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:
http://www.deplin.com/Caremark

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!

11 comments:

Chaotic Kass said...

I was also on that, but could not afford the additional cost of it, since my medications cost me 65 a month. I may just take extra folic acid in vitamin form and find out what the dose of deplin is. It may help if I do it that way. I'm glad to hear that it is helping you, it also helped me when I took it. I took it for a few months and then just couldn't do it anymore because of finances. I'm also glad it is taking the place of a few other of your medications.

Chaotic Kass

www.chaotickass.com

Rachael said...

Contact me. Almost all pharmacuetical companies will supply free medication to people with financial need. I'm at bipolarpregnancy@gmail.com

Best,
Rachael

Anonymous said...

I finally clicked through to that article and saw that the chemical in the body is known as MTHF. I already knew I had the genetic mutation that caused a problem with that (called MTHFr) but no one had ever told me that there could be a connection with my bipolar (I thought it was just something to watch for to be a possible issue in pregnancy and my OBGYN occasionally checks on my homocysteine levels). I can't wait to talk to my doctor about this, your blog helps me immeasurably yet again.
- STBC

Rachael said...

Go to the Deplin website and there is a coupon which will save you 20%. Also have your doctor prescribe the 15mg and cut it in half. Take half a day. The cost of the 15mg is the same as the 7.5. So you will now be paying half price.
http://www.deplin.com/Caremark

Anonymous said...

I wondered how you are doing on the Deplin? Just got it from my new pDoc yesterday and already feel different.
thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rachael,
I was wondering if you would be able to give me some advice. My 16 year old brother just found out that he got his 16 year old girlfriend pregnant. I just found out today that she is bipolar and has been taking medication and is 3 months pregnant. She has tried to commit suicide serval times in the past. Her parents say that she has been with my brother that they have never seen this side of her. She is always happy which she never was before.

I am very scared for my brother. Even though he is only 16, he is very responsible and just an all around good guy. They want to keep the baby more then anything. All of the parents are trying to push for an abortion since his girlfriend is bipolar. My brother comes to me for my support and advice but I honestly feel so lost. I am afraid that she will not be able to handle pregnancy and labor.

I am very scared for my brother and since you have been pregnant with being bipolar, I was wondering if you had any advice for a 16 year old. Anything at all would help.
Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Rachel,

I recently started taking Deplin about a month ago, it has helped and my mood swings and my mood seems to be a little more stable. I’m worried because I’m 23 weeks pregnant and I read that taking deplin MIGHT cause malformation to the fetus, I’m considering stopping the medication because of this.

Best Regards

noravalverde85@yahoo.com

Rachael said...

Anonymous,

I would talk to your doctor or contact Pam Labs the maker about Deplin right away. I have never heard anything about Deplin causing birth defects. Deplin is folic acid in a form that has been broken down. And folic acid prevents birth defects - specifically neural tube defects (spinal & brain). So I would think it would be good. But I would definetly talk with your OB and/or contact Pam Labs - www.pamlabs.com

Pam Labs also makes Neevo which is a prescription prenatal vitamin. I don't know exactly how similar it is to Deplin I think it is basically l-melthlfolate with additional vitamins. So maybe you should talk with your doctor about if Neevo or NeevoDHA would be better?

http://www.neevodha.com

Folic Acid said...

Deplin does have benefits but lets not forget to eat real foods as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachael,

Just found your blog today. I've been on Depakote for 8 years, and my husband and I are just talking about me getting pregnant. I need to see someone in Los Angeles to talk to about how to ween me off of this and my sleep meds because I'm not risking any birth defects, even if it risks my sanity...do you know of anyone I can call here?
Also, I never knew that Depakote prevents folic acid production. If I took Deplin in the meantime and post-pregnancy/breastfeeding would that even metabolize in me? Thanks so much, this is so encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I found this great resource for women who are trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or breastfeeding. They answer questions about exposures that may harm the baby (medication, illness, fumes, etc....) They are very helpful and nice!
800.733.4727
http://www.ttis.unt.edu/