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The Off-label Uses of ADs and Antipsychotics


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Here's a really horrifying quote from Wikipedia:

 

"Desvenlafaxine (brand name: Pristiq), also known as O-desmethylvenlafaxine, is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor class developed and marketed by Wyeth (now part of Pfizer). Desvenlafaxine is a synthetic form of the major active metabolite of venlafaxine (sold under the brand names Effexor and Efexor). It is being targeted as the first non-hormonal based treatment for menopause.[1]"

 

I've been reading a book called Dying for a Cure by Rebekah Beddoe, and it seems physicians are freely using lots of psychotropic drugs for purposes other than that for which they were intended. So it's more important than ever to research *any* prescription you are given before getting it filled or swallowing anything.

 

I don't remember who orignally recommended this book, but it's definitely worth reading. The author was treated for postnatal depression with ADs when she was merely fatigued and lonely, as her husband worked long hours and her mother was also full-time employed, although both helped out as they could. With a few tweaks, Stephen King could make her story into a spine-chilling horror tale, but it's for real.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Lots of antidepressants have been marketed to physicians as treatment for symptoms of menopause. I believe Prozac was the first, around 15 years ago.

 

Pristiq is a recent variation of Effexor that was rebranded with a more feminine-sounding name to be more appealing to women for this purpose.

 

Yep, it's disgusting that doctors think widespread hormonal disruption, frequently inducing sexual dysfunction and increasing risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and stroke is an appropriate treatment for hot flashes in older women.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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It first of all infuriates me that menopause is being treated as a disease. I find that quite chauvinistic - "Just give the little lady a pretty pink pill and she'll quit fussing so much." But to give a woman a strong AD like Pristiq is outrageous! Do they give men ADs for an enlarged prostate? I doubt it.

 

Rebecca Beddoe cites several antipsychotics being used for off-label purchases in her book, Dying for a Cure. Can't remember which ones or for what at the moment or maybe I was so shocked I simply didn't absorb it. Imagine going to the doctor for, say, gall stones, and being put on Thorazine!

 

Trust no one who carries a prescription pad. :wacko:

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Seroquel for insomnia is pretty popular or so I read.

 

Insommnia pick a door:

 

Door A: Ambien or Lunesta (Lunesta is safe for long-term use - of course it is nice pharma sales lady)

 

Door B: Benzo

 

Door C: Saber Tooth Tiger

 

Door D: Antipyschotic

 

I would chose Door C: Saber Tooth Tiger

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate how antidepressants are basically used for any ailment that a person has: headache, backache, 'my child is going off to school & I'm feeling tearful' etc. etc. Honestly, it's all a way for the drug companies to cash in wherever they can & then when you really need help getting off of the poison they have no idea what to tell you or what to do.

 

It should be illegal!

Diagnosed With

Depression, Social Anxiety Disorder & Agoraphobia.

Also NLD (Non Verbal Learning Disorder)

 

Meds I've Taken Since The Age of 13:

Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Cymbalta, Vyvanse, Concerta, Intuniv, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Abilify, Lithium. These meds were never consistent & I was constantly switching on & off due to psychiatrists treating what I now know were side effects.

 

Currently Taking:

Prozac 7.5 mg (Weaning off)

Valium 2 mg

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Barbarannamated

Sarafem is fluoxetine (Prozac) for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I especially hate when they rename for new indication and get a patent extension. Zyban (bupropion) for smoking cessation.

Risperidone is FDA approved for irritability in children with autism (age 5+). APs being used for ADHD now.

 

It's also frightening that SNRIs, especially Cymbalta, are being used in many pain patients because docs want to minimize opiates.

 

They are the no-brainer drugs--docs don't have to think or determine an underlying cause when every symptom can be attributed to depression.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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During my psych med days, my psychiatrist would tell me to increase my SSRI dose prior to my period. This led to monthly agitation which led to benzos PRN. Thank god, I was so afraid of getting addicted, I barely touched them.

 

All I can say is d-m, -d-m, d-m. Oops I had better be careful or I will get diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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  • 7 years later...
  • Moderator
On 2/21/2012 at 12:36 AM, Barbarannamated said:

Sarafem is fluoxetine (Prozac) for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I especially hate when they rename for new indication and get a patent extension. Zyban (bupropion) for smoking cessation.

Risperidone is FDA approved for irritability in children with autism (age 5+). APs being used for ADHD now.

 

It's also frightening that SNRIs, especially Cymbalta, are being used in many pain patients because docs want to minimize opiates.

 

They are the no-brainer drugs--docs don't have to think or determine an underlying cause when every symptom can be attributed to depression.

Hi Barbarannamated, they can't get patent extensions for that (thankfully!) but can get a new patent for a new use. Those are rarely useful though as any doc can prescribe prozac rather than Sarafem. But the branding really helps in this case. 

 

I just found this patent for the use of prozac: 

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=47&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=fluoxetine.ABTX.&OS=ABST/fluoxetine&RS=ABST/fluoxetine

 

"There is disclosed a method for treating certain psychiatric symptoms including anger, rejection sensitivity and a lack of mental or physical energy with administration of a nontoxic dose of a serotonin re-uptake blocker. Preferably, the serotonin re-uptake blocker is fluoxetine or norfluoxetine."

