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Are antidepressants good for a boost if you're already healthy?

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  1. Paracelsus
    Are antidepressants good for a boost if you're already healthy?

    By Caleb Hellerman
    CNN

    (CNN) -- Troy Dayton pops a little white pill every morning. He's one of the 10 million Americans taking a daily antidepressant. But in his case, he says he was never depressed in the first place.

    This 29-year-old political lobbyist is one of the happiest people you'll ever meet. He's constantly smiling, and says he wakes up belly-laughing two or three times a week. Dayton says he's an optimist by nature, and that his daily dose of Wellbutrin makes him feel even better.

    "Wellbutrin makes me feel great," Dayton told CNN. "Wellbutrin made me feel clear-headed, much more able to focus. I don't think it means that I don't ever experience any sadness, but I think it makes me experience sadness in a very healthy way."

    Dayton says a doctor first prescribed Wellbutrin for him 2 1/2 years ago, as an aid to quit smoking. Buproprion, the active drug in the antidepressant, helps smokers quit because it partially blocks the brain chemicals which keep them hooked. A recent study by UCLA researchers found that the drug may help break addiction to methamphetamine, too. Buproprion also increases the brain level of dopamine, a chemical linked to excitement, new experience and pleasure.

    Psychiatrists tell CNN that Dayton's use of Wellbutrin as a lifestyle drug is potentially dangerous, although little is known about the long-term effects.
    "These medicines are not harmless," said Dr. Peter Kramer, author of "Listening to Prozac." Kramer said some doctors think that if you stay on antidepressants long enough, you'll come to rely on them. Other doctors believe they might trigger manic-depressive illness in susceptible people, he said.

    Most antidepressants -- though not Wellbutrin -- are in a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. They prevent the body from re-absorbing the naturally occurring chemical serotonin, thus increasing serotonin levels in the brain. It's like plugging up a drain to keep running water in the sink.

    Serotonin, like dopamine, is linked to good feeling. Those chemicals and others are released during any pleasurable experience, like a kiss, or eating a bar of chocolate. The release of endorphins, another chemical, is linked to the "runner's high" experienced by some endurance athletes.

    Chemically, there's little difference between good feelings induced by medication and those occurring naturally. But the use of antidepressants by those who don't need them raises, for many, not just medical concerns but ethical flags as well. The concerns grow larger when the subject turns to illegal drugs. Millions of Americans take them, but few are willing to admit it. Once again, Troy Dayton is a rare exception. He told CNN he takes Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, about once a year.

    He likens the feeling it gives him to falling in love. "In certain moments, it's just this feeling of intensity. If your heart could jump out of your body and into the other person's, it would."

    Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist at New York University, says MDMA holds promise as an aid to psychotherapy for some patients, if taken under the guidance of a trained therapist under tightly controlled conditions. The federal government has approved early human trials

    "Our understanding of the brain is still in its infancy," says Holland. "The SSRIs that I like to prescribe take really about two or three weeks before people start to feel them. The full effects won't kick in until about four to six weeks, or six to eight weeks."

    By contrast, illicit drugs kick in almost immediately. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says they produce pleasure - and often lead to addiction - using the same neural pathways that light up when people have sex or enjoy a good meal. She says these pathways also guide primal emotions like the satisfaction a mother gets from nurturing her infant.
    "It's not that drugs create a new landscape in our brains," Volkow said. "Drugs hijack those landscapes that are there [already], that are extraordinarily important to motivate our behaviors."

    Volkow says Ecstasy users are risking serious physical harm, including damaged neurons and deep depression. Government statistics show Ecstasy is linked to about 8,000 emergency room visits every year, mostly for overheating and dehydration.

    Dayton is unrepentant about his drug use. "If we have the ability to have something better, then why not?" he asks. "However someone can sustain a certain level of happiness without hurting someone else, should be celebrated and not questioned."

    Where antidepressants are concerned, Holland agrees. "I think it's sort of this puritanical mind set. You're supposed to sort of go it alone, and you don't need crutches unless your leg is broken," she said.

    "[But] short of doing very advanced PET scans, where you're looking at receptors and neurotransmitters and things like this, it's hard to say who really deserves to take antidepressants and for whom it's a luxury. Having a private practice in New York City, I have a lot of luxury-minded patients who just know if they take something they'll feel a little bit better. And I'm okay with that."


    http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/conditions/11/13/unnatural.highs/index.html?eref=rss_health

Comments

  1. darawk
    This is what I hate about western medicine...this concept that chemically altering yourself or your mind is somehow evil if it's not done to alleviate a particular medical condition, as defined by people with degrees. Using any drug, even legal ones, to help you is seen as somehow immoral and wrong.

