Sources tell PageSix.com that Britney Spears is currently going through a detox process at the UCLA Medical Center. Doctors will stabilize her and evaluate her condition before she can be administered new medication to treat her suspected bipolar condition.
Detoxification is necessary for doctors to rid the patient’s system of other drugs so that they can be properly diagnosed and prescribed a course of treatment.
“It’s often helpful to clear the decks under medical supervision and get back to the drawing board and decide, ‘What have we been dealing with here?’” Dr. Keith Ablow, who has not treated the pop star, tells PageSix.com.
Detox is especially helpful in cases where the patient may have been misdiagnosed and administered medication that might have exacerbated or altered the person’s symptoms.
“You have lots of people who have manic symptoms of bipolar disorder wrongly diagnosed with attention deficit disorder,” says Dr. Ablow. “But if you put those people on stimulant medication, you can make them worse by driving them into the highest highs of their disorder.”
Britney was checked into the hospital late last night and placed on 72-hour psychiatric hold, or what is known as a 5150. So what can the singer expect over the coming days? During detoxification, the patient is slowly tapered off the medicine, with dosages being reduced over time. Doctors also sometimes use other medicines to temporarily blunt the symptoms of any withdrawal that might occur.
Dr. Ablow says it’s also helpful to have patients checked into the hospital for several days so doctors can monitor the effect of the medications over time and figure out whether more medications need to be added and in what dosage.
“Only a minority of patients achieve effective results from one mood stabilizer if they’re suffering from bipolar disorder. Many need two or three,” says Dr. Ablow, who added that mood stabilizers only work in a particular concentration in the blood that varies from person to person.
“And that takes time to figure out,” he says.
Source: Page Six
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