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Folic acid, folate, L-methylfolate, and Deplin (vitamin B9)

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SteveT

I am on Lexapro 20mg. Each time I ramped up (used to be on 30mg) the effect would wear off after a few weeks. The Dr. recommended Deplin (15mg) at $60 per month. I used it and thought it helped. I got mad that the Deplin costs 6 times more than the "base" med I am taking, so I ordered a cheap folate over the counter. Ouch. Bad symptoms started coming back within a few days. Went back on the Deplin. Everything is OK. 

 

Has anyone else have a similar experience, but was able to use the cheaper version? The ones that were listed in this thread were all 800mcg which is way less than Deplin at 15mg.

 

I guess the next thing they'll do is make the bottle the pills come in cost $100 and the pills $10...anything to rip us off.

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Jemima

I am on Lexapro 20mg. Each time I ramped up (used to be on 30mg) the effect would wear off after a few weeks. The Dr. recommended Deplin (15mg) at $60 per month. I used it and thought it helped. I got mad that the Deplin costs 6 times more than the "base" med I am taking, so I ordered a cheap folate over the counter. Ouch. Bad symptoms started coming back within a few days. Went back on the Deplin. Everything is OK. 

 

Has anyone else have a similar experience, but was able to use the cheaper version? The ones that were listed in this thread were all 800mcg which is way less than Deplin at 15mg.

 

I guess the next thing they'll do is make the bottle the pills come in cost $100 and the pills $10...anything to rip us off.

 

Welcome to the forum, SteveT.  When you have some time, please tell us about yourself in the Introductions and updates section of the forum. If you want to get off of Lexapro, you've come to the right place, and there's no charge at all (although we gladly accept donations).

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btdt

I am on Lexapro 20mg. Each time I ramped up (used to be on 30mg) the effect would wear off after a few weeks. The Dr. recommended Deplin (15mg) at $60 per month. I used it and thought it helped. I got mad that the Deplin costs 6 times more than the "base" med I am taking, so I ordered a cheap folate over the counter. Ouch. Bad symptoms started coming back within a few days. Went back on the Deplin. Everything is OK. 

 

Has anyone else have a similar experience, but was able to use the cheaper version? The ones that were listed in this thread were all 800mcg which is way less than Deplin at 15mg.

 

I guess the next thing they'll do is make the bottle the pills come in cost $100 and the pills $10...anything to rip us off.

Are you saying the Deplin helps you not get tolerant to the drug... that is what it is sounding?  I suggest you talk to the person who started the thread... about delpin... as I don't know about it. 

peace

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btdt

I am on Lexapro 20mg. Each time I ramped up (used to be on 30mg) the effect would wear off after a few weeks. The Dr. recommended Deplin (15mg) at $60 per month. I used it and thought it helped. I got mad that the Deplin costs 6 times more than the "base" med I am taking, so I ordered a cheap folate over the counter. Ouch. Bad symptoms started coming back within a few days. Went back on the Deplin. Everything is OK. 

 

Has anyone else have a similar experience, but was able to use the cheaper version? The ones that were listed in this thread were all 800mcg which is way less than Deplin at 15mg.

 

I guess the next thing they'll do is make the bottle the pills come in cost $100 and the pills $10...anything to rip us off.

I read this thread after reading your comment and think your best advice about this come from this post

Altostrata

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:35 PM

The DIY forum is for rants, editorials, and opinions. Spitting and other expressions of outrage are encouraged.

 

Yeah, there was a study a few years back, probably done by Deplin's manufacturer, showing this variety of folate to be helpful as an adjunct therapy for depression. Surprise, psychiatrists were recommending it right and left.

 

There's a genetic mutation causing difficulty in absorbing ordinary folate supplements. It's related to heart problems. I'm supposed to have this, so I know more than anyone should about it. There have been alternative absorbable folates (l-methylfolate) available for a long time, Metafolin is one of them. It's much more expensive than dirt-cheap regular folate, but a LOT less expensive than Deplin.

 

You can order it yourself on the Web, no prescription needed. (This FDA approval for Deplin makes me suspect it's another Medicare fraud, like Immunocal, which is just whey protein isolate. Medicare then pays top dollar for ordinary supplements.)

 

It makes sense that someone with a folate deficiency, which affects B12 as well, would feel a lot better mentally and physically with proper folate supplementation. These people may have been misdiagnosed with a mental disorder from the very first, and been on psychiatric drugs for years while their vitamin deficiency was neglected. Just goes to show how gullible psychiatrists are! 

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SteveT

Thanks BTDT. The problem is that all the ones I find online are 800mcg which is too low a dose. I can't find anything online in a 15mg dose...that's what I am looking for as an alternative to Deplin.

