGNOSIS. MANY PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVES PSYCHOLOGIST, JUST AFTER A BA OR GRADUATION DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY, OR AFTER MA OR MASTERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - A PhD in psychology is reqd. To qualify as doctor. Difference is same as you see MBBS doctor or MD doctor as a specialist for any illness. PSYCHOLOGIST IS AN EXPERT IN DIAGNOSIS BY PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING AND COUNSELLING/PSYCHOTHERAPY I.E. TREATMENT WITHOUT MEDICINES. GET PROPER DIAGNOSIS FIRST FOLLOWED BY RIGHT TREATMENT. PLEASE GET DIAGNOSIS CONFIRMED FIRST THEN TAKE MEDICINES AS ADVISED. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT PROBLEM IS PSYCHOLOGICAL-THEN IT WILL NOT BE CURED BY MEDICINES. YOU WILL NEED PSYCHOTHERAPY.
1 person found this helpful

I am having hairfall problems due to divalproex salt medicine I am taking. To combat that, doctor told me to take biotin tablets once a day, but nothing has changed. Please suggest, hairfall is not stopping.

MBBS, MD (Skin & V.D. MAMC) - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
I am having hairfall problems due to divalproex salt medicine I am taking. To combat that, doctor told me to take bio...
Mr. Lybrate-user, you can plan for mesotherapy sessions along with prp, the earlier it is started better are the results,

A doctor gave divalproex sodium extended release tablets. Is it a correct tablet for reducing hyperactiveness ? What are the actual uses of that tablets?

PDDM, MHA, MBBS
General Physician, Nashik
A doctor gave divalproex sodium extended release tablets. Is it a correct tablet for reducing hyperactiveness ? What ...
Divalproex sodium is used to treat certain types of seizures (epilepsy). This medicine is an anticonvulsant that works in the brain tissue to stop seizures. Divalproex sodium is also used to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), and helps prevent migraine headaches.

Popular Health Tips

Bipolar Affective Disorder - Know Its Phases!

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Bhopal
Bipolar Affective Disorder - Know Its Phases!

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. A person’s mood and emotions can be altered drastically due to bipolar disorder, but they do not have more than one personality. Split personalities problem is more commonly seen in those with personality/dissociative disorders. 

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

  1. Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  3. Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  4. Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders— defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

The disorder has two strong phases: 1) Bipolar Mania and 2) Depression.

Mania

Mania is a state of heightened energy and euphoria - an elevation of mood. It is in direct contrast to depression. Mania can vary in severity from hypomania, where, in addition to mood and energy elevation, the person shows mild impairment of judgement and insight, to severe mania with delusions and a level of manic excitement that can be so exhausting that hospitalisation is required to control the episode.

The mood, energy and other related symptoms define both mania and hypomania, with psychotic features being an 'add on' component experienced by a sub-set of individuals. 

You have an intense sense of well-being, energy and optimism. It can be so strong that it affects your thinking and judgement. You may believe strange things about yourself, make bad decisions, and behave in embarrassing, harmful and - occasionally - dangerous ways.
 
Like depression, it can make it difficult or impossible to deal with day-to-day life. Mania can badly affect both your relationships and your work. When it isn't so extreme, it is called 'hypomania'.
 
If you become manic, you may notice that you are:

Emotional:

  • Very happy and excited
  • Irritated with other people who don't share your optimistic outlook
  • Feeling more important than usual. 

Thinking:

  • Full of new and exciting ideas
  • Moving quickly from one idea to another
  • Hearing voices that other people can't hear.

Physical:

  • Full of energy
  • Unable or unwilling to sleep
  • More interested in sex.  

Behaviour:

  • Making plans that are grandiose and unrealistic
  • Very active, moving around very quickly
  • Behaving unusually
  • Talking very quickly - other people may find it hard to understand what you are talking about
  • Making odd decisions on the spur of the moment, sometimes with disastrous consequences
  • Recklessly spending your money
  • Over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people
  • Less inhibited in general.

If you are in the middle of a manic episode for the first time, you may not realise that there is anything wrong – although your friends, family or colleagues will. You may even feel annoyed if someone tries to point this out to you. You increasingly lose touch with day-to-day issues – and with other people's feelings. 

