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Question
Posted by: Mary | 2007/06/20

Bi polar

A close relative of mine was diagnosed as Bi Polar with schizophrenia, she has been on medication for about 18 months and been fairly normal. Now she says that her doctor has taken her off the medication. I understood that the medication would be for life. Does this mean that possibly she is not bi polar?
Another quick question, can you still take the medication when pregnant?

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Our expert says:
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A combination of Bipolar Disorder AND schizophrenia would be very unusual. Generally, for either condition, one would indeed expect the need to remain on the medication long-term, so to stop it is odd --- with Depression alone this might be done, b ut hardly with other of the other two diagnoses. maybe a second opinion would be wise, because IF she has either Bipolar Disorder OR schizophrenia and has been comfortable and well-controlled on medication, one would not want to increase any risk of a relapse.
There is no broad answer to your closing question. In some situations, a doc might recommend remaining on such meds during pregnancy, but generally in pregnancy one wants to avoid the use of ANY meds if possible. Could it be that her doc took her off the meds because she had become pregnant or was plannign to become pregnant ?

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