    Take things like creatine...when they first came out, there was a massive uproar over it as being "like steroids", with many people even believing that it WAS a steroid. All because it worked. Tons of new supplements with far more dangers than creatine are introduced into the market everyday, but if they don't help anyone, nobody cares. But as soon as something is shown to be effective, it's evil, it's cheating, it's wrong to use it.

    Fighting the above is essentially the basis of the HedWeb network, which i'm sure many of your are familiar with, whether you know it or not.

    http://www.hedweb.com/

    They own/operate all of the sites listed here:

    http://www.hedweb.com/paradise.html
  2. WrtngCocaineTutorial
    yes darawk! I agree.

    Quite a paradox:
    People say it's wrong to use Wellbutrin - because it's not "necessary" , when they themselves uses caffeine daily, which is also a stimulant. hehe. It's hypocrisy


    Side effects of Wellbutrin includes:

    "...Most patients rapport significant increases in libido, level of arousal and intensity of orgasm..." from "a Primer of drug action"
  3. bewilderment
    This is true but others include:

    SIDE EFFECTS: The most commonly noted side effects associated with bupropion are agitation, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, nausea, constipation, and tremor. In some people, the agitation or insomnia is most marked shortly after starting therapy. Some patients may experience weight loss. Uncommonly, patients may experience manic episodes or hallucinations. Four of every 1000 persons who receive bupropion in doses less than 450 mg/day experience seizures. When doses exceed 450 mg/day, the risk increases ten-fold. Other risk factors for seizures include past injury to the head and medications which can lower the threshold for seizures. (See drug interactions.)

    "If antidepressants are discontinued abruptly, symptoms may occur such as dizziness, headache, nausea, changes in mood, or changes in the sense of smell, taste, etc. (Such symptoms even may occur when even a few doses of antidepressant are missed.) Therefore, it is recommended that the dose of antidepressant be reduced gradually when therapy is discontinued."

    It has been suggested that bupropion and SSRIs may cause depression to worsen and even lead to suicide in a small number of patients. These potential side effects are difficult to evaluate in depressed patients because depression can progress with or without treatment, and suicide is itself a consequence of depression. Moreover, the evidence supporting these potential side effects is weak. Therefore, no conclusions can yet be drawn about the relationship between bupropion and SSRIs and worsening depression and suicide. Until better information is available, patients receiving bupropion or SSRIs should be monitored for worsening depression and suicidal tendencies.


    http://www.medicinenet.com/bupropion/article.htm

    It's also not safe to take such if one is into other recreational drugs. Just go to erowid and look up wellbutrin combination experiences and you will find many difficulties and health problems.

    My partner is bipolar (bipolar I which is considered the more severe of the disorders) and had been taking wellbutrin for about two years now. She does experience that increase in libido when taking such, but there are also many other side effects. For example: a decline in cognitive function. For the first time in many years she is off of antidepressants and feels better without them.

    I also suffer from mood disorder(s) and finally got off off meds for good about a year ago after being on them since the age of 13. I also feel much, much better.

    The guy in the article should have the right to ingest whatever he wishes; this is true. But, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he goes into a depression upon discontinuing the drug. Taking an antidepressant every day is an addiction like any other and addictions just tend not to be good things. I'm sure that diet, exercise, and maybe a few supplements which are far less harmful than antidepressants would treat him better than taking wellbutrin.

    But, to each his own.

    However, this quote disturbs me:

    "[But] short of doing very advanced PET scans, where you're looking at receptors and neurotransmitters and things like this, it's hard to say who really deserves to take antidepressants and for whom it's a luxury. Having a private practice in New York City, I have a lot of luxury-minded patients who just know if they take something they'll feel a little bit better. And I'm okay with that."

    That attitude seems to be very prevalent among doctors and has really screwed up many people that I know. People take what the doctor is pushing simply because s/he is a doctor and the person assumes that the doctor knows best and this simply does not seem to be the case with psychiatric meds.
  4. Nicaine
    Optimist, eh? Leave it to a political lobbyist to have the required capacity for self-deception... :rolleyes:

    As far as antidepressants, IMO Wellbutrin is one of the few likely to boost a non-depressed person's moods. It's really more a stimulant than a traditional antidepressant, albeit one that produces very little euphoria and other self-reinforcing effects.
  5. bewilderment
    This is all true. Actually, pretty much all of the newer antidepressants are basically just stimulants which is one of the reasons why they are able to treat the symptoms of depression. Of course, the older antidepressants such as Remeron for example will put one to sleep and are now mostly only used for insomnia.

    I'd also like to add to my above post that tolerance does occur with these drugs and if he keeps taking such regularly it will cease to work which will mean that he will probably stop taking it and will likely experience some form of depression (as I mentioned before). These drugs don't just keep working forever. They are just like any other drugs and lose their effects over time.

    But, wellbutrin is indeed rare in the aspect that some find in recreational which is most likely due to the dopamine factor.
  6. angeliclight
    please take out. double post not ready.
  7. angeliclight
    Antidepressants NOT good for a boost if you're already healthy?

    Psychiatric drugs are NOT something to play with. It's not like popping a few vicodin or some oxy's, or any other recreational drugs. Many people don't understand or research the side effects of the psych drugs. I have posted in a seroquel room and discussed the dangers there. I would like to enlighten many of you regarding psyh drugs. Many of these drugs actually induce suicidal feelings and intentions. I've been in the care of a psychiatrist for many years and believe me, they don't want you researching the drugs, and when you do they blow off everything you ask about. So here's a little help for those who want to use them. I also want to make a point of saying that so many of us on here are looking for certain feelings, and psychiatric medications have side effects almost immediately, and when you take a number of them for a day or two and stop, that's when things can get very dangerous. If you don't know what the side effects are than you won't know what to look for, and you won't know what to do. I've had experiences with Lithium (which I discuss in short later), and Seroquel (which I've discussed in full detail in the Seroquel thread).

    SEROQUEL: Antidepressants have increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and teenagers. All patients starting treatment should be watched closely for worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, unusual changes in behavior, agitation, and irritability. Another serious side effect reported with SEROQUEL and medicines like it is tardive dyskinesia (TD): uncontrollable movements of the face, tongue, or other parts of the body. TD may become permanent, and the risk of TD is believed to increase as the amount of and length of time on these medications increase. While TD can develop in patients taking low doses for short periods, this is much less common. There is no known treatment for TD, but it may go away partially or completely if treatment is stopped.

    Sidenote...I have experienced everything but suicidal thoughts luckily.

    Paxil: Btw getting off Paxil is like getting off of Heroin, it's very painful and very difficult. Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). serious side effects occur: fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, trouble swallowing, unusual swelling, seizures, tingling or numbness of the hands/feet. For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours,

    Prozac: Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: unusual or severe mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, mania, agitation), weight loss, change in sexual desire and ability, vision changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: unusual muscle stiffness, fast/irregular heartbeats, chest pain, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bruising/bleeding, unusual bleeding, seizures. For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.

    Topamax: Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
    Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, memory problems, nervousness), slow/unsteady movement, speech/language problems. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe back/side pain, rapid breathing, bone pain/breakage, loss of consciousness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, stomach/abdominal pain, painful urination, bloody or pink-colored urine.

    Wellbutrin: Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Dry mouth, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, flushing, headache, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, strange taste in mouth, joint aches, dizziness, or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest pain, fainting, fast/pounding heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, nervousness, restlessness), muscle aches, ringing in the ears, severe headache, uncontrolled movements (tremor), unusual weight loss or gain.

    Zoloft: Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). decrease in sexual ability (ejaculation delay), decreased interest in sex, uncontrollable shaking (tremor), unusual weight loss. For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.
    Ativan: Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: memory loss, shaking, difficult/slurred speech, vision changes, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, including rare thoughts of suicide),

    Depakote: severe seizures with mental retardation, brain disease (organic) or if they take more than one drug for seizures. The most common side effects reported in clinical trials for mania with Depakote ER were drowsiness, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and abdominal pain. • Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:·unexplained weakness with vomiting and confusion or fainting;·easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;·fever, skin rash, swollen glands;·fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;·urinating less than usual;·blood in your urine;·hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there);·weakness, lack of coordination;·a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;·extreme drowsiness;·unusual bleeding or bruising; or·double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes.

    Clonazepam: The most commonly noted side effects associated with clonazepam are sedation, which is reported in approximately 1 in 2 people (one-half of patients), dizziness (one-third of patients), weakness, and unsteadiness. Other side effects include a feeling of depression, loss of orientation, headache, and sleep disturbance. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Clonazepam. Alcohol may also increase your risk of having a seizure. Avoid other sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. They should not be used while you are taking Clonazepam unless your doctor approves.


    Lithium: Call your doctor at once if you have any early signs of lithium toxicity, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, tremor, lack of coordination, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears. ·extreme thirst, urinating more or less than usual; ·weakness, fever, feeling restless or confused, eye pain and vision problems; ·restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck; ·pain, cold feeling, or discoloration in your fingers or toes; ·feeling light-headed, fainting, slow heart rate; ·hallucinations, seizure (blackout or convulsions); ·fever with muscle stiffness, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats