Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 365024

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Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes ravenstorm

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 20, 2004, at 14:43:40

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by ravenstorm on July 20, 2004, at 11:18:01

Raven,
I forgot to add my comments about weight. Compared to Remeron, Neurontin is zilch-o in the weight deparment, at least in my experience. On Remeron, I was getting up in the wee hours, haunting the fridge and snarfing down old frozen deserts. I once made a late night trip to a store that had just closed and banged on the door, pleading with them to let me in so I could buy a package of Haagen Daz dark chocolate covered vanilla ice cream bars. I devoured 2 of them on my way to the car. And this was on a cold February night! I recall thinking 'Barbara, we have a little problem here'.

It was like constant PMS when you would do just about anything to get to that chocolate thing or that high carb sweetie. And I don't usually even like sweets! There's a reason for this, as Remeron targets a specific Serotonin receptor (5HT1a) that is known to cause carb cravings.

I have gained about 5 pounds in the last month but it could be due to many things. At any rate, Neurontin has not caused any noticeable food cravings at all.


> How has it contributed to your obesity? Does it put weight on you like remeron does? I have managed not to gain weight on remeron but I have to eat way less than I did before and it is a struggle everyday. Not fun.
>
> So glad it is working for you!!!

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by platinumbride on July 20, 2004, at 15:18:12

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by ravenstorm on July 20, 2004, at 11:18:01

>
> How has it contributed to your obesity? Does it put weight on you like remeron does? I have managed not to gain weight on remeron but I have to eat way less than I did before and it is a struggle everyday. Not fun.
>
> So glad it is working for you!!!

NOTHING put on weight for me like remeron did!!!!! I just find that when I take it I feel hungry, and that seems to have changed for me in the past month or so...I just don't LET myself eat like a pig, and then the desire to passes. Food=Reward, and I guess I have just been feeling like not being so anxious is reward enough in itself.

I know what you mean about the whole opposite thing. This is probably lousy advice but I have a friend with mild ADD. He is of Latin American descent and when he was a kid and out of control, his mom gave him a coffee and it calmed him down. Now when he is stressed he has a coffee and it makes him want to sleep.

But that probably isn't something you want to try.....dunno.

fwiw, remeron did nothing for my anxiety. It just gave me a good, long sleep and then a good 70 lbs.

Best,
diane

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by ravenstorm on July 21, 2004, at 10:04:59

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by platinumbride on July 20, 2004, at 15:18:12

Barbara and platinum-

Thank you so much for your detailed and informative responses. If i get on the wellbutrin and off the remeron (GOD PLEASE LET THAT HAPPEN), I will definitely try the neurontin if I need it for anxiety. Barb, my mom has fibro so I really feel for you. She refuses to take any AD's for it though. (WEll, she tried Nortrip and got nightmares and painful eyes so she stopped) Maybe I'll mention the neurontin to her.

Rigt now, the pdoc just has me taking the WB 100sr at night with the remeron. It still makes me tired. Didn't think it would be possible to feel more tired than on remeron alone!!

I think next week he will up the dose to 100mg twice daily but I'm not sure If I can take it during the day! Maybe I'll just ask for the XL version and take it at night, although I have heard that if you take an acid reducing medication like prilosec (which I do), you can't take the XL cause your body doesn't process it properly.

I just want to get off the remeron. I just feel confused and out of it all the time (but no anxiety). And 15mg isn't doing enough for the depression.

Thanks again!

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes ravenstorm

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 21, 2004, at 13:49:02

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by ravenstorm on July 21, 2004, at 10:04:59

You've mentioned tiredness quite a few times and I can't help but wonder about your thyroid. Mine is toast, basically, especially with taking Lithium. But I've had hypothyroidism for as long as I can remember, so did my Mom, her sisters, etc. I believe hypothyroidism is a big part of my fibro. In fact, some sources (Dr. John Lowe) believe fibro is basically undertreated hypothyroidism. The clinical symptoms are exactly the same. Your Mom should get a battery of tests done and so should you, for that matter. Most doctors will only do TSH, but if TSH comes back in the normal range and you're still feeling tired, other thyroid tests to measure autoimmune dysfunction, free T4, free T3, T4/T3 uptake and blah blah blah should be given.

Basically, if your Mom has fibro, chances are good that she has low thyroid. If you are feeling tired all the time, and if your Mom has low thyroid, chances are you do too. When you get tested, your TSH should be around 1.9 - NO HIGHER than 2.0, despite the 'normal range' of 1-5. NO HIGHER than 2.0 - period! When my thyroid is functioning properly, my fibro symptoms are greatly relieved. Not entirely ever gone, but I know when my thyroid needs tweaking because I'll get those old debilitating fibro symptoms. Co-enzyme Q10 150mg helps alot, as does Magnesium Taurate, as does L-tyrosine.

I wish your mother well. Fibromyalgia hurts and is such a stinkin' puzzler. But thyroid is one big piece of the puzzle and makes a HUGE difference. Good luck, my friend, in getting off Remeron. A useless pork-o-genic med if there ever was one. If you have to be on a med, there are better ones out there. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were something as simple as corrrecting a low thyroid? - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by ravenstorm on July 21, 2004, at 20:59:06

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes ravenstorm, posted by BarbaraCat on July 21, 2004, at 13:49:02

Yeah, I really do have to get more testing done. My basic result was 2.85, but the doctor said that is normal and they look at me and see I am normal weight and say I can't possibly have a thyroid problem. I have to say, I really watch what I eat though.

I have been on medication before. I was on paxil for many years (about four more years than I wanted because I couldn't get off of it). I was in fact on only 2mg for several years, just enough to keep me from going through withdrawal. In retrospect, I wish I'd stayed on the damn 2mg for the rest of my life. The final titration down left me worse than I have ever been in my life. Much worse than I ever was before going on the drug.

Now, I wonder if I will ever be well again. I am a partial responder to 15mg of remeron but can't up the dose or I end up in a coma. I really wish now that I had tried the nortrip. again instead of going on remeron because I have discovered that some people have a really hard time getting off of remeron too. I am going to be more pissed off than anyone in the world if I am trapped on a drug that makes me feel like crap!!

So far, I don't have much faith that the wellbutrin is going to do the trick. I know it is way too early to tell, but I am just pretty damned discouraged at this point. And so far the two pdocs I've been through have been pretty worthless. I honest to God think they are the laziest of any in the medical profession and they have no clue how to listen.

OOPS, sorry for the off topic rant! this has been going on for nine months and I 'm ready for it to be over!

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes ravenstorm

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 22, 2004, at 12:36:03

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by ravenstorm on July 21, 2004, at 20:59:06

> Yeah, I really do have to get more testing done. My basic result was 2.85, but the doctor said that is normal and they look at me and see I am normal weight and say I can't possibly have a thyroid problem. I have to say, I really watch what I eat though.

**If a person has depression, .5 to 2.0 is considered optimal. If a person is bipolar or has anxiety disorder, it's 1.9 to avoid any hyper symptoms. But 2.85 isn't bad but it could be better. On the other hand, if you're not taking thyroid medication then it's probably good to not start if you don't really have to.
>
> The final titration down of Paxil left me worse than I have ever been in my life. Much worse than I ever was before going on the drug. Now, I wonder if I will ever be well again.