Depression

The feeling of depression is something we all experience from time to time. It can even help us to recognise and deal with problems in our lives. In clinical depression or bipolar disorder, the feeling of depression is much worse. It goes on for longer and makes it difficult or impossible to deal with the normal things of life. If you become depressed, you will notice some of these changes:

Emotional:

  • Feelings of unhappiness that don't go away
  • Feeling that you want to burst into tears for no reason
  • Losing interest in things
  • Being unable to enjoy things
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Losing self-confidence
  • Feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless
  • Feeling more irritable than usual
  • Thinking of suicide.  

Thinking:

  • Can’t think positively or hopefully
  • Finding it hard to make even simple decisions
  • Difficulty in concentrating. 

Physical:

  • Losing appetite and weight
  • Difficulty in getting to sleep
  • Waking earlier than usual
  • Feeling utterly tired
  • Constipation
  • Going off sex. 

Behaviour:

  • Difficulty in starting or completing things – even everyday chores
  • Crying a lot – or feeling like you want to cry, but not being able to
  • Avoiding contact with other people.

Causes:

  1. Biological Causes: Experts say that patients with bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains. Nobody is sure why the changes lead to the disorder.
  2. Genetic Traits: Researchers are involved in finding out whether or not the causes of bipolar disorder arise out of genes and other hereditary factors. If you have a first-degree relative or a sibling who is/was affected by this condition, you would probably have it too.
  3. Neurotransmitters: Mood swing disorder is caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals known as ‘neurotransmitters’.

Treatment Methods:

  1. Initial Treatment: The initial treatment method is to take medications to balance and control the mood swings. After the symptoms are in control, one has to start working with his/her trusted doctor for chalking out an effective and practical long-term treatment procedure.

  2. Recovery from substance abuse: Problems related to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are solved by this therapy. Failing this step, this disorder can be unmanageable.

  3. Day care treatment: Day care treatment programs can be recommended by your doctor. This treatment method includes counseling and support which keep the bipolar traits under control.

  4. Hospitalization: Hospitalization or immediate medical support is recommended in case of suicidal thoughts or when a person starts exhibiting erratic behavior (being psychotic).

  5. Medications: Medications include the administration of antipsychotics (such as ziprasidone, olanzapine), antidepressants (usually in combination with a mood stabilizer or an anti-psychotic), mood stabilizers (such as valproic acid, lithium, divalproex sodium) and anti-anxiety medications.

2675 people found this helpful

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Bipolar Affective Disorder

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Bipolar Affective Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. A person’s mood and emotions can be altered drastically due to bipolar disorder, but they do not have more than one personality. Split personalities problem is more commonly seen in those with personality/dissociative disorders. 

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

  1. Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  3. Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  4. Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders— defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

The disorder has two strong phases: 1) Bipolar Mania and 2) Depression.

Mania-

Mania is a state of heightened energy and euphoria - an elevation of mood. It is in direct contrast to depression. Mania can vary in severity from hypomania, where, in addition to mood and energy elevation, the person shows mild impairment of judgement and insight, to severe mania with delusions and a level of manic excitement that can be so exhausting that hospitalisation is required to control the episode.

The mood, energy and other related symptoms define both mania and hypomania, with psychotic features being an 'add on' component experienced by a sub-set of individuals. 

You have an intense sense of well-being, energy and optimism. It can be so strong that it affects your thinking and judgement. You may believe strange things about yourself, make bad decisions, and behave in embarrassing, harmful and - occasionally - dangerous ways.
 
Like depression, it can make it difficult or impossible to deal with day-to-day life. Mania can badly affect both your relationships and your work. When it isn't so extreme, it is called 'hypomania'.
 
If you become manic, you may notice that you are:

Emotional:

  • very happy and excited
  • irritated with other people who don't share your optimistic outlook
  • feeling more important than usual. 

Thinking:

  • full of new and exciting ideas
  • moving quickly from one idea to another
  • hearing voices that other people can't hear.

Physical:

  • full of energy
  • unable or unwilling to sleep
  • more interested in sex.  