 

Since when did anger, a normal human emotion become a psychiatric symptom? Or lack of physical and mental energy? Or rejection sensitivity... Arghhhhh

"

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • 3 months later...
  • Moderator

The off-label uses of ADs are wide spread and far reaching. I know that my AD specifically, Amitriptyline, is a tricyclic and prescribed off-label by neurologists for migraines and headaches (my reason), by gastroenterologists for IBS, and by primary docs for pain and fibromyalgia. 

 

Unfortunately the prescribing of ADs is really not limited to the psych arena. I can only imagine the folks w less education than most or for who don't speak English. How could they learn their drug is an AD and is causing them issues?

 

Non-drug interventions had been the motto in my family for a long time. Non-drug interventions will continue to be our motto. I do feel like if anyone in my family had to go through  AD withdrawal, at least it was me, bc I have a naturally patient heart, good coping skills, and I have been able to educate them all never to start.

Apr 2018: 10 mg Amitriptyline (for headaches & insomnia).

Jul - Aug 2018: Fast taper to 5 mg and then 2.5 mg (too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2.5 mg).

Sept 2018: Reinstated 10 mg (many symptoms improved).

Oct 2018 - Apr 2019: Updosed & stabilized on 11 mg (2 waves at 3 and 5 months post-withdrawal).

Apr 2019 - Apr 2020: Tapered 0.5-0.25 mg per month using compounded pills: 11 mg —> 6 mg. (2 waves at 12 and 16 months post-withdrawal.)

Apr 2020 - present: Switched to a liquid taper at rate of 0.1 mg per month. Currently: 3.8 mg. No more waves. 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed): Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time, waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; sunlight & walking; symptom tracking on adapted Glenmullen chart.

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  • Mentor

You can add antiepileptics as well. Yes, gabapentin and sister lyrica are used off label for "bipolar disorder," "anxiety," "pain." Who decided that anxiety was similar to a seizure, and why was I dumb enough to fall for it???

 

My hot flashes from gabapentin withdrawal are worse than any I had during menopause. Thankfully, I'm "of age" so people just assume it's that.

Now: 137 mg Zoloft am, 50 mg Trazodone bedtime.  Daily drug burden decreased from 2050 in 2018 mg to 187 mg 🐢🐢

Zoloft: 9/17/21 Cut 3 mg,  9/13/21 cut 4 mg, 8/29/21 Cut 2 mg 8/8/21 Cut 3 mg  7/30/21 Zoloft: Converted 25 mg to liquid. Also take 100 mg pill & 25 mg pill=150 mg total
🌞 Feb 28, 2021 0 mg Gapapentin 2021 Gaba each dose 4x/day: Feb 27 7 mg (one dose only), Feb 10, 7 mg, Jan 14 10 mg 2020 Current taper schedule from Aug 30-present: drop 8 mg every 2-3 weeks. Aug 20 31 mg, Aug 18, 33 mg, July 29, 35 mg, July 23 38 mg, July 22 40 mg Jun 24 42 mg, Jun 15 44 mg, Jun 9 48 mg, May 22 50 mg, May 14 54 mg, May 7 56 mg, Apr 16 58 mg, Mar 28 60 mg, Mar 18 62 mg. Feb 26 64 mg. Feb 19, 66 mg. Jan 23, 70 mg. 2019 Dec 19, 72 mg. Nov 14 ,76 mg. Aug 8, 80 mg. Aug 6, 85 mg. Jul 26, 90 mg. Jul 11, 95 mg.

Jul 16 trazodone from 100 to 50 mg.

Jun 17-July 10 Slowly changed gab fr pill to liquid at same dose 100 mg 4x/d.

Apr 24 Stopped klon!!! 🌞 Apr 4  Decreased gaba to 400 mg (100 mg 4x/day)-Apr 4, 2019   0.25 klon March 11  Klonopin .5 mg twice daily, varied dose til Apr 15. Started Klon fast taper 25%, short use

Mar 16, 450 mg gaba 3x/day cut 600 mg--not exact!--updose after learning w/d

Feb 20, 2019 1800 mg gabapentin; MD taper; off 3 days=mvt disorder & autonomic instability. July 2018 temazepam 15 mg 1-2; prn several x/wk til Jan/Feb 2019 when cold turkey, flu illness for months

July 2018 started gabapentin 100 3x/day; titrated up to 1800 mg (600 3x/day)

Buspar, I forget how much, 2 pills a day Jan 2017-July 2018 cold turkey. On Zoloft since maybe 2004? After trying many.

*I speak from my experience. Nothing I say is medical advice. I'm not a doctor.

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Such a mess of a situation @ShiningLight, I'm sorry. I'm in my 20s and I also have hot flashes when I go through waves. Such a weird experience. Hope you are finding some relief these days.

Apr 2018: 10 mg Amitriptyline (for headaches & insomnia).

Jul - Aug 2018: Fast taper to 5 mg and then 2.5 mg (too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2.5 mg).

Sept 2018: Reinstated 10 mg (many symptoms improved).

Oct 2018 - Apr 2019: Updosed & stabilized on 11 mg (2 waves at 3 and 5 months post-withdrawal).

Apr 2019 - Apr 2020: Tapered 0.5-0.25 mg per month using compounded pills: 11 mg —> 6 mg. (2 waves at 12 and 16 months post-withdrawal.)

Apr 2020 - present: Switched to a liquid taper at rate of 0.1 mg per month. Currently: 3.8 mg. No more waves. 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed): Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time, waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; sunlight & walking; symptom tracking on adapted Glenmullen chart.

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