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SteveT

BTDT, yes, Deplin works extremely well for me, I just have a problem paying six times more than my regular prescription for it. I know it works because I went off it for a few weeks and it wasn't pretty.

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btdt

Ask Alto there is a private message about on the right hand side since she used this I am sure she can tell you 

peace

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Newbeginning

Hello,

 

I just started taking L-Methylfolate Metafolin (400mcg/day). I need to give it more time but I think I noticed a change in my mood. Need to continue observing to make sure.

 

I looked at the research literature and there are a few studies, along with some anecdotical evidence that it can help with depression. It seems it can help regardless of whether one has the genetic problem and even if blood levels of folate are healthy. I always got tested for folate deficiency and came out normal, so I assumed my problems were not due to folate deficiency. I also took folic acid supplements with no improvements.

 

As it turns out, only some specific form(s) of folate can help depression, even among those of us who don't have low blood levels of folate. L-methylfolate is one of them.  

 

Like previous posters, I was also surprised that the prescription is way higher than anything available over the counter.

 

I'm confused: if this like other B vitamins are hard to overdose on because the body gets rid of excess, how come a post above has warnings on toxicity? I have also read it is not recommended for patients with cancer because it can stimulate tumore growth.

 

I will try the over the counter at 400mcg to 3000mcg. If after a few weeks I have any response but it is incomplete, I'll be temted to try the higher dose that comes in prescription only. I read some patient reviews in which people who have not responded to anything else for years do respond to Deplin. Before I decide to do that though, I need to get better educated on the risks of higher dosages. Based on what I read so far, I'm very confused on whether the body can use a higher dosage and whether it can be toxic.

 

Could someone post a link to the thread on the risks of excess vitamin B mentioned in a post above?

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Meimeiquest

I would recommend reading the methylation thread.

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Altostrata

Newbeginning, as explained earlier in this topic, if you look carefully at those studies, you will see they are sponsored by the company that make Deplin and performed by a research center for hire by drug companies.

 

Those journal articles are nothing but infomercials for Deplin, an expensive methylfolate supplement brand.

 

As explained earlier, it's highly likely that in the group of subjects for the studies, there were people who were actually low in folate and that may have been the cause for their so-called "psychiatric" symptoms. When these people got methylfolate supplementation, they felt "better." (It's important to note that Deplin is recommended as an "adjunct" to psychiatric drugs. The drugs were not discontinued because the patients felt better, even though their fundamental problem may not have been "psychiatric" but a folate deficiency. They remained psychiatric patients.)

 

Thus, the studies concluded Deplin is good for depression -- but what they actually found is that methylfolate is a good folate supplement for people who are low in folate.

 

Take into account the placebo effect, in which people feel better because they get extra attention, as well.

 

Please read the full text of all scientific studies carefully, noting the sponsor, how the study subjects were chosen, and the study design before accepting the conclusion you might read in an abstract. Also, please read these topics carefully, because often your questions are answered in the earliest posts.

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btdt
Toxicity

There is no health risk associated with folate intake from food. However, there is risk of toxicity from folic acid found in dietary supplements and fortified foods. Folic acid is used to treat a folate deficiency. However, a folate deficiency is virtually indistinguishable from a vitamin B12 deficiency. Large doses of folic acid given to an individual who has a vitamin B12 deficiency and not a folate deficiency can cause irreversible neurological damages. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has established a tolerable upper intake level for folate. For children 1 to 3 years the limit is 300 mcg daily, for children 4 to 8 the limit is 400 mcg daily, for children 9 to 13, the limit is 600 mcg daily, for adolescents 14 to 18 the limit is 600 mcg and for those 19 and older the limit is 1,000 mcg per day. Intakes above recommended limits increase the risk of adverse health effects.

Signs and Symptoms

Having too much folic acid in the body can result in a variety of signs and symptoms. Less serious side effects include digestive problems, nausea, loss of appetite, bloating, gas, a bitter or unpleasant taste in the mouth, sleep disturbances, depression, excessive excitement, irritability and a zinc deficiency. More severe signs include psychotic behavior, numbness or tingling, mouth pain, weakness, trouble concentrating, confusion, fatigue and even seizures. An allergic reaction to folic acid may cause wheezing, swelling of the face and throat or a skin rash.

 

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Meimeiquest

http://samanthagilbert.com/folate-friend-foe/

 

This is the nutritionist that Mensah Medical refers to. I really don't think folic acid or folate is the root cause of all the ills that she lists, but the idea that too much could negatively change someone's neuro chemistry is concerning when thinking of major supplementation.

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btdt

Wow I checked the link and found this

"Researchers involved in the treatment of cancer now realize that folic acid is directly related to an increase in cancer rates. Methotrexate, a drug used to treat cancer, acts by inhibiting the metabolism of folic acid. It’s a great cancer agent, but unfortunately, patient’s got worse and many died because folic acid was added back in. This is a good indicator as to why undermethylated persons have a greater propensity to develop cancer and do worse on

folates. 2"

 

that is a BIG DEAL

http://samanthagilbert.com/folate-friend-foe/

 

and i read today they are adding this supplement to a lot of food? 

May have to look at this much closer when I feel really well which is rarely lately.. I don't want to make a mistake on something this important hope I don't forget to get back to it...

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btdt

Chances are, you started your day with a generous helping of folic acid. For more than a decade, the government has required enriched grains — most notably white flour and white rice — to be fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate.

    1.  

Many food manufacturers take it further, giving breakfast cereals, nutrition bars, and beverages a folic acid boost, too. The extra nutrient isn't meant for you, though — it's added to protect fetuses from developing rare but tragic birth defects. The fortification effort appears successful: Since 1998, the number of these birth defects dropped by about 19 percent. But for women past the years of having children, as well as for men of any age, unnatural dosages of this nutrient don't seem to be helpful — and may even be harmful.

The folic acid fallout 
The risk experts worry about most: colon cancer. Last year, health officials in Chile reported that hospitalization rates for colon cancer among men and women age 45 and older more than doubled in their country since fortification was introduced in 2000. In 2007, Joel Mason, MD, director of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Tufts University School of Medicine, described a study of the United States and Canada suggesting that rates of colon cancer rose — following years of steady decline — in the late 1990s (around the time our food was being fortified).

 

Norway, which doesn't fortify foods, supplementation with 800 mcg of folic acid (plus B12 and B6) daily for more than 3 years raised the risk of developing lung cancer by 21 percent.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35874922/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/your-breakfast-giving-you-cancer/#.VGkBOfnF9Ij

 

  • Read labels. Cereals vary wildly in the amounts of folic acid they contain, and you can probably figure that you're getting more than the label says. One study of the 29 most popular cereals found that the actual level of folic acid and iron was up to 3 times higher than the amount listed. Check your sports drink too — many contain folic acid.

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L8agn

Deplin did amazing things for putting my life back together. I think it's really sad and too bad that many of you who do not know about the benefits are quick to decide that it's just another l-methylfolate product. I urge you to do your own research and find out why others are finding relief with this product and there are no other posts from people touting the same benefits from the other "just as good" products. There is a reason people are benefiting from deplin. Other forms have very unstable molecules and can make claims about anything they want because they don't have to prove it. and, who else is going to do studies and spend the time compiling and analyzing data on patients to see if it has benefits to people? Of course researchers are going to get paid. Don't kid yourself! I'm sure companies find gurus in their respective field to do the research because they are thought leaders in their field.

 

And, for those who want to try deplin and don't want to pay pharmacy prices, I use brand direct health. They are about a 1/3 the cost and have a money back guarantee.

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Altostrata

L8agn, If the company you mentioned is not selling Deplin itself, it is selling L-methylfolate that's just like all the other L-methylfolate out there.

 

This is a site for those going off psychiatric drugs. Please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum.
 
If you are not going off psychiatric drugs or recovering from withdrawal, this is the wrong site for you.
 
 

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retexan599

As part of my journey to go off  Paroxetine, I continue to take L-methylfolate. I take one 15 mg tablet on one day, and one broken in half to be 7.5 mg on the alternate day.  Dr. R started me on Deplin in mid-2014 in response to my frequent episodes of anxiety (wherein I feel like I need to cry).  Since starting the Deplin, I have had virtually none of these incipient crying episodes.  It has been like magic for me. 

 

L-methylfolate is not listed in various drug formularies, as it is considered to be a food supplement, so not covered by my Medicare Part D insurance.  Oddly, it is only available by prescription, but is not covered by drug insurance.  Fairly expensive: a month supply of 15 mgL-methylfolate costs me around $68 with a drug prescription saving card.  But it is well worth the cost to me.  By alternating 15 and 7.5 mg dosages, I cut my cost considerably.  But, if it took the full 15 mg each day, I would do it.  Good stuff!   

 

I report this personal experience just for information.  As they say these days: YMMV.  

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scallywag

Another option for people who have difficult taking the folate by mouth: transdermal gels.  I had a prescription for this in 2014 from a naturopath, whose specialty is mental wellness. It was a combo B12 & folate.  It came in a syringe; I squeezed out a specified amount into the thin skin at inner crease of my elbow and rubbed it in.  It was effective -- lab tests after 2 months showed that my serum levels doubled.

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Altostrata

Very interesting, scallywag. Did you have to get the gel compounded?

 

I see vitamin B12 creams are available via Amazon, etc.

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scallywag

Yes it was compounded.

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downtongirl

I have been diagnosed with a double MTFHR mutation....homozygous C677T....through lab test.  My functional medicine doctor and my psychiatrist want me to take L Methylfolate.  I have read the posts here and at other places on the web and some sites say that taking LMethylfolate can create new neurotransmitters.  Does anyone know if this is true?

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downtongirl

I have another question about the L-Methylfolate....I know it aids in the metabolism of B vitamins but does it affect the metabolism of our antidepressants....I have researched the web but could not find anything.

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SteveT

Silver Star: L-Methylfolate FORTE (AKA Deplin) increases the effectiveness of at least two anti-depressants (Lexapro and Pristiq). Note that Deplin/L-Methylfolate FORTE are only available with an Rx. While L-Methylfolate is OTC. L-Methylfolate OTC has NO impact on the anti-depressants (at least not in my case).

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Altostrata

Silver Star: L-Methylfolate FORTE (AKA Deplin) increases the effectiveness of at least two anti-depressants (Lexapro and Pristiq). Note that Deplin/L-Methylfolate FORTE are only available with an Rx. While L-Methylfolate is OTC. L-Methylfolate OTC has NO impact on the anti-depressants (at least not in my case).

 

That is what the manufacturer of Deplin would like all the psychiatrists in the world to believe.

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SteveT

Admin, I am telling you my personal experience for the past 2 years. I cannot live without Deplin. It works...maybe only for me, but it works.

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Altostrata

If you like it, keep taking it. This is a site for going off drugs, not discussing what "works" -- there are many other sites for that.

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downtongirl

If you like it, keep taking it. This is a site for going off drugs, not discussing what "works" -- there are many other sites for that.

 

Allostrata....I am only interested in if it will affect the metabolism or blood levels of my prozac as I am trying to stabilize on it....do you know if it affects prozac?  Thanks!

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Altostrata

I doubt that taking L-Methylfolate directly affects the metabolism of Prozac, although it's possible that it might speed up metabolism overall and, like other B vitamins, be activating.

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downtongirl

Interesting....thanks for your reply....I did not know B vitamins speeded up metabolism....good to know.

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kimba1

I had a negative reaction to Deplin. It felt like the start of akathisia. It disappeared 2 days after stopping it. I was on 15 mg for almost one month when I told my doctor I didn't feel well on it. She then gave me the 7.5 mg. After 4 days on it I was very unwell (possibly akathisia) and had to stop. After reading alot of information about having to start slow, I just started the 1000 mcg of L-Methylfolate from Seeking Health. It's been about 5 days and I'm not feeling anything good or bad. I am homozygous for C677T, and also for COMT V158M and H62H. I am going to have my doctor do blood work next visit.

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peng

It makes sense that someone with a folate deficiency, which affects B12 as well, would feel a lot better mentally and physically with proper folate supplementation. These people may have been misdiagnosed with a mental disorder from the very first, and been on psychiatric drugs for years while their vitamin deficiency was neglected. Just goes to show how gullible psychiatrists are!

 

Just found this folic acid thread.

At the moment, and for several weeks now, I believe this may be applying to me, Alto.

Nearly 11 weeks ago, doctor prescribed 5mg Folic Acid/day, after blood tests (he said) showed a deficiency.

(I blame omeprazole I was on for years without review for malabsorption.)

I have definitely felt a lifting of mood and drive.

Still getting fatigue and tiredness, though.

 

Investigating different magnesium supplements just now.  Shortage of stomach acid due to omeprazole, possibly has resulted in depletion of that mineral?

 

Decades ago, someone in the medical profession who I was seeing about frequent acidity/indigestion/reflux said we do not really need stomach acid.

As a scientist in a totally different field, I felt this was unbelievable.

Ah, well.

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Area1255

Folates good stuff.

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SquirrellyGirl

We need adequate stomach acid to absorb B12!  Acid blockers can therefore induce a deficiency!

 

Just to add a note of caution to this thread about supplementing folate and B12 without knowing your status for MTHFR and other snps:  I have two snps that play into the methylation cycle such that I am less tolerant of methyl donors!  So, I need to use alternative forms of B12 such as hydroxy or adenosyl forms, and not sure about methylfolate, still trying to learn what my best approach should be.  Going to up my leafy greens since such foods contain forms of folate that are better utilized when having the mutations.  I'm compound heterozygous for MTHFR and have VDR Taq ++ and COMT V158M ++ H68H ++.   If people have these snps but don't know it, that could explain why attempts to add methy B12 and/or methylfolate make them feel worse.

 

SG

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downtongirl

SquirrellyGirl....I too am heterozygous for MTHFR and have COMT V158 +/-....I am trying to understand the gene mutations but I guess I am not smart enough to get a grasp on it....it looks like from your post my COMT mutation is different than yours in that I am +-.  I think I understand the MTHFR mutation better than the COMT mutation....how are you treating the COMT mutation?

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