**I sometimes wonder how life would be if I hadn't been on SSRI's for such a high dose for so long. I think my receptors were damaged and I've heard this can be so. I keep taking fish oil because it helps to heal the cell membrane and do eveything else I can to give my healing capacity a hand. We turn over cells and create brand new brains ever 7 years or so and there's always hope. Who knows, maybe all this is to create stronger, more adaptive and more compassionate brains than we would have had if life had been easier. So keep up a healthy lifestyle and keep the faith.
>
**If it's any consolation, Remeron was the easiest AD I've ever gotten off. It was a piece of cake compared to the others. Paxil and Effexor were the worst for me. I had to grit my teeth and kept telling myself the sideways swooshies and electrical zaps would someday end. The raw exposed nerve endings would someday be soothed. It took a few months for the immediate awfuls to subside. I think it takes a few years for the receptors to get the idea that they can come out and play and naturally up-regulate again.

Something you might consider if you're having a real hard time coming off an SSRI/SNRI drug is to get a short-term prescription for Prozac. Prozac has the longest half-life of any of them and makes it easier to ease off slowly. It's the short half-life ones that are the pits. I've heard that taking it with orange juice makes it work better. Beats me why.

And if all else fails and you find you still need an antidepressant, consider St. John's Wort. I've been quite surprised at how effective it's been. I've been on a pharmaceutical grade for 6 weeks now. It's not perfect in that I still get down days and fibro flares, but given the alternatives, it's by far the best -- two thumbs up. - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by ravenstorm on July 22, 2004, at 18:45:47

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes ravenstorm, posted by BarbaraCat on July 22, 2004, at 12:36:03

I had the worst case of paxil withdrawal I have ever heard of. I tried the prozac trick. Nothing helped. Five days off paxil and I was puking could literally not stand up and would shake and shake and shake. And this is from trying to stop at 5mg or even 2mg after a very slow taper.

To finally get off of it I had to water down the liquid to drop from 2.0 to 1.5 to 1.0 etc etc. and still got screwed up. Since I was soooo bad

I only assume that anything that anyone has ever had problems getting off will cause me problems. If I had found the withdrawal posts on another site before I started taking it, I never would have put it in my mouth!!!

I only wanted to be on paxil the first two years. I ended up on it for six because I couldn't figure out how to get off the damn stuff!

 

Re: NEURONTIN WEIGHT gain...switch to ZONEGRAN? jtevers

Posted by Susan D on August 23, 2004, at 23:04:21

In reply to NEURONTIN WEIGHT gain...switch to ZONEGRAN?, posted by jtevers on July 16, 2004, at 20:03:16

> i have been on neurontin since a bipolar diagnosis in 2000. i additionally take an antipsychotic (seroquel) for stability.
>
> i have gained nearly 80 lbs. on this med. regimen and looking for help or insight.
>
> i am attempting a switch from seroquel to geodon ... which causes less weight gain. And wonder if perhaps i should switch neurontin to zonegran. i have heard that neurontin also causes weight gain that doesn't respond to exercise or diet.
>
> any experience

I've been on Neurontin for 2 years for peripheral neuropathy - only 600mg per day. I've gained 35 pounds since I started taking it. It is very resistant to dieting -- I recently spent a month on Atkins (with NO cheating) and lost 0. My neurologist wants to increase my dosage to 1800, but after I was on 900 for a few days, my feet and legs started swelling. She now wants to switch me from Neurontin to Zonegran, which I've taken for 4 days, with a marked decrease in appetite, and supposedly without the weight gain effects of Neurontin. I read that Neurontin actually slows down the metabolism, and I believe it!

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by Deesent on October 15, 2004, at 18:16:41

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by ravenstorm on July 22, 2004, at 18:45:47

My doctor prescribed Neurontin after I had to withdraw from Serzone and could not tolerate Lexapro. After trying many different AD's Serzone unfortunately was the one that finally worked for me and then they withdrew it from the market.

AD's and me don't get along very well. I have been hesitant to try the Neurontin, not wanting to go through side affects and all, but some of your posts are encouraging me to take it for my anxiety. I currently take Xanax .5 mg 3-4 times a day. Does anybody take Xanax with the Neurontin? He is starting me on a REAL low dose of 100 mg 3X day because he knows how sensitive I am to meds. Have been on Xanax for 15+ years and I don't see myself getting off of it anytime soon.
Thanks for your insights and help:)

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Deesent

Posted by Snowie on October 17, 2004, at 18:16:02

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by Deesent on October 15, 2004, at 18:16:41

Hi,

Yes, I have taken Xanax (and Tranxene) and Neurontin together (I don't do well with A/D's either). Several years ago, my sister was taking Neurontin and she liked it, so I tried it at her suggestion because I felt Xanax wasn't working as well for me the 2nd time around as it had the 1st time (long story - I had been taking Xanax for years but because of a job I wanted that required a drug test, I developed a benzo dependency phobia, so I weaned off Xanax over 9 mos. and stopped taking it completely for over a year. I came to the conclusion during that time that my life on Xanax had been much better than it had been without it.). I broke open a 100 mg. capsule of Neurontin and added it to a soft drink or milk and was surprised that my anxiety went away the first time I tried it.

I got a pdoc to write me a script of Neurontin for 100 mg. 2 or 3 x a day, and it eventually allowed me to go from 3 mg. a day of Xanax to only 1 mg. I went on Tranxene a few months later (also a benzo but supposedly not as potent as Xanax and I take only 1 15 mg. pill in the morning), but Tranxene hasn't helped me much, although I feel if for some reason I had to quit it cold turkey I could, which is probably why I haven't gone back to regular Xanax, although I'm considering Xanax XR.

Unfortunately, although Neurontin works for me much of the time, it doesn't work all of the time to alleviate anxiety. Often it works better than benzos; other times it doesn't work at all. Go figure. Also, Neurontin by itself doesn't help me with social anxiety. In addition, I've gained weight since upping my dosage of Neurontin to 400 mg. 3 x a day, my libido has been non-existent, and I've had terrible tinnitis. Those side effects may or may not be caused by Neurontin, so I've started tapering it to see if the weight gain, libido, and tinnitis problems are side effects of the increased Neurontin (I feel my libido returning, so I'll see what happens). So far I haven't had any problems tapering from Neurontin (I've only been taking 1 400 mg. pill at night so I can sleep and I don't taper too quickly).

Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps. Don't forget we're all different and what works for me may or may not work for you, and whatever side effects I may experience may or may not affect you in the same way. You won't know until you try it. However, if Neurontin does help you and you notice any of the side effects I mention above, try lowering your dose back to 100 mg. 3 x a day and see if they go away because for me it has been a good med.

Snowie

> My doctor prescribed Neurontin after I had to withdraw from Serzone and could not tolerate Lexapro. After trying many different AD's Serzone unfortunately was the one that finally worked for me and then they withdrew it from the market.
>
> AD's and me don't get along very well. I have been hesitant to try the Neurontin, not wanting to go through side affects and all, but some of your posts are encouraging me to take it for my anxiety. I currently take Xanax .5 mg 3-4 times a day. Does anybody take Xanax with the Neurontin? He is starting me on a REAL low dose of 100 mg 3X day because he knows how sensitive I am to meds. Have been on Xanax for 15+ years and I don't see myself getting off of it anytime soon.
> Thanks for your insights and help:)

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 19, 2004, at 0:26:31

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Deesent, posted by Snowie on October 17, 2004, at 18:16:02

Snowie,
My experience with Neurontin is similar to yours. It was prescribed for my fibromyalgia pain and although it doesn't do squat for the pain, it's wonderful for anxiety... when it works. When I first started, the effect was simply delicious, calm lovely soothing ease, just like what I always hoped for from benzos. 'At last!' I thought, prematurely.