Behaviour:

  • making plans that are grandiose and unrealistic
  • very active, moving around very quickly
  • behaving unusually
  • talking very quickly - other people may find it hard to understand what you are talking about
  • making odd decisions on the spur of the moment, sometimes with disastrous consequences
  • recklessly spending your money
  • over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people
  • less inhibited in general.

If you are in the middle of a manic episode for the first time, you may not realise that there is anything wrong – although your friends, family or colleagues will. You may even feel annoyed if someone tries to point this out to you. You increasingly lose touch with day-to-day issues – and with other people's feelings. 

Depression- 

The feeling of depression is something we all experience from time to time. It can even help us to recognise and deal with problems in our lives. In clinical depression or bipolar disorder, the feeling of depression is much worse. It goes on for longer and makes it difficult or impossible to deal with the normal things of life. If you become depressed, you will notice some of these changes:

Emotional:

  • feelings of unhappiness that don't go away
  • feeling that you want to burst into tears for no reason
  • losing interest in things
  • being unable to enjoy things
  • feeling restless and agitated
  • losing self-confidence
  • feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless
  • feeling more irritable than usual
  • thinking of suicide.  

Thinking:

  • can’t think positively or hopefully
  • finding it hard to make even simple decisions
  • difficulty in concentrating. 

Physical:

  • losing appetite and weight
  • difficulty in getting to sleep
  • waking earlier than usual
  • feeling utterly tired
  • constipation
  • going off sex. 

Behaviour:

  • difficulty in starting or completing things – even everyday chores
  • crying a lot – or feeling like you want to cry, but not being able to
  • avoiding contact with other people.

Causes:

  1. Biological Causes: Experts say that patients with bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains. Nobody is sure why the changes lead to the disorder.
  2. Genetic Traits: Researchers are involved in finding out whether or not the causes of bipolar disorder arise out of genes and other hereditary factors. If you have a first-degree relative or a sibling who is/was affected by this condition, you would probably have it too.
  3. Neurotransmitters: Mood swing disorder is caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals known as ‘neurotransmitters’.

Treatment Methods:

  1. Initial Treatment: The initial treatment method is to take medications to balance and control the mood swings. After the symptoms are in control, one has to start working with his/her trusted doctor for chalking out an effective and practical long-term treatment procedure.

  2. Recovery from substance abuse: Problems related to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are solved by this therapy. Failing this step, this disorder can be unmanageable.

  3. Day care treatment: Day care treatment programs can be recommended by your doctor. This treatment method includes counseling and support which keep the bipolar traits under control.

  4. Hospitalization: Hospitalization or immediate medical support is recommended in case of suicidal thoughts or when a person starts exhibiting erratic behavior (being psychotic).

  5. Medications: Medications include the administration of antipsychotics (such as ziprasidone, olanzapine), antidepressants (usually in combination with a mood stabilizer or an anti-psychotic), mood stabilizers (such as valproic acid, lithium, divalproex sodium) and anti-anxiety medications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.

3711 people found this helpful

Bipolar Affective Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bhopal
Bipolar Affective Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. A person’s mood and emotions can be altered drastically due to bipolar disorder, but they do not have more than one personality. Split personalities problem is more commonly seen in those with personality/dissociative disorders. 

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

  1. Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  3. Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  4. Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders— defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

The disorder has two strong phases: 1) Bipolar Mania and 2) Depression.

Mania-

Mania is a state of heightened energy and euphoria - an elevation of mood. It is in direct contrast to depression. Mania can vary in severity from hypomania, where, in addition to mood and energy elevation, the person shows mild impairment of judgement and insight, to severe mania with delusions and a level of manic excitement that can be so exhausting that hospitalisation is required to control the episode.

The mood, energy and other related symptoms define both mania and hypomania, with psychotic features being an 'add on' component experienced by a sub-set of individuals. 

You have an intense sense of well-being, energy and optimism. It can be so strong that it affects your thinking and judgement. You may believe strange things about yourself, make bad decisions, and behave in embarrassing, harmful and - occasionally - dangerous ways.
 
Like depression, it can make it difficult or impossible to deal with day-to-day life. Mania can badly affect both your relationships and your work. When it isn't so extreme, it is called 'hypomania'.
 
If you become manic, you may notice that you are:

Emotional:

  • very happy and excited
  • irritated with other people who don't share your optimistic outlook
  • feeling more important than usual. 

Thinking:

  • full of new and exciting ideas
  • moving quickly from one idea to another
  • hearing voices that other people can't hear.

Physical:

  • full of energy
  • unable or unwilling to sleep
  • more interested in sex.  

Behaviour:

  • making plans that are grandiose and unrealistic
  • very active, moving around very quickly
  • behaving unusually
  • talking very quickly - other people may find it hard to understand what you are talking about
  • making odd decisions on the spur of the moment, sometimes with disastrous consequences
  • recklessly spending your money
  • over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people
  • less inhibited in general.

If you are in the middle of a manic episode for the first time, you may not realise that there is anything wrong – although your friends, family or colleagues will. You may even feel annoyed if someone tries to point this out to you. You increasingly lose touch with day-to-day issues – and with other people's feelings. 

Depression- 

The feeling of depression is something we all experience from time to time. It can even help us to recognise and deal with problems in our lives. In clinical depression or bipolar disorder, the feeling of depression is much worse. It goes on for longer and makes it difficult or impossible to deal with the normal things of life. If you become depressed, you will notice some of these changes:

Emotional:

  • feelings of unhappiness that don't go away
  • feeling that you want to burst into tears for no reason
  • losing interest in things
  • being unable to enjoy things
  • feeling restless and agitated
  • losing self-confidence
  • feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless
  • feeling more irritable than usual
  • thinking of suicide.  

Thinking:

  • can’t think positively or hopefully
  • finding it hard to make even simple decisions
  • difficulty in concentrating. 

Physical:

  • losing appetite and weight
  • difficulty in getting to sleep
  • waking earlier than usual
  • feeling utterly tired
  • constipation
  • going off sex. 

Behaviour:

  • difficulty in starting or completing things – even everyday chores
  • crying a lot – or feeling like you want to cry, but not being able to
  • avoiding contact with other people.

Causes:

  1. Biological Causes: Experts say that patients with bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains. Nobody is sure why the changes lead to the disorder.
  2. Genetic Traits: Researchers are involved in finding out whether or not the causes of bipolar disorder arise out of genes and other hereditary factors. If you have a first-degree relative or a sibling who is/was affected by this condition, you would probably have it too.
  3. Neurotransmitters: Mood swing disorder is caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals known as ‘neurotransmitters’.

Treatment Methods:

  1. Initial Treatment: The initial treatment method is to take medications to balance and control the mood swings. After the symptoms are in control, one has to start working with his/her trusted doctor for chalking out an effective and practical long-term treatment procedure.

  2. Recovery from substance abuse: Problems related to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are solved by this therapy. Failing this step, this disorder can be unmanageable.

  3. Day care treatment: Day care treatment programs can be recommended by your doctor. This treatment method includes counseling and support which keep the bipolar traits under control.

  4. Hospitalization: Hospitalization or immediate medical support is recommended in case of suicidal thoughts or when a person starts exhibiting erratic behavior (being psychotic).

  5. Medications: Medications include the administration of antipsychotics (such as ziprasidone, olanzapine), antidepressants (usually in combination with a mood stabilizer or an anti-psychotic), mood stabilizers (such as valproic acid, lithium, divalproex sodium) and anti-anxiety medications. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.

3438 people found this helpful

6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

INSTITUTE OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES
Ayurveda, Delhi

6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

Migraines affect up to 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men in the United States. Today, migraines affect as many as four out of every five people in America.  Doctors are still unraveling the mysteries of migraines. Most doctors believe a combination of things that cause people to have migraines. The causes of migraines range from genetics to neurovascular imbalances in the brain.

Why Do Most People Experience Weather Related Migraines?

It is not entirely clear why some people experience more migraines around the change of weather.  Even though the cause of weather related migraines has not been identified, there are ways to decrease the severity, reduce and prevent migraines from occurring.

