Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 630549

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my/ therpist's new strategy

Posted by pulse on April 16, 2006, at 3:41:51

In reply to Re: Love Jungle Jim's! gardenergirl, posted by pulse on April 16, 2006, at 3:10:31

all,

i had posted earlier that i was going to immediately start lowering my klonopin by 1 mg. per week - hoping to finally get totally off it, as i was just last year at this same time - although for only one month. you may recall i'm on emsam much more for major depressive illness, than for any anxiety help.

even before my therapist called me back last night, i realized this was just not realistic. i also realized that i needed to:

1) stop comparing my emsam start-up with anyone's else's.

2) be much more patient.

3) not go one bit lower on the klonopin for now.

4) give the ensam ample time, longer than the "up to 2 weeks to work," (cited on my pharmacy read-out).

(*i do still believe it's going to give me full remission of my MDD.)

therefore, i may well be more scarce around here for awhile.

many thanks to everyone who has helped me on this thread with their excellent info, and good luck to all on emsam.

pulse

 

Are you on 20 mg?

Posted by Sarah T. on April 16, 2006, at 5:56:36

In reply to my/ therpist's new strategy, posted by pulse on April 16, 2006, at 3:41:51

Are those of you who are starting on Emsam on the 20mg patches?

 

Re: Emsam - The Anxiety Community

Posted by Last Chance on April 16, 2006, at 12:24:04

In reply to Re: Emsam - The Anxiety Community, posted by Last Chance on April 14, 2006, at 22:25:54

I emailed The Anxiety Community yesterday suggesting they list Emsam - so now, amazingly one day later, there is a forum on Emsam - no posters yet. www.anxietyhelp.org - hit treatment, then medications list, then Emsam. Richard

 

Re: Agitation has arrived Phillipa

Posted by SFY on April 16, 2006, at 15:34:36

In reply to Re: Agitation has arrived strugglingsteve, posted by Phillipa on April 15, 2006, at 18:24:44

Emsam is made by Somerset Pharmaceuticals (which itself is a joint venture of Mylan Laboratories and Watson Pharmaceuticals) but is being marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

There is a BMS Patient Assistance Foundation to provide meds to people without prescription drug coverage who cannot otherwise afford them. Its website is http://www.bmspaf.org/

 

Re: Emsam Price

Posted by rvanson on April 16, 2006, at 18:00:30

In reply to Emsam Price, posted by cecilia on April 11, 2006, at 18:10:24

> I called my local pharmacy to find out the cost of Emsam-$552.79 for a box of 30 patches (i.e.$18.42/day)!!!!!!! And you apparently can't buy it in quantities of less than 30; so no way to try it and see if you tolerate it. And of course, I'll pay, even though the chance of my being able to tolerate it (I don't do well with stimulating meds), let alone it working are probably one in a million. I certainly would never put down that kind of money at a roulette table, but these greedy drug companies know that depression hurts so bad, we'll pay anything for the remote possibility of help. I'm not sure how they're really any different ethically than a heroin dealer....Not that I have a clue how much heroin or any other illegal drug costs, and $552 is nothing compared to all the money I wasted on useless therapy. but it still seems outrageous...Cecilia<

Useless talk therapy for a chemical genetic defect, yes, you bet.

IME, most Pdocs charge the insurance companies 110 to 170 USD per visit and only the initial visit is longer then 15 or 20 minutes.

Emsam will be a decent bargain when it comes down to 300 dollars or less per month.

Lots of "poor" folks spend that much a month on booze or smokes.

 

Re: amphetamine/selegeline

Posted by rvanson on April 16, 2006, at 18:09:07

In reply to Re: amphetamine/selegeline, posted by ravenstorm on April 10, 2006, at 11:01:53

> Found an article that indirectly states that it does metabolize into amphetamine:
>
> "Unlike selegiline, the novel irreversible selective MAO-B-inhibitor rasagiline (Agilect, Azilect) is not metabolised to methamphetamine or amphetamine."
>
> Concerned about this.

You should be.

If you are tested for drugs and you are using Emsam your urine will show a false positive for Methampethamines, and you will have to disclose your medical condition and a prescription for the medication or you will probably lose your job.