It began to fade and I was up to 2,700mg a day. I think it puts on weight and causes constipation, but I'm also on other meds that do this. So I stopped and had no trouble stopping. Luckily, I'm not needing the extra help of anti-anxiety meds right now and take an oxazepam or valium only occasionally. I've tried taking a break from Neurontin before and starting up again. Sure enough, it's blissfully potent for about a week and then starts to fade.

I read a few articles saying that Neurontin seems to retain it's anti-anxiety properties at lower doses. So you might try taking a break for 3 weeks (the general timeframe for receptors to adjust) and then keep it at a low dose as long as you can. - Barbara

> Unfortunately, although Neurontin works for me much of the time, it doesn't work all of the time to alleviate anxiety. Often it works better than benzos; other times it doesn't work at all. Go figure. Also, Neurontin by itself doesn't help me with social anxiety. In addition, I've gained weight since upping my dosage of Neurontin to 400 mg. 3 x a day, my libido has been non-existent, and I've had terrible tinnitis. Those side effects may or may not be caused by Neurontin, so I've started tapering it to see if the weight gain, libido, and tinnitis problems are side effects of the increased Neurontin (I feel my libido returning, so I'll see what happens). So far I haven't had any problems tapering from Neurontin (I've only been taking 1 400 mg. pill at night so I can sleep and I don't taper too quickly).
>
> Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps. Don't forget we're all different and what works for me may or may not work for you, and whatever side effects I may experience may or may not affect you in the same way. You won't know until you try it. However, if Neurontin does help you and you notice any of the side effects I mention above, try lowering your dose back to 100 mg. 3 x a day and see if they go away because for me it has been a good med.
>
> Snowie
>
> > My doctor prescribed Neurontin after I had to withdraw from Serzone and could not tolerate Lexapro. After trying many different AD's Serzone unfortunately was the one that finally worked for me and then they withdrew it from the market.
> >
> > AD's and me don't get along very well. I have been hesitant to try the Neurontin, not wanting to go through side affects and all, but some of your posts are encouraging me to take it for my anxiety. I currently take Xanax .5 mg 3-4 times a day. Does anybody take Xanax with the Neurontin? He is starting me on a REAL low dose of 100 mg 3X day because he knows how sensitive I am to meds. Have been on Xanax for 15+ years and I don't see myself getting off of it anytime soon.
> > Thanks for your insights and help:)

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 19, 2004, at 6:51:45

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 19, 2004, at 0:26:31

Barbaracat,

Love your name! Snowie is my female cat's name (no my name isn't really Snowie, but I think it's cute...lol)

Yes, I totally agree with you. When Neurontin works, it works so great. When it stops, you tend to keep popping those pills until it does work. I guess I got up on many occasions to 1,600 mg. or more, which is too much for just anxiety. I see my pdoc on 10/21, so I will probably ask to try Xanax XR and I want to lower my Neurontin use to 100 mg. x 3, which should be plenty.

It's so strange how Neurontin works so well at times and at other times, like you wrote, it does squat. And, yes, when it works it has the same very calming effect as benzos do (sometimes even better!) - as smooth as butter. I'm having a little withdrawal right now from Neurontin, but not bad. I get a little tense around lunchtime but I try to eat a healthy protein meal, which sometimes calms me down, but other times I have to tough it out.

Snowie

> Snowie,
> My experience with Neurontin is similar to yours. It was prescribed for my fibromyalgia pain and although it doesn't do squat for the pain, it's wonderful for anxiety... when it works. When I first started, the effect was simply delicious, calm lovely soothing ease, just like what I always hoped for from benzos. 'At last!' I thought, prematurely.
>
> It began to fade and I was up to 2,700mg a day. I think it puts on weight and causes constipation, but I'm also on other meds that do this. So I stopped and had no trouble stopping. Luckily, I'm not needing the extra help of anti-anxiety meds right now and take an oxazepam or valium only occasionally. I've tried taking a break from Neurontin before and starting up again. Sure enough, it's blissfully potent for about a week and then starts to fade.
>
> I read a few articles saying that Neurontin seems to retain it's anti-anxiety properties at lower doses. So you might try taking a break for 3 weeks (the general timeframe for receptors to adjust) and then keep it at a low dose as long as you can. - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 19, 2004, at 19:44:58

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 19, 2004, at 6:51:45

Snowie,
Something you might want to try for the edginess while ramping down the Neurontin is L-Taurine, an amino acid that has anticonvulsant mood-stabilzing properties. It's also good for heart muscle and eyesight - cats =^^= especially need it. It doesn't have nearly the same warm fuzzy feeling as Neurontin but is calming and can smooth things out and is good for you too. I take 1,000mg morning and night ongoing but bump it up if I'm under stress or cutting back on meds.

There's also a form of magnesium that is bonded to it, magnesium taurate, that I find works the best for me. Taking both with extra Vitmin C is a good plan. An online store, www.iherb.com, has great prices on nutritionals and free shipping after $40 or $50. Good luck and here's to one day making those feel good chemicals on our own! - BarbaraCat

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 20, 2004, at 16:15:48

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 19, 2004, at 19:44:58

BarbaraCat,

I literally take a basketful of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, but not every day. I believe Taurine may be in the mix, but I'll have to check since I have so many. Thanks for the info.

I took a little Neurontin during lunch today and *BAM* my anxiety went away. That stuff is as potent for some people as any benzo. Anything that works that well (when it works) kind of scares me. I wouldn't mind taking it if I could depend on it always working.

I found a site that tells what amino acids do what. Are you sure you didn't mean Tyrosine or one of the GABAs? Here's the site.

http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/aminoacids/

Anyway, tapering from Neurontin is more difficult than I thought, so once I'm off of it I don't think I'll continue with it, especially if Xanax XR or Klonopin work as well for me once I'm off. I agree with another poster that mixing Neurontin with other meds tends to decrease or interfere with the effectiveness of the other meds. Do you continue to take any meds for anxiety? Are you still taking Neurontin (sorry, you may have mentioned whether you eventually went off it, but I don't remember now)?

Thanks,

Snowie

> Snowie,
> Something you might want to try for the edginess while ramping down the Neurontin is L-Taurine, an amino acid that has anticonvulsant mood-stabilzing properties. It's also good for heart muscle and eyesight - cats =^^= especially need it. It doesn't have nearly the same warm fuzzy feeling as Neurontin but is calming and can smooth things out and is good for you too. I take 1,000mg morning and night ongoing but bump it up if I'm under stress or cutting back on meds.
>
> There's also a form of magnesium that is bonded to it, magnesium taurate, that I find works the best for me. Taking both with extra Vitmin C is a good plan. An online store, www.iherb.com, has great prices on nutritionals and free shipping after $40 or $50. Good luck and here's to one day making those feel good chemicals on our own! - BarbaraCat

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimesBarbaraCat

Posted by Snowie on October 20, 2004, at 16:35:02

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 20, 2004, at 16:15:48

Here's another site that mentions Taurine may act as a neurotransmitter in some areas of the brain and retina.

http://www.getbig.com/articles/protein.htm

Since these posts aren't so much about alternative treatments as about finding something that will help substitute for Neurontin until I'm able to get off it (but could be misconstrued as such), I won't mention them on this med Board again. BarbaraCat, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to post them on P-B Alternatives or email me directly (snowielady @ yahoo.com). Thanks.

Snowie

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 20, 2004, at 17:52:08

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 20, 2004, at 16:15:48

That's interesting you took Neurontin today because so did I. I've been really pushing it hard lately, more than I have in 3 years. I'm very involved with the election and it's been asking way more of me than I think I can give. So I took 2 Neurontins and a valium and planned to take the day off to seek the solace of loose floppy limbs for a while. No such luck. Here I am working working and feeling loopy from the meds. The Neurontin once again kicked in so sweetly (I've been off it for about a month).

Yes, I wish I could depend on it too. I've never had a withdrawal from it, at least I don't think so. What are you going through around withdrawal from it?

To answer your question, sometimes I take either valium or oxazepam (similar to ativan) and they will take the edge off. When I'm really feeling tight like I just can't take the uncomfortable feeling I'll reach for wine. It immediately lifts my spirits, I feel great, but then I pay for it the next day. So that isn't the answer. I wish someone would develop a drug that is as effective as alcohol but without the pain.

The answer for me just may be in my breathing. I definitely have a disordered breathing pattern, holding my breath, tightness in my rib muscles. I've done yoga for years and I still have this pattern, which I think comes from a armouring reflex from an abusive childhood. I'm working with some CDs and literature to deal with it.

Thanks for the links. I haven't gotten to them but I definitely will. I did mean L-Taurine. Tyrosine is a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine. Taurine works on the electric potential of cell membranes - a different approach. So it's similar in action to the mood stabilizers. It starts working like this at higher doses, like 2G a day. Fish oil also is really important. I notice a difference when I slack off.

Oh, I think I'm going to chuck this day and go lie down and enjoy the comfort of neurontin as long as it's deciding to behave. - Barbara

> BarbaraCat,

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 21, 2004, at 13:51:03

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 20, 2004, at 17:52:08

BarbaraCat,

I saw my pdoc today and he doesn't think Neurontin is doing anything for anxiety. In fact, he said I'm his only patient who takes it for anxiety, which I find hard to believe because my sister takes it for anxiety but he disagreed as to its effect on her because she's bipolar. Heck, she was the one who got me to try Neurontin in the first place, and I'm not bipolar! I have only been taking Neurontin sparingly lately, and because I was super tense after my appointment, I broke open a capsule and poured about a third into a cup of Coke. It worked so well and quickly. My pdoc gave me a script for 100 mg. of Neurontin 4 x a day today which I will fill when my 400 mg. pills run out, and then I may just save them for when nothing else works. Strange how Neurontin seems to work better when you don't take it that often as opposed to when you take it on a regular basis, especially in mega doses.

I checked my stash of health food type pills at home and I didn't see Taurine there, so I'll get it today at my health food store on my way home from work and see what happens.

As for withdrawal from Neurontin, I've been taking 22.5 mgs. of Tranxene every morning but that still doesn't take the edge off, so the only thing I can think of is that my body is craving Neurontin. Around lunchtime, if I pour a portion of a 400 mg. pill of Neurontin into a liquid of some kind, the anxiety goes away immediately. So I don't know what to think, but my pdoc thinks it's all in my head and the effect is negligible.

As for scripts at my appointment with my pdoc, he wanted to give me an A/D (Lexapro) but I argued with him about that and won the fight but maybe not the war. I have never done well on A/D's and don't like the side effects for the most part. He also gave me a script for Klonopin (pretty much as much as I want) and a script for 2 mg. pills of Xanax XR for 30 days plus a refill. If my insurance will take the Xanax XR I'll fill that. If not, I'll get the Klonopin.

Sorry the election is causing you so much grief and, of course, this will soon pass. At least you have something that is working to take the edge off until then. Hope it continues to work for you whenever you need it. I wish Neurontin was consistently dependable so I could do without the benzos *sigh*.

Snowie

> That's interesting you took Neurontin today because so did I. I've been really pushing it hard lately, more than I have in 3 years. I'm very involved with the election and it's been asking way more of me than I think I can give. So I took 2 Neurontins and a valium and planned to take the day off to seek the solace of loose floppy limbs for a while. No such luck. Here I am working working and feeling loopy from the meds. The Neurontin once again kicked in so sweetly (I've been off it for about a month).
>
> Yes, I wish I could depend on it too. I've never had a withdrawal from it, at least I don't think so. What are you going through around withdrawal from it?
>
> To answer your question, sometimes I take either valium or oxazepam (similar to ativan) and they will take the edge off. When I'm really feeling tight like I just can't take the uncomfortable feeling I'll reach for wine. It immediately lifts my spirits, I feel great, but then I pay for it the next day. So that isn't the answer. I wish someone would develop a drug that is as effective as alcohol but without the pain.
>
> The answer for me just may be in my breathing. I definitely have a disordered breathing pattern, holding my breath, tightness in my rib muscles. I've done yoga for years and I still have this pattern, which I think comes from a armouring reflex from an abusive childhood. I'm working with some CDs and literature to deal with it.
>
> Thanks for the links. I haven't gotten to them but I definitely will. I did mean L-Taurine. Tyrosine is a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine. Taurine works on the electric potential of cell membranes - a different approach. So it's similar in action to the mood stabilizers. It starts working like this at higher doses, like 2G a day. Fish oil also is really important. I notice a difference when I slack off.
>
> Oh, I think I'm going to chuck this day and go lie down and enjoy the comfort of neurontin as long as it's deciding to behave. - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 21, 2004, at 20:36:49

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 21, 2004, at 13:51:03

Snowie,
I and many others must respectfully disagree with your pdoc. The drug monographs may not mention it for anxiety but there's plenty of literature and anecdotal evidence that it relieves anxiety in some people where nothing else works. Even it's generic name 'gabapentin' implies a connection with GABA receptors. If you do a Google search on neurontin or gabapentin + anxiety you'll get a load of hits.

Have you ever considered you might be bipolar II? I didn't think I was until I'd gone through every SSRI out there and had bad poop out or worsened symptoms. Bipolars do badly on SSRIs. Gabapentin is sometimes used in bipolar disorder because, like other mood stabilizers, it's an anticonvulsant. Lithium has a calming effect also. I was jumping out of my skin with anxiety and depression until I got on lithium. I'm taking a very low dose of a tricyclic AD, nortriptyline, along with it.

When lithium did the trick for me, I did more research on bipolar disorder and found that it really does not resemble the common conception most people have about it and can look like so many things. I'd always thought bipoar meant you were either stupidly elated or you were depressed.

I'd always mainly had depressions, but definitely had a few true manic episodes and alot of hypomanias. What confused me was that my bleak dark depressions would at times be accompanied by intense anxiety, panic, a revving motor feeling which I now know to be 'mixed states bipolar depression'. I didn't realize you can have both poles going at once and I didn't realize that the 'manic' pole can be pure anxiety, irritability, disorganization, and not necessarily gradiose madcap glee.

Maybe you're responding to Neurontin because it's helping an undiagnosed BP condition. It's interesting your sister responds to it as well, and she's bipolar. Bipolar disorder seems to have a strong genetic component.

