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Have bipolar disorder. On risperdal and epilim. What does the situation sound like?

Hi I am due to go for a drug and alchol test to be a tram driver. I got offered the job which I delighted about. I have bi polar, stable for ten years with no episodes, no points on my driving licence and I am due to see my doctor stating that I am stable for ten years etc for him to give me a letter if I need it... but I was wondering I am on risperdal and epilim . Will these drugs show up on my testing by the occupational health for drugs? I am wanting to not disclose my biplolar to be honest due to stigma and as it does not affect my life at all, I take my drugs and forget about having it! In your professional opinion do you think I could drive a tram? do you know their policies? I have read that the meds I am on make one drowsy but that is in the beginning until one is stable. Like I say I have been on them for 14 years and have been completely stable for 10 years (with evidence letters from my doctor)
Asked On : Thu, 14 Mar 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  98
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Dec 2014
Welcome to HCM

You have Bipolar Disorder for about 14 years and you are on Resperidone and Sodium Valporate since many years. Just for your knowledge both drugs are known to cause sedation. And when a doctor prescribe these medicines he warn his patients to not to drive after taking these drugs. But you have been taking these drugs since many years and are not complaining of sedation. You are stable since last 10 years.

One thing that can be done is visit your psychiatrist and take opinion regarding tapering these drugs and then stopping if he feels so. But think about this only after consulting your psychiatrist.

In usual evaluations tests for these drugs are not done. But as per opinion you should tell them about this disorder if stigma is only problem.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
Answered: Fri, 15 Mar 2013
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Psychiatrist Dr. Sundar Gnanavel's  Response
Thanks for your query. I understand you have a history of bipolar disorder for 14 years and you are on a combination of valproate and risperidone, which is a standard combination for bipolar disorder. It would not show up on a routine drug screen. However both these drugs cause sedation as a side effect and hence patients are not recommended for driving jobs.
If you do not perceive the side effect of sedation, i would advise you to show your medical records to your prospective employers and clarify prior to joining. Wish you good health.
Dr Sundar
Answered: Tue, 26 Mar 2013
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