You may lose it anyway if you didnt disclose your condition/meds on your employment papers.

If this does happen, get to an employment attorney fast, else your career could be in jepordy.

 

Re: Emsam Price help #

Posted by Donna Louise on April 17, 2006, at 9:45:06

In reply to Re: Emsam Price/ Pulse Last Chance, posted by pulse on April 14, 2006, at 12:20:31

Well, I am freaking out, after waiting all these years, it is here, my insurance company never heard of it...someone posted a help # to call and I can't find it. I feel like I am in an alternate sick joke world.
thanks for helping,

Donna

 

11th day

Posted by RobertDavid on April 17, 2006, at 15:08:56

In reply to Re: Emsam Price help #, posted by Donna Louise on April 17, 2006, at 9:45:06

I'm continuing to feel better particularly with mental clarity, memory and mood. It seems I go a few days feeling the same (which is good), then on occation, like today, notice a surge, a change for the better. I'm sleeping better than I did before starting EMSAM, something that has improved from my first week. Perhaps that's do to depression lifting.

One thing I'm noticing is that I'm not so critical about myself, my mental issues or any issue for that matter. I can even tolerat my ex-wife (no offense ladies). I'm less anxious and am more accepting of myself. I'm not beating myself up on a daily basis (which is the norm). For lack of better words it feels like I've taken a "chill pill" or I guess I should say "chill patch."

Yesterday I went to a hot springs where I spent the day relaxing in the sun. I was concerned about being in the water especially hot water. I swam and soaked up the hot water for 5 hours and didn't have issues with it the patch coming off or feeling any different.

My driving anxieties are becoming less noticable. Socially I'm feeling more outgoing. For those just starting who may be feeling some slight increase in anxiety/engery or perhaps some difficulty sleeping I suspect it will ease with time, hang in there and see what happens.

For me, I've never taken a drug without feeling negative side effects. I think I had an irrational concern that EMSAM wasn't going to work, be strong enough because I didn't feel the negative side effects I typically expect when trying a new medicine. Like, how can a drug have be working if you don't feel something weird happening? For the first time in a long time I can read a book and actually remember what I just read. I'm getting to tasks I ordinarily just don't feel like doing.

I've mentioned before I've taken klonopin for 12 years (2mgs) and continue to do so per my doctors advise. Perhaps that's helped with EMSAM side effects though I've had terrible side effects while blending SSRI's, SNRI's and other meds with same dose of klonopin.

The reason I went to EMSAM was that though klonopin really has improved my social anxiety, I've had a lack of zest for life, low energy, poor mood and I still needed some improvement with SAD and GAD. I've done so many med trials, taking weeks, months out of my I was begining to lose hope, that I had only one or two med trials left in me. I just pray this continues, that there's no poop out.

Though my doctor wanted me to stay on klonopin for several months while I adjust to EMSAM, I now feel like starting a slow klonopin taper (.25 at a time) and see if I can get by with a lower dose or get off it. I've tried before, but couldn't, perhaps with EMSAM I can. As this is my first try with an MAOI I'm optimistic as I know how well Parnate and Nardil work for so many of you.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I continue to do really well. I know everyone is different, but I believe EMSAM will be the answer many have been looking for. Hopefully EMSAM will also re-open MAOI's in general to all the doctors who don't use them in their arsenal of drug treatments.

Rob

 

Re: Emsam Price

Posted by Last Chance on April 17, 2006, at 15:33:54

In reply to Re: Emsam Price, posted by rvanson on April 16, 2006, at 18:00:30

Costco price - $393.00 - still too much for me. Richard

 

Re: 11th day RobertDavid

Posted by Phillipa on April 17, 2006, at 15:39:23

In reply to 11th day, posted by RobertDavid on April 17, 2006, at 15:08:56

Great news

Great news!!!!!!!!I'd say I will E-mail you later but am getting a cast on my arm I won't be able to type if they put it over my fingers and hand. This sure gives me hope. Love Jan


 

Re: 11th day-envy you

Posted by strugglingsteve on April 17, 2006, at 18:10:48

In reply to 11th day, posted by RobertDavid on April 17, 2006, at 15:08:56

I wish my trial with emsam was going as well as yours is Robert. I have one side effect and its killing me. I have extreme anxiety and agitation and nothing seems to calm it down. I am hoping this is the it gets worse before it gets better routine but I am getting pretty scared right now. I am hoping it eases off soon. My doc wont let me take benzos so I am really stuck. I am going to ask him about lyrica tonight but he doesnt like that either. Good luck to you.