If you are BP then Lexapro is the last thing you need. Trust me on this one. If there's one common denominator bipolars share, it's that on their own SSRIs will make us much worse and they need some kind of mood stabilizer to take with. I wonder if your pdoc who doesn't think neurontin relieves anxiety is aware of the BP-SSRI connection?

BTW, the election is not causing any problems at all. I'm just very busy but loving every minute of it. - Barbara
>
> I saw my pdoc today and he doesn't think Neurontin is doing anything for anxiety. In fact, he said I'm his only patient who takes it for anxiety, which I find hard to believe because my sister takes it for anxiety but he disagreed as to its effect on her because she's bipolar. Heck, she was the one who got me to try Neurontin in the first place, and I'm not bipolar! I have only been taking Neurontin sparingly lately, and because I was super tense after my appointment, I broke open a capsule and poured about a third into a cup of Coke. It worked so well and quickly. My pdoc gave me a script for 100 mg. of Neurontin 4 x a day today which I will fill when my 400 mg. pills run out, and then I may just save them for when nothing else works. Strange how Neurontin seems to work better when you don't take it that often as opposed to when you take it on a regular basis, especially in mega doses.
>
> I checked my stash of health food type pills at home and I didn't see Taurine there, so I'll get it today at my health food store on my way home from work and see what happens.
>
> As for withdrawal from Neurontin, I've been taking 22.5 mgs. of Tranxene every morning but that still doesn't take the edge off, so the only thing I can think of is that my body is craving Neurontin. Around lunchtime, if I pour a portion of a 400 mg. pill of Neurontin into a liquid of some kind, the anxiety goes away immediately. So I don't know what to think, but my pdoc thinks it's all in my head and the effect is negligible.
>
> As for scripts at my appointment with my pdoc, he wanted to give me an A/D (Lexapro) but I argued with him about that and won the fight but maybe not the war. I have never done well on A/D's and don't like the side effects for the most part. He also gave me a script for Klonopin (pretty much as much as I want) and a script for 2 mg. pills of Xanax XR for 30 days plus a refill. If my insurance will take the Xanax XR I'll fill that. If not, I'll get the Klonopin.
>
> Sorry the election is causing you so much grief and, of course, this will soon pass. At least you have something that is working to take the edge off until then. Hope it continues to work for you whenever you need it. I wish Neurontin was consistently dependable so I could do without the benzos *sigh*.
>
> Snowie
>
> > That's interesting you took Neurontin today because so did I. I've been really pushing it hard lately, more than I have in 3 years. I'm very involved with the election and it's been asking way more of me than I think I can give. So I took 2 Neurontins and a valium and planned to take the day off to seek the solace of loose floppy limbs for a while. No such luck. Here I am working working and feeling loopy from the meds. The Neurontin once again kicked in so sweetly (I've been off it for about a month).
> >
> > Yes, I wish I could depend on it too. I've never had a withdrawal from it, at least I don't think so. What are you going through around withdrawal from it?
> >
> > To answer your question, sometimes I take either valium or oxazepam (similar to ativan) and they will take the edge off. When I'm really feeling tight like I just can't take the uncomfortable feeling I'll reach for wine. It immediately lifts my spirits, I feel great, but then I pay for it the next day. So that isn't the answer. I wish someone would develop a drug that is as effective as alcohol but without the pain.
> >
> > The answer for me just may be in my breathing. I definitely have a disordered breathing pattern, holding my breath, tightness in my rib muscles. I've done yoga for years and I still have this pattern, which I think comes from a armouring reflex from an abusive childhood. I'm working with some CDs and literature to deal with it.
> >
> > Thanks for the links. I haven't gotten to them but I definitely will. I did mean L-Taurine. Tyrosine is a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine. Taurine works on the electric potential of cell membranes - a different approach. So it's similar in action to the mood stabilizers. It starts working like this at higher doses, like 2G a day. Fish oil also is really important. I notice a difference when I slack off.
> >
> > Oh, I think I'm going to chuck this day and go lie down and enjoy the comfort of neurontin as long as it's deciding to behave. - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 22, 2004, at 10:52:14

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 21, 2004, at 20:36:49

Hi Barbara,

I went to the health food store last night on my way home, and saw L-Taurine, and thought I have that at home, so rather than purchase it again, I drove home (which is only a few blocks from the health food store), and I did have it (1,000 mg. pills). Most mornings I take a multi dose pill, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and occasionally iron, so today, I added Taurine to the list of every day things to take. The other alternative stuff I take about once a week.

As for whether or not I'm BP, it's possible and something that I've thought about (and probably many pdocs have thought about), but I don't have many of the symptoms that my sister and others have. I rarely get really depressed, I'm frugal with my money and have a great credit rating, and although I've kissed my share of men, I've never been sexually promiscuous, although neither was my sister. She was having panic attacks, severe depression, and went through all of her inheritance money from our grandmother (upwards of $30K), and put $10K on her credit cards. Luckily, I have never had that problem. She also has periods of highs where she doesn't need any sleep (that's definitely not me), and then periods of lows. I don't know. I do have periods of mania-like rapid talk, but only when I don't take the calming meds like I should. Neurontin does work on the GABA receptors, just like the benzos do, right? I asked my sister what Neurontin does for her, and she said it helps her mood swings, and helps a little with anxiety, but apparently not as much as it does for me.

It's not that I don't mind calling a spade a spade, and although my father hasn't been formally diagnosed (he was a family doctor and said he would have lost his license had he gone to a pdoc), he has had classic symptoms of BP disorder all of his life. Is it possible to have a touch of BP, without having many of the symptoms?

Snowie

> Snowie,
> I and many others must respectfully disagree with your pdoc. The drug monographs may not mention it for anxiety but there's plenty of literature and anecdotal evidence that it relieves anxiety in some people where nothing else works. Even it's generic name 'gabapentin' implies a connection with GABA receptors. If you do a Google search on neurontin or gabapentin + anxiety you'll get a load of hits.
>
> Have you ever considered you might be bipolar II? I didn't think I was until I'd gone through every SSRI out there and had bad poop out or worsened symptoms. Bipolars do badly on SSRIs. Gabapentin is sometimes used in bipolar disorder because, like other mood stabilizers, it's an anticonvulsant. Lithium has a calming effect also. I was jumping out of my skin with anxiety and depression until I got on lithium. I'm taking a very low dose of a tricyclic AD, nortriptyline, along with it.
>
> When lithium did the trick for me, I did more research on bipolar disorder and found that it really does not resemble the common conception most people have about it and can look like so many things. I'd always thought bipoar meant you were either stupidly elated or you were depressed.
>
> I'd always mainly had depressions, but definitely had a few true manic episodes and alot of hypomanias. What confused me was that my bleak dark depressions would at times be accompanied by intense anxiety, panic, a revving motor feeling which I now know to be 'mixed states bipolar depression'. I didn't realize you can have both poles going at once and I didn't realize that the 'manic' pole can be pure anxiety, irritability, disorganization, and not necessarily gradiose madcap glee.
>
> Maybe you're responding to Neurontin because it's helping an undiagnosed BP condition. It's interesting your sister responds to it as well, and she's bipolar. Bipolar disorder seems to have a strong genetic component.
>
> If you are BP then Lexapro is the last thing you need. Trust me on this one. If there's one common denominator bipolars share, it's that on their own SSRIs will make us much worse and they need some kind of mood stabilizer to take with. I wonder if your pdoc who doesn't think neurontin relieves anxiety is aware of the BP-SSRI connection?
>
> BTW, the election is not causing any problems at all. I'm just very busy but loving every minute of it. - Barbara
> >
> > I saw my pdoc today and he doesn't think Neurontin is doing anything for anxiety. In fact, he said I'm his only patient who takes it for anxiety, which I find hard to believe because my sister takes it for anxiety but he disagreed as to its effect on her because she's bipolar. Heck, she was the one who got me to try Neurontin in the first place, and I'm not bipolar! I have only been taking Neurontin sparingly lately, and because I was super tense after my appointment, I broke open a capsule and poured about a third into a cup of Coke. It worked so well and quickly. My pdoc gave me a script for 100 mg. of Neurontin 4 x a day today which I will fill when my 400 mg. pills run out, and then I may just save them for when nothing else works. Strange how Neurontin seems to work better when you don't take it that often as opposed to when you take it on a regular basis, especially in mega doses.
> >
> > I checked my stash of health food type pills at home and I didn't see Taurine there, so I'll get it today at my health food store on my way home from work and see what happens.
> >
> > As for withdrawal from Neurontin, I've been taking 22.5 mgs. of Tranxene every morning but that still doesn't take the edge off, so the only thing I can think of is that my body is craving Neurontin. Around lunchtime, if I pour a portion of a 400 mg. pill of Neurontin into a liquid of some kind, the anxiety goes away immediately. So I don't know what to think, but my pdoc thinks it's all in my head and the effect is negligible.
> >
> > As for scripts at my appointment with my pdoc, he wanted to give me an A/D (Lexapro) but I argued with him about that and won the fight but maybe not the war. I have never done well on A/D's and don't like the side effects for the most part. He also gave me a script for Klonopin (pretty much as much as I want) and a script for 2 mg. pills of Xanax XR for 30 days plus a refill. If my insurance will take the Xanax XR I'll fill that. If not, I'll get the Klonopin.
> >
> > Sorry the election is causing you so much grief and, of course, this will soon pass. At least you have something that is working to take the edge off until then. Hope it continues to work for you whenever you need it. I wish Neurontin was consistently dependable so I could do without the benzos *sigh*.
> >
> > Snowie
> >
> > > That's interesting you took Neurontin today because so did I. I've been really pushing it hard lately, more than I have in 3 years. I'm very involved with the election and it's been asking way more of me than I think I can give. So I took 2 Neurontins and a valium and planned to take the day off to seek the solace of loose floppy limbs for a while. No such luck. Here I am working working and feeling loopy from the meds. The Neurontin once again kicked in so sweetly (I've been off it for about a month).
> > >
> > > Yes, I wish I could depend on it too. I've never had a withdrawal from it, at least I don't think so. What are you going through around withdrawal from it?
> > >
> > > To answer your question, sometimes I take either valium or oxazepam (similar to ativan) and they will take the edge off. When I'm really feeling tight like I just can't take the uncomfortable feeling I'll reach for wine. It immediately lifts my spirits, I feel great, but then I pay for it the next day. So that isn't the answer. I wish someone would develop a drug that is as effective as alcohol but without the pain.
> > >
> > > The answer for me just may be in my breathing. I definitely have a disordered breathing pattern, holding my breath, tightness in my rib muscles. I've done yoga for years and I still have this pattern, which I think comes from a armouring reflex from an abusive childhood. I'm working with some CDs and literature to deal with it.
> > >
> > > Thanks for the links. I haven't gotten to them but I definitely will. I did mean L-Taurine. Tyrosine is a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine. Taurine works on the electric potential of cell membranes - a different approach. So it's similar in action to the mood stabilizers. It starts working like this at higher doses, like 2G a day. Fish oil also is really important. I notice a difference when I slack off.
> > >
> > > Oh, I think I'm going to chuck this day and go lie down and enjoy the comfort of neurontin as long as it's deciding to behave. - Barbara
>
>

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 22, 2004, at 11:48:02

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 22, 2004, at 10:52:14

> It's not that I don't mind calling a spade a spade, and although my father hasn't been formally diagnosed (he was a family doctor and said he would have lost his license had he gone to a pdoc), he has had classic symptoms of BP disorder all of his life. Is it possible to have a touch of BP, without having many of the symptoms?
>
**It sounds like your sister is classic BP-I which is what most people are familiar with. But there are 'softer' forms as well, in fact at last count I heard there were 5 forms. You don't have to be promiscuous, spend-happy or sleepless, or be suicidally depressed to have a disorder that is better treated by mood stabilizers acting to regulate the electical potential of the neuron rather than chemical reuptake of neurotransmitters. Although sometimes you need both, a bipolar can rarely take an SSRI alone without eventually destabilizing. Sometimes SSRI's worsening symptoms is enough of a marker to label it either BP-III or IV (I've lost count). There's also cyclothymia where you're cycling through moods rapidly but usually not extreme swings. Sometimes it's only the success of the treatment that decides the dx.

I had no idea I had it until I got well enough to 'remember' incidences that now made more sense. After I responded so well to lithium and learned more about this disorder, I could recognize that so much of the anxiety, irritability, pressured speech, distraction, sensitivity, bursts of energy all fall within a hypomanic spectrum. I've had mostly 'soft' bipolar most of my life, but truly a few zingers of full blown mania which I didn't recognize as such until later. It only takes 1 episode to satisfy the DSM-IV criteria, you know. There's been alot of discussion in psych circles lately whether BP and general anxiety disorder aren't just different levels of the same disorder.

But lithium alone doesn't do it for me. I need some kind of AD, although definitely not SSRIs. I landed in a psych ward when my pdoc kept pushing Paxil higher and higher when I wasn't getting better. I got very sick from lamictal as well which was supposedly good for treating bipolar depression. I'm back to one of the old tricyclics and doing very well on it.

Snowie, if your father and sister likely have bipolar disorder, you don't do well on SSRI's, and are suffering from unrelieved anxiety, this could be an important clue. If lithium or one of the others helps (I felt better within 1 week on a very small dose of lithium), then you've got a big piece of the puzzle. I refer to my life now as 'before lithium' and 'after lithium'.

Whatever name we tag onto these symptoms, the trick is to find something that works in the long run. The challenge is to work with a pdoc who can guide you through the maze of which one works best for you because all mood stabilizers are not the same for everyone. In the meantime, L-Taurine acts as a mood stabilizer and it would be interesting to see if it makes any differece. At least 1,000mg twice a day but up to double that amount is safe.

Just curious, but has your current pdoc never suggested possible bipolar disorder to you given your genetic history? - Barbara

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 22, 2004, at 12:55:25

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 22, 2004, at 11:48:02

Barbara,

Wow, I thought you had to have the "classic symptoms" of bipolar disorder in order to have it (I don't even like to shop!), although I knew there were I and II forms that the disorder can take. My father had all the classic symptoms of BP - the big spendings and then lack of interest in them, sexual promiscuity, depression, mania, etc.

I've never taken lithium, but my sister did at one time. She went off it when she gained 40 lbs. and she takes something else but, sadly, she is now as big as a linebacker.

As for whether or not anyone has ever suggested to me that I might be bipolar, no one has ever said so to me personally. I suggested to my current pdoc a while back that I might have ADD, and he seemed excited at the prospect, so he put me first on Adderal, then Ritalin, and finally Strattera, and nothing did anything but make me feel as jittery as if I had drank 40 cups of coffee in the morning, so I figured I didn't have it, and went off the meds. I hesitate to even mention anything new again lest he think, "here we go again."

I'll research it on my computer. My worry is that whenever I read symptoms of something, I tend to see in myself signs of whatever it is that I may or may not have, so I have to be careful that I don't end up treating myself, so to speak.

Thanks for this information. If I do have it I need to be treated, but why hasn't a pdoc ever mentioned it before? Also, did you gain weight with any of the drugs you've taken?

Snowie

> **It sounds like your sister is classic BP-I which is what most people are familiar with. But there are 'softer' forms as well, in fact at last count I heard there were 5 forms. You don't have to be promiscuous, spend-happy or sleepless, or be suicidally depressed to have a disorder that is better treated by mood stabilizers acting to regulate the electical potential of the neuron rather than chemical reuptake of neurotransmitters. Although sometimes you need both, a bipolar can rarely take an SSRI alone without eventually destabilizing. Sometimes SSRI's worsening symptoms is enough of a marker to label it either BP-III or IV (I've lost count). There's also cyclothymia where you're cycling through moods rapidly but usually not extreme swings. Sometimes it's only the success of the treatment that decides the dx.
>
> I had no idea I had it until I got well enough to 'remember' incidences that now made more sense. After I responded so well to lithium and learned more about this disorder, I could recognize that so much of the anxiety, irritability, pressured speech, distraction, sensitivity, bursts of energy all fall within a hypomanic spectrum. I've had mostly 'soft' bipolar most of my life, but truly a few zingers of full blown mania which I didn't recognize as such until later. It only takes 1 episode to satisfy the DSM-IV criteria, you know. There's been alot of discussion in psych circles lately whether BP and general anxiety disorder aren't just different levels of the same disorder.
>
> But lithium alone doesn't do it for me. I need some kind of AD, although definitely not SSRIs. I landed in a psych ward when my pdoc kept pushing Paxil higher and higher when I wasn't getting better. I got very sick from lamictal as well which was supposedly good for treating bipolar depression. I'm back to one of the old tricyclics and doing very well on it.
>
> Snowie, if your father and sister likely have bipolar disorder, you don't do well on SSRI's, and are suffering from unrelieved anxiety, this could be an important clue. If lithium or one of the others helps (I felt better within 1 week on a very small dose of lithium), then you've got a big piece of the puzzle. I refer to my life now as 'before lithium' and 'after lithium'.
>
> Whatever name we tag onto these symptoms, the trick is to find something that works in the long run. The challenge is to work with a pdoc who can guide you through the maze of which one works best for you because all mood stabilizers are not the same for everyone. In the meantime, L-Taurine acts as a mood stabilizer and it would be interesting to see if it makes any differece. At least 1,000mg twice a day but up to double that amount is safe.
>
> Just curious, but has your current pdoc never suggested possible bipolar disorder to you given your genetic history? - Barbara
>

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie

Posted by Barbaracat on October 23, 2004, at 2:47:20

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat, posted by Snowie on October 22, 2004, at 12:55:25

Snowie,

Here are two websites I like alot, then I'll reply to your post:

http://www.psycheducation.org/
You could spend months burrowing into this site. It's great.

http://www.mcmanweb.com
This is a great site and he updates it regularly. There's also a forum where other bipolars comment on his articles.

> Wow, I thought you had to have the "classic symptoms" of bipolar disorder in order to have it (I don't even like to shop!), although I knew there were I and II forms that the disorder can take.

**That's what I thought too and was very shocked when I finally recognized myself as bipolar. No one wants that kind of stigma but the more I read about it and the many artists, authors, entertainers, etc. who have it, the more I see it as a gift whose energy can be harnessed.

>
> I've never taken lithium, but my sister did at one time. She went off it when she gained 40 lbs. and she takes something else but, sadly, she is now as big as a linebacker.

**Yes, I've gained weight but I've been on so many porky meds that it's hard to tell what's doing it. Lithium does make it hard to lose weight, though. I went off it for about 4 months 'just to see' (boy, was I glad to get back on it again!) and during that time I dropped 15 pounds easily. Gained it back when I went back on without doing anything different. When I get regular exercise it's not much of a problem, but I have to work out like a demon to lose. There are other bipolar meds that don't have the weight problem but I didn't respond to them like I do to good old lithium.
>
>he put me first on Adderal, then Ritalin, and finally Strattera, and nothing did anything but make me feel as jittery as if I had drank 40 cups of coffee in the morning, so I figured I didn't have it, and went off the meds.

**Same thing happened to me. I can get so disorganized and scattered at times, also hyperfocused to the exclusion of everything else. When I'm having a hypomanic episode, my house looks like a bomb went off. I leave a trail of clutter and I hate it but can't help it. My pdoc put me on ritalin and adderal and I thought I was jumping out of my skin, and it didn't help. As you'll see on the psycheducation.org site, bipolar is sometimes mistaken for ADD since it shares similar symptoms. Same for anxiety.

>>I hesitate to even mention anything new again lest he think, "here we go again."

**I'm sure he can take it. The object is not to make him like you but to get well.
>
> Thanks for this information. If I do have it I need to be treated, but why hasn't a pdoc ever mentioned it before?

**Good question. I guess it's easy to become pigeon-holed and focused on a particular dx. Bipolar can be a real chameleon, looking like other things. And hopefully, you don't have it. I don't want to suggest anything that might be wrong for you simply because of my own experience. I know you're keeping an open mind.

However, the fact that your dad and sister both have it should have raised all sorts of red flags with him. The fact that you don't do well on SRRIs, suspected ADD, have anxiety, respond to neurontin - these are suspicious too. What he said about neurontin and anxiety should raise some of your own red flags. But he might be a wonderful doctor and I'm just projecting my own mistrust of the profession as it currently stands.

This is my two cents, but I don't think the majority of pdocs have the time, training or experience to adequately treat the many mood disorders they're seeing. I've only had two out of a dozen who I felt were talented healers and worth the money they were getting. I've been on every SSRI out there and you'd think one of those pdocs would have made the connection that they weren't working. It was I who suggested to my last pdoc that I might be bipolar, not him. This is a sad state of affairs. People in the grip of a serious mood disorder are not in a place where they can be their own advocates. But anymore, I think we have to be.

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes

Posted by Deesent on October 23, 2004, at 20:15:41

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 23, 2004, at 2:47:20

Snowie,
Sorry, I haven't responded since I posted my original message. I have been keeping up on yours and Barbaracat's experiences. Let me know how the Xanax XR works for you. I tried it but my doctor wasn't very familiar with it and only gave me 1mg to take once a day. After about 10-12 hours I really crashed on it and had to still take the regular Xanax.

I haven't tried the Neurontin yet. My husband had a heart attack and was just released from the hospital last week. I don't like to try new meds unless I know I can take them on a weekend where I don't have anything else I have to do in case I get a bad reaction to them. And that just hasn't happened for me in a long time, there is always something that HAS to be done.

You mentioned you open the capsule and pour a dose into a drink. Does this make it work faster? or better? You stated that you get immediate relief from the Neurontin if you don't take it on a regular basis, but do you get that crashing feeling when you come down off of it, or is it just gradual.