In a recent survey by the National Headache Foundation, headache sufferers were given a list of possible causes. They were asked to rank them in terms of what commonly brought on their migraines. Three out of every four respondents said that weather triggered their headache pain.

Specific weather triggers included:

  • Changes in humidity
  • Changes in temperature
  • Storms
  • Extremely dry conditions

Most people have an idea of what causes their migraines, but the real question is what can you do to help reduce the amount of migraines, decrease the severity or prevent the migraines from occurring?   Below are six tips to help you cope and find a solution to preventing your migraines. 

6 Tips on How to Cope With Your Migraines

Tip # 1 – Keep a Diary of Your Migraines:

Keeping a diary is the first step toward finding a solution, so your migraines do not disrupt you and stop you from having a healthy, happy and productive life.  The first step is to try to figure out what triggers your migraines.  One way to do that is to keep a diary of all your migraines.  If you think weather is a reason for your migraines then record any of the common weather and environmental factors that may have initiated your migraines. Keep a detailed diary and bring this diary to your doctor, so your doctor can figure what the best treatment is for you.

In your diary, you should include:

  • What part of the brain do you feel the pain?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • The time your headache began and when it ended
  • Any changes in the weather, such as storms, high winds, or high humidity
  • Any warning signs – symptoms before the migraine occurred
  • Any treatment you tried, and whether it helped or made the migraine worse

Tip # 2 – Making Changes in Your Daily Regimen:

Making changes in your everyday life can help reduce the number and severity of migraines you are experiencing. Here are some changes you can incorporate into your life that can help improve the number of migraines you are experiencing.

  • Sleep: Make sure you get enough of sleep and try going to sleep around the same time each night.  Interruptions in your sleep schedule, getting too much or too little sleep, can trigger a migraine.
  • Exercise regularly: Research has shown that regular, moderate aerobic exercise may reduce the severity, duration, and number of migraines in many people. Regular exercise also helps control stress, another migraine trigger.
  • Eat regular meals: Eating healthy meals regularly are important to maintain level blood sugar. A drop in blood sugar can trigger a migraine.
  • Drink plenty of water: Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can trigger migraine.
  • Limit stress: For many migraine sufferers, stress is plays a big factor. Take time each day to relax. Find something that helps you relax like listening to soothing music, taking short walks, meditating or doing yoga.
  • Try complementary therapies: Try using complementary therapy to help prevent migraines. For example, you may be able to manage stress and prevent migraines through acupuncture, massages and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Tip # 3 – Incorporate Certain Foods into Your Diet:

If you are a migraine sufferer like me, you are constantly looking for prevention ideas. Certain foods can help fight off and prevent migraines.  These foods include:

  • Cayenne: Cayenne peppers are widely recognized as culinary ingredients that add intense heat and flavor to southwest American, Caribbean, Indian and Asian dishes. However, this pepper may also offer healing benefits. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives cayenne peppers their heat, may help reduce blood vessel constriction. This may help prevent rapid blood pressure fluctuations that can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Coffee: When it comes to coffee, caffeine can give you migraine relief. It is a major ingredient in many headache medications. However, if you consume too much, it can actually cause migraines. Moderation is key!
  • Flaxseed and Fish: An anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial to preventing migraines.  Flaxseeds and fish are packed with omega-3s and fiber can actually help prevent migraines.
  • Riboflavin-rich Foods: Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B-2, is one of eight B vitamins necessary for the metabolism of nutrients and protection of your central nervous system. A deficiency of this vitamin may also contribute to headaches, particularly migraines. Adding foods high in riboflavin may help stop recurring migraines by correcting deficiencies. Eggs, avocados, broccoli, romaine lettuce, alfalfa, asparagus, walnuts and mushrooms are abundant sources of riboflavin.
  • Magnesium-rich Foods: About 60 percent of migraine sufferers may have magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium is a trace mineral that may help normalize nerve impulses in your brain that transmit pain signals. This may help stop intense pain associated with migraine headaches. It may also help regulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter chemical that may contribute to sudden changes in blood pressure – a contributing factor of migraines. Increase your magnesium intake by consuming foods such as kale, tofu, lima beans, kelp, garlic, apples, bananas and apricots.