 

Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve

Posted by ravenstorm on April 17, 2006, at 20:13:27

In reply to Re: 11th day-envy you, posted by strugglingsteve on April 17, 2006, at 18:10:48

I am so sorry things are not going well for you. I suspect that emsam is going to be way too agitating for me as well.

However, you did state in an earlier post (I believe) that you felt agitated at first on WB and then adjusted to it. Could that be the case this time?

Unfortunately for me, I had the opposite reaction to WB. At the beginning of the trial it made me very tired and sick, then I felt good for a very brief time and then the extreme, crawling out of my skin agitation began and NOTHING the pdoc threw at it could stop it. I had to stop taking the WB and it took a month or two to regroup (no withdrawal syndrome, though, which was nice for once!)

I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

 

Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve

Posted by strugglingsteve on April 17, 2006, at 20:32:28

In reply to Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve, posted by ravenstorm on April 17, 2006, at 20:13:27

> I am so sorry things are not going well for you. I suspect that emsam is going to be way too agitating for me as well.
>
> However, you did state in an earlier post (I believe) that you felt agitated at first on WB and then adjusted to it. Could that be the case this time?
>
> Unfortunately for me, I had the opposite reaction to WB. At the beginning of the trial it made me very tired and sick, then I felt good for a very brief time and then the extreme, crawling out of my skin agitation began and NOTHING the pdoc threw at it could stop it. I had to stop taking the WB and it took a month or two to regroup (no withdrawal syndrome, though, which was nice for once!)
>
> I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

I just talked to my doc and he said to hang in there. He said if I am bipolar then it wont get better but if its just depression and anxiety, then give it a couple weeks and it may get better. He has a lot of experience with MAOI's so I best wait it out and see. I asked him about lyrica but he didnt want to mix two new drugs together so I have to grin and bear it. My close friend thinks I will get better in that time frame and to just hang on. Who knows, I could be a trail blazer for some who come after me, so I guess I have to try to survive one day and one hour at a time. I am self employed and managed to do some work today so that was a good thing.

 

Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve

Posted by ravenstorm on April 18, 2006, at 8:18:29

In reply to Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve, posted by strugglingsteve on April 17, 2006, at 20:32:28

Wait, are you saying your doctor is going to assume you are bipolar if you have anxiety and agitation from an antidepresant that is known to be on the activating side??!

My doctor didn't say I was bipolar because I couldn't take the agitation/anxiety from Wellbutrin.

Is your doctor aware that the patch is more activating than the other MAOI's because it affects more MAOI B than MAOI A?

 

Re: agitation post from another board

Posted by ravenstorm on April 18, 2006, at 9:26:36

In reply to Re: 11th day-envy you struggling steve, posted by ravenstorm on April 18, 2006, at 8:18:29

Found this on another site. Discouraging for those of us who also couldn't tolerat WB. :(

Attempt Ends in Failure


My Emsam Attempt Ends in Failure
15. Apr 2006 at 03:48 I was just prescribed the Emsam patch for treatment-resistant atypical depression and anxiety. I may be avoidant personality disorder or borderline-- it is a matter of some debate.

In any case, my recent attempt to use Emsam ended in failure.

About 12 hours after applying Emsam, I noticed increasted energy, a pleaseant physical agitation, wanting to move-- all very different and much improved from depression.

About 18 hours, I started getting very scared, very agitated; crying spells, feelings of hopelessness, abandonment, confused thinking. Waves of anger (which is unusual for me).

Doping myself with variations of Klonopin, Seroquel and Ambien allowed me to endure the symptoms for another day or two.

At 72 hours, I had a phone consultation and a decision was made to discontinue.
------------

I probably should have anticipated thse problems. These symptoms very closely paralleled my experience with Wellbutrin-- I had drug-induced psychosis when I was on it. Apparently my brain doesn't like increasing dopamine.
-----






 

EMSAM side effect info

Posted by RobertDavid on April 18, 2006, at 16:07:31

In reply to Re: agitation post from another board, posted by ravenstorm on April 18, 2006, at 9:26:36

Here is some info regarding side effects from one of the pre-approval trials.


Among 817 depressed patients who received EMSAM at doses of either 3mg/24hours (151 patients), 6mg/24hours (550 patients) or 6mg/24hours, 9mg/24hours, and 12mg/24hours (116 patients) in placebo-controlled trials of up to 8 weeks in duration, 7.1% discontinued treatment due to an adverse event as compared with 3.6% of 668 patients receiving placebo. The only adverse event associated with discontinuation, in at least 1% of EMSAM -treated patients at a rate at least twice that of placebo, was application site reaction (2% EMSAM vs. 0% placebo).


I think it's notable that only 3.5% more people stopped taking EMSAM than those taking a placebo. Also, application site reaction was the only side effect where the drop out rate was twice that of placebo. Hopefully those that experience some side effects will not be significant enough to have to stop taking EMSAM before being able to determine if it will work for them.

Everyone is so different. I have had such terrible side effects from other anti depressants like Wellbutrin, SSRI's, SNRI's and tricyclics, yet others do fine with them. As I've been posting, so far EMSAM is all benefit with no negative side effects. Just shows you that there's no making sence of which meds will or won't work for you. It's pretty much trial and error.

Rob

 

Re: 11th day

Posted by germanium on April 18, 2006, at 21:24:38

In reply to Re: 11th day RobertDavid, posted by Phillipa on April 17, 2006, at 15:39:23

It appears that Selegiline is best for people that have at worst only a small problem with anxiety and suffer low energy all the time like me. Yes the agitation is there for me to but it actually helps me to a degree as I tend to be very very anergic if left in the natural state & very depressed as well.

Since starting Selegiline I have started exorcizing & I haven't done that in years but now I have the energy & motivation that I sorely lacked before.

 

Re: 11th day

Posted by strugglingsteve on April 18, 2006, at 23:51:19

In reply to Re: 11th day, posted by germanium on April 18, 2006, at 21:24:38

How do you know it will only be good for people with low anxiety? There is no clinical data to base that statement on. I have bad anxiety and am hoping it calms me down.

 

Re: EMSAM side effect info

Posted by Phillipa on April 19, 2006, at 0:08:44

In reply to EMSAM side effect info, posted by RobertDavid on April 18, 2006, at 16:07:31

I thought it was supposed to be great for anxiety and depression. Insomnia can be a problem . So where did you hear that Emsan is not for anxiety? Love Phillipa with anxiety hoping to try Ensam

 

Re: EMSAM side effect info

Posted by RobertDavid on April 19, 2006, at 0:49:10

In reply to Re: EMSAM side effect info, posted by Phillipa on April 19, 2006, at 0:08:44

All I can say is anxiety (both generalized anxiety and social anxiety) are my number one issues. From there I deal with a mild depression or perhaps I should say, low energy, low motivation, trouble sleeping and poor concentration.

I know everyone is different, but so far I've had no side effects on EMSAM with anxiety. I had only a couple nights where I slept less in terms of hours, but still woke up feeling refreshed.

I'm more outgoing, more relaxed, more focused, more upbeat. The increased energy I feel is unlike the energy I used to get from a cup of coffee or provigil, it's smooth and suttle, no edge. I don't come crashing down later in the day.

Certainly everyone will respond differently to it just like all the other meds out there. My sense is that it's at the very least a good option, worth a try, for those that have failed to respond or have not been able to tolerate the side effects of other anti depressants whether for depression or anxiety.

Before trying it I read a lot that suggested it wouldn't be a good choice for someone like me. I'm just thankful my doctor thought it was worth a try. I just know there are others out there like me that will have success with it (though I'll be the first to admit that 12 days is not enough for conclusions).