Thanks again and I enjoy reading all of your posts.

Dee

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Deesent

Posted by Snowie on October 25, 2004, at 11:12:37

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes, posted by Deesent on October 23, 2004, at 20:15:41

Hi Dee,

I read Barbara's post and while there are a ton of things I want to respond to there, I'm at work and need time to word my response. But since yours is a fairly quick response, I'm taking a quick break and hope this answers your questions.

I convinced my pdoc to give me 2 mg. of Xanax XR instead of 1 mg., since that's about how much I had been taking of regular Xanax when I went off Xanax and onto Tranxene (no, actually when I added Neurontin to the mix I had tirated down to about 1 mg. of Xanax a day). However, since Xanax XR is so expensive I wanted to make sure I got enough to last me the whole day, not to mention the whole month.

I took the first pill Saturday morning, and within a few hours I was sound asleep. When I woke up several hours later I felt okay, but not drugged out like I feel when I take a bite from a .25 mg. pill of Seroquel. An hour or so later I started feeling a little anxious, so I took a little Neurontin. That helped for a while, but later that evening I realized Xanax XR wasn't going to last the whole day, so I took .5 mg. of Klonopin, which worked pretty well. So, based on my first dose of 2 mg. of Xanax XR, I'm not impressed. .5 of Klonopin 2 x a day along with a little Neurontin mixed in seems to be working pretty well, so I may give the Xanax XR to my sister to see how she likes it (she takes regular Xanax anyway).

It seems that at the higher doses, Neurontin tends to work less for me on anxiety than when I keep the dose lower. So, since I have 400 mg. capsules (the capsules are not extended or sustained release), it's easy to open and pour out whatever you need into some liquid. And, yes, the relief is almost immediate when it works (and it has been working every time now that I'm taking a lot less). And, no, for me it's not a crashing feeling like coming off Xanax. I don't even notice that I've "come off it" which is why I've always liked Neurontin.

Snowie


> Snowie,
> Sorry, I haven't responded since I posted my original message. I have been keeping up on yours and Barbaracat's experiences. Let me know how the Xanax XR works for you. I tried it but my doctor wasn't very familiar with it and only gave me 1mg to take once a day. After about 10-12 hours I really crashed on it and had to still take the regular Xanax.
>
> I haven't tried the Neurontin yet. My husband had a heart attack and was just released from the hospital last week. I don't like to try new meds unless I know I can take them on a weekend where I don't have anything else I have to do in case I get a bad reaction to them. And that just hasn't happened for me in a long time, there is always something that HAS to be done.
>
> You mentioned you open the capsule and pour a dose into a drink. Does this make it work faster? or better? You stated that you get immediate relief from the Neurontin if you don't take it on a regular basis, but do you get that crashing feeling when you come down off of it, or is it just gradual.
>
> Thanks again and I enjoy reading all of your posts.
>
> Dee

 

Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Barbaracat

Posted by Snowie on October 26, 2004, at 17:15:21

In reply to Re: NEURONTIN - sometimes Snowie, posted by Barbaracat on October 23, 2004, at 2:47:20

Barbara,

Thanks for the great response and the links. I want to keep this thread on the Board so I don't forget to respond to it. It's been a crazy day today and I'm going line dancing tonight. I did call my pdoc on Friday afternoon, but I found out that they don't work on Friday afternoons so I left a voice message that if my pdoc (who doesn't know me well) thinks I may even possibly be even just a little bit bipolar, for him or his office to call me so we can schedule an appointment to discuss it. No one ever called so I don't know what to think. Anyway this is a quickie post, but I wanted to let you know that and to also let you know that I will respond to your post in detail as soon as I can!

You've got me worried about the weight gain part. I'm not skinny but I've tried very hard all of my life to keep from being fat because obesity is a huge problem in my family. Like I wrote, my sister gained a ton of weight on all the meds she's taken for her bipolar disorder.

Thanks!

Snowie

> Snowie,
>
> Here are two websites I like alot, then I'll reply to your post:
>
> http://www.psycheducation.org/
> You could spend months burrowing into this site. It's great.
>
> http://www.mcmanweb.com
> This is a great site and he updates it regularly. There's also a forum where other bipolars comment on his articles.
>
> > Wow, I thought you had to have the "classic symptoms" of bipolar disorder in order to have it (I don't even like to shop!), although I knew there were I and II forms that the disorder can take.
>
> **That's what I thought too and was very shocked when I finally recognized myself as bipolar. No one wants that kind of stigma but the more I read about it and the many artists, authors, entertainers, etc. who have it, the more I see it as a gift whose energy can be harnessed.
>
> >
> > I've never taken lithium, but my sister did at one time. She went off it when she gained 40 lbs. and she takes something else but, sadly, she is now as big as a linebacker.
>
> **Yes, I've gained weight but I've been on so many porky meds that it's hard to tell what's doing it. Lithium does make it hard to lose weight, though. I went off it for about 4 months 'just to see' (boy, was I glad to get back on it again!) and during that time I dropped 15 pounds easily. Gained it back when I went back on without doing anything different. When I get regular exercise it's not much of a problem, but I have to work out like a demon to lose. There are other bipolar meds that don't have the weight problem but I didn't respond to them like I do to good old lithium.
> >
> >he put me first on Adderal, then Ritalin, and finally Strattera, and nothing did anything but make me feel as jittery as if I had drank 40 cups of coffee in the morning, so I figured I didn't have it, and went off the meds.
>
> **Same thing happened to me. I can get so disorganized and scattered at times, also hyperfocused to the exclusion of everything else. When I'm having a hypomanic episode, my house looks like a bomb went off. I leave a trail of clutter and I hate it but can't help it. My pdoc put me on ritalin and adderal and I thought I was jumping out of my skin, and it didn't help. As you'll see on the psycheducation.org site, bipolar is sometimes mistaken for ADD since it shares similar symptoms. Same for anxiety.
>
> >>I hesitate to even mention anything new again lest he think, "here we go again."
>
> **I'm sure he can take it. The object is not to make him like you but to get well.
> >
> > Thanks for this information. If I do have it I need to be treated, but why hasn't a pdoc ever mentioned it before?
>
> **Good question. I guess it's easy to become pigeon-holed and focused on a particular dx. Bipolar can be a real chameleon, looking like other things. And hopefully, you don't have it. I don't want to suggest anything that might be wrong for you simply because of my own experience. I know you're keeping an open mind.
>
> However, the fact that your dad and sister both have it should have raised all sorts of red flags with him. The fact that you don't do well on SRRIs, suspected ADD, have anxiety, respond to neurontin - these are suspicious too. What he said about neurontin and anxiety should raise some of your own red flags. But he might be a wonderful doctor and I'm just projecting my own mistrust of the profession as it currently stands.
>
> This is my two cents, but I don't think the majority of pdocs have the time, training or experience to adequately treat the many mood disorders they're seeing. I've only had two out of a dozen who I felt were talented healers and worth the money they were getting. I've been on every SSRI out there and you'd think one of those pdocs would have made the connection that they weren't working. It was I who suggested to my last pdoc that I might be bipolar, not him. This is a sad state of affairs. People in the grip of a serious mood disorder are not in a place where they can be their own advocates. But anymore, I think we have to be.


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