Sunday, May 16, 2010

Deplin - A Wonder Blue Pill Vitamin

As I've written about I've been on the mental health roller coaster for most of my life. I've done the anti-depressants, the tranquilizers, sleeping meds, epilepsy meds, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, a-typical anti-psychotics, therapy. Pretty much you name it I've done it except for ECT. I've done that involuntary hospital thing too ...

Two weeks ago I started Deplin. It may be my next wonder pill. It's not a true pharmaceutical. It's a purified form of Folate - Folic Acid. I've long been on higher doses of Folic Acid. When you're on epilepsy meds like Depakote & Lamictal they know those drugs inhibit the bodies ability to process folate. When you're pregnant you need even more folic acid to ensure less birth defects.

Technically Deplin is L-methylfolate. In a normal person's body folic acid breaksdown and the final compound is L-methylfolate. Research shows some people with depression and schizophrenia have a genetic problem breaking down folate. It is further compounded by the drugs we are on.

Deplin can only be gotten with a prescription. It is classified as a medical food supplement so pretty much all insurance companies refuse to pay for it. It's funny they'll pay for Abilify, Zoloft, Seroquel, Lamictal, Celexa, etc. but not $77 for Deplin.

This shows just how screwed up our health care industry is. My insurance company in the last 10 years has spent money on lots of drugs, some therapy, hospital stays ... but they say no to Deplin - this $77 prescription is what is replacing 3 prescriptions. Seriously, UnitedHealthcare what a failure.

I throughly believe when treating bipolar disorder we need to stop masking the symptoms and start addresses the problem. Apparently I don't metabolize folic acid the way normal people do. They I get on drugs that make that worse. Then I get more depressed. Seems like $77 is worth a lot more than all those drugs I used to take.

For the record could be coincidence or could be my regular cycle. But the Deplin was started when I was deeply depressed and now I'm doing great. It's been only a few weeks ... we'll see.

If you're currently pregnant please speak to your doctor about folic acid. During my pregnancy I took 3G (not the standard 800-1000mg) so doctors prescribe up to 5G of regular folic acid for pregnant bipolar women.

For more information about Deplin for Depression see:

Deplin for Depression website

Novel Therapeutics for Depression: L-methylfolate as a Trimonoamine Modulator and Antidepressant-Augmenting Agent
(very scientific article for neuroscience journal)

UPDATE: You can get a 20% coupon on Deplin's website:

Also, get your doctor to prescribe the 15mg and you can cut it in half to take 7.5 mg a day. The 15mg and 7.5 mg cost the same amount!