bipolar disorder, Dr. Paul Markovitz  Q. My best friend of 77 yrs they say is bipolar. She was on drugs and they added Amantadine and she disappeared. One week now and she seems normal and have here home with no medication. Dr. said will wait until she slips again. Is that right way to do. I am on pins and needles. She has had 4 spells in 32 yrs.

  A. I am not sure from the note what medications they used to treat the mania. Amantadine is used to treat movement disorders arising from antipsychotic medications (called extrapyramidal symptoms or EPS). You should discuss the case with her doctor, as I do not have a good enough feel for her to give you a worthwhile opinion. If her prior medications have few to no side effects, then it is worthwhile to use them. If they have a good many side effects, it becomes a costs benefits analysis as to be on them or not. This is a medical and moral decision that needs to be made between the patient and the treating doctor.