Rob

 

Re: EMSAM side effect info

Posted by germanium on April 19, 2006, at 6:41:09

In reply to Re: EMSAM side effect info, posted by Phillipa on April 19, 2006, at 0:08:44

Sounds like I opened a can of worms here It was just a statement based on what others seem to be experiencing & may not be correct but it appears theat some of the people are seeming to have a problem with emsam & extreme agitation. I myself sense an increase in energy + slight agitation which I'm actually taking advantage of to motivate myself to get into better shape.

Even though selegiline is a MAO type B inhibitor it also blocks the reuptake of Dopamine similar to Wellbutrin. It is this that may be causing the agitation. MAO type B main substance that it breaks down is phenylethylemine which is a chatecholamine activity enhancer which tends to boost ones energy. this is the same chemical found in chocolate & is referred to as the chocolate amphetamine & it is probably this plus the reuptake blocking of dopamine that is responsible for its antidepressant action. unfortunately it does not work for everyone but yes it does help some with social anxiety as I know from personal experience so my statement on the anxiety issue may be wrong & there is probably some other cause to the extreme agitation such as possibly the increase of dopamine in the brain for example. Again for some people like me who are very very anergic without selegiline it may work really well as it does for me.

 

Re: EMSAM side effect info

Posted by linkadge on April 19, 2006, at 17:39:46

In reply to Re: EMSAM side effect info, posted by germanium on April 19, 2006, at 6:41:09

PEA can make some people very nervous. It is a very strong CNS stimulant. It can also lead to acute relapses in people with psychotic disorders.

I think that the term "anxiety" can mean very different things for different people, and that different biochemical imbalances may cause the same symptoms. So to say that a drug does or doesn't help anxiety may not be descriptive enough.

Some people with ADHD say that stimulants help their anxiety, which may be caused by a lack of attention, and they may be nervous about things pertaining to concentration. OTOH, if I am worried about how my microwave is giving me cancer, then a stimulant like medication may make this worse.

If anxiety for you is GI problems, then an SSRI might not be good, and if anxiety for you is heart palpatitions then a TCA might not be good.

So, I think it depends on what kind of anxiety you have.


Linakdge

 

Re: EMSAM side effect info

Posted by linkadge on April 19, 2006, at 17:47:10

In reply to Re: EMSAM side effect info, posted by linkadge on April 19, 2006, at 17:39:46

I would not compare wellbutrin to emsam. For starters, Wellbutrin's effects on dopamine seem insufficiant to explain its antidepressant effects. Wellbutrin seems to work more with the noradrenergic system, it has only minimal effects on the dopamine transporter.

I would not equate a wellbutrin failure to an ensam failure, or anxiety on wellbutrin to anxiety on ensam.

Linkadge

 

Switching to EMSAM from Effexor

Posted by Donna Louise on April 19, 2006, at 19:27:01

In reply to Re: EMSAM side effect info, posted by linkadge on April 19, 2006, at 17:47:10

Ok, my insurance will pay, I have the rx. Now the pdoc wants me to do a 2 week washout from the effexor. I have read that only one week is necessary. What do you guys think? I do not want to be in withdrawal hell one second longer than necessary. Also, before I have been able to avoid this in the past by switching to another seratonergic drug. Since the mechanism of effect is so different, do you think that once I am on the EMSAM the withdrawal will stop or will I have to endure withdrawals for god only knows how long??? I am down to 75mg from 225 and I can tell you I have had withdrawal with each dose reduction so this is going to be a nightmare. She wants me to do a week of 37.5 but I want to just get it over with because it is going to be awful anyway. Any body experience this yet or have an idea what I can expect once I start the EMSAM? Don't you think a week's washout is long enough?? Please, any and all feedback here would be ever so greatly much appreciated!!! I have been waiting years to start this drug.

Donna

 

Re: Switching to EMSAM from Effexor

Posted by strugglingsteve on April 19, 2006, at 20:01:16

In reply to Switching to EMSAM from Effexor, posted by Donna Louise on April 19, 2006, at 19:27:01

I did a one week washout from a tca and that was sufficient but no idea about the half life of effexor. If the half life is long then you best take a longer washout period. It also may help you in assessing where your side effects come from, coming off effexor or onto emsam. I didnt want to wait at all but glad I did. I have one side effect and I know its from emsam and its ok. Hope this helps.....


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