Tip # 4 – Consider Dietary Supplements:

  • Magnesium: This is probably the most important one as it contributes to relaxing the brain blood vessels that cause the pain. Magnesium penetrates cell membranes, including the mitochondria. Some of the best drugs used to treat migraines are calcium channel blockers.
  • Vitamin B2: (riboflavin) – Riboflavin, which is vitamin B2, converts energy from carbohydrates. The riboflavin gives your brain more energy, which makes it less likely to be bothered by migraine triggers.
  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is needed so the body can properly use serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are necessary for normal nerve cell communication. Researchers have found lower levels of serotonin in people with migraine headaches. Therefore taking Vitamin B6 may help the body better use these crucial chemicals and it is thought be a key vitamin for migraine aura and a natural remedy for migraines.
  • Vitamin B12 & Folic acid:  Vitamin B-12 supplements may also be effective for migraine relief if taken along with vitamin B6 and folic acid. A study published in “Pharmacogenetics & Genomics” in June 2009 showed that participants who took all three supplements together saw a reduction in migraine headache frequency and the severity of their pain.

Tip # 5 – Consider the Possibilities of Herbal Supplements:

For centuries, many people have used alternative therapies to help or cure common conditions.    Certain herbs have been used to help reduce or prevent migraines.  Some can be just as strong or effective as prescription drugs. Therefore, it is important to remember, if you consider using any type of herbal supplements, consult your doctor first.  Make sure it does not conflict with any medications you are currently taking.   You should not take any herbal supplements or drugs unless your doctor says it is OK and if you are pregnant, you should not take any herbal supplements because it may harm the baby.

Herbal supplements used to reduce and prevent migraines include the following:

  • Alfalfa Leaf
  • Barberry Root
  • Bay Leaf
  • Brazilian Guarana
  • Butterbur
  • Catnip
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Dong Quai
  • Evening Primrose
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger Root
  • Green Tea
  • Griffonia Seed
  • Hawthorne Leaf
  • Honeysuckle
  • Kola Nut
  • Lemon Balm
  • Passion Flower
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Valerian Root
  • White Willow Bark
  • Wintergreen
  • Wood Betony

Tip # 6 – Prescription Medications:

Not all experts would recommend using medication to prevent temperature-change-related migraines.  However, if you have tried natural, holistic and alternative therapies to try to eliminate your migraines and nothing seems to be effective then you should focus on other alternatives such as prescription medications specifically made to help people suffering from migraines.

Below are some prescription medications for patients suffering from migraines:

  1. Antiepileptic drugs: Certain medications used to control seizures are also effective for preventing migraines as well. These drugs may work by calming the neurons in the brain. Neuron “hyperexcitability” plays a role in migraine and epilepsy. Up to 20% of people with epilepsy also suffer from migraines including myself.  Anti – seizure medications that help migraines include:
    1. Depacon (valproate)
    2. Depakote (divalproex)
    3. Topiragen, Topamax (topiramate)
  2.  Beta-blockers: These medications are frequently used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. It is not clear how they help prevent migraines. Nevertheless, beta-blockers improve the blood flow and this may be significant reason why beta-blockers help prevent migraines.  Beta-blockers that have been proven effective for the prevention of migraines include:
    1.  Blocadren (timolol)
    2. Inderal, Innopran XL (propranolol)
    3. Lopressor, Toprol XL (metoprolol)
  3. Antidepressants: These medications affect the level of the brain chemical serotonin. Research has shown that Elavil (amitriptyline) and Effexor (venlafaxine) work well for preventing migraines.
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Bipolar Affective Disorder - Symptoms and Treatments

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Bipolar Affective Disorder - Symptoms and Treatments

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. A person’s mood and emotions can be altered drastically due to bipolar disorder, but they do not have more than one personality. Split personalities problem is more commonly seen in those with personality/dissociative disorders. 

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

  1. Bipolar I Disorder: Defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder: Defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  3. Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia): Defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  4. Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders: Defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

The disorder has two strong phases: 1) Bipolar Mania and 2) Depression.

Mania

Mania is a state of heightened energy and euphoria - an elevation of mood. It is in direct contrast to depression. Mania can vary in severity from hypomania, where, in addition to mood and energy elevation, the person shows mild impairment of judgement and insight, to severe mania with delusions and a level of manic excitement that can be so exhausting that hospitalisation is required to control the episode.

The mood, energy and other related symptoms define both mania and hypomania, with psychotic features being an 'add on' component experienced by a sub-set of individuals. 

You have an intense sense of well-being, energy and optimism. It can be so strong that it affects your thinking and judgement. You may believe strange things about yourself, make bad decisions, and behave in embarrassing, harmful and - occasionally - dangerous ways.
 
Like depression, it can make it difficult or impossible to deal with day-to-day life. Mania can badly affect both, your relationships and work. When it isn't so extreme, it is called 'hypomania'. In case a person has become maniac, you may notice the following things:

Emotional

  • Very happy and excited
  • Irritated with other people who don't share your optimistic outlook
  • Feeling more important than usual. 

Thinking

  • Full of new and exciting ideas
  • Moving quickly from one idea to another
  • Hearing voices that other people can't hear.

Physical

  • Full of energy
  • Unable or unwilling to sleep
  • More interested in sex

Behaviour

  • Making plans that are grandiose and unrealistic
  • Very active, moving around very quickly
  • Behaving unusually
  • Talking very quickly - other people may find it hard to understand what you are talking about
  • Making odd decisions on the spur of the moment, sometimes with disastrous consequences
  • Recklessly spending your money
  • Over-familiar or recklessly critical with other people
  • Less inhibited in general.

If you are in the middle of a manic episode for the first time, you may not realise that there is anything wrong, although your friends, family or colleagues will. You may even feel annoyed if someone tries to point this out to you. You increasingly lose touch with day-to-day issues and with other people's feelings. 

Depression

The feeling of depression is something we all experience from time to time. It can even help us to recognise and deal with problems in our lives. In clinical depression or bipolar disorder, the feeling of depression is much worse. It goes on for longer and makes it difficult or impossible to deal with the normal things of life. If you become depressed, you will notice some of these changes:

Emotional

  • Feelings of unhappiness that don't go away
  • Feeling that you want to burst into tears for no reason
  • Losing interest in things
  • Being unable to enjoy things
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless
  • Feeling more irritable than usual
  • Thinking of suicide.  

Thinking

  • Can’t think positively or hopefully
  • Finding it hard to make even simple decisions
  • Difficulty in concentrating. 

Physical

  • Losing appetite and weight
  • Difficulty in getting to sleep
  • Waking earlier than usual
  • Feeling utterly tired
  • Constipation
  • Going off sex

Behaviour

  • Difficulty in starting or completing things, even everyday chores
  • Crying a lot or feeling like you want to cry, but not being able to
  • Avoiding contact with other people.

Causes

  1. Biological Causes: Experts say that patients with bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains. Nobody is sure why the changes lead to the disorder.
  2. Genetic Traits: Researchers are involved in finding out whether or not the causes of bipolar disorder arise out of genes and other hereditary factors. If you have a first-degree relative or a sibling who is/was affected by this condition, you would probably have it too.
  3. Neurotransmitters: Mood swing disorder is caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals known as ‘neurotransmitters’.

Treatment Methods

  1. Initial Treatment: The initial treatment method is to take medications to balance and control the mood swings. After the symptoms are in control, one has to start working with his/her trusted doctor for chalking out an effective and practical long-term treatment procedure.

  2. Recovery from substance abuse: Problems related to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are solved by this therapy. Failing this step, this disorder can be unmanageable.

  3. Day care treatment: Day care treatment programs can be recommended by your doctor. This treatment method includes counseling and support which keep the bipolar traits under control.

  4. Hospitalization: Hospitalization or immediate medical support is recommended in case of suicidal thoughts or when a person starts exhibiting erratic behavior (being psychotic).

  5. Medications: Medications include the administration of antipsychotics (such as ziprasidone, olanzapine), antidepressants (usually in combination with a mood stabilizer or an anti-psychotic), mood stabilizers (such as valproic acid, lithium, divalproex sodium) and anti-anxiety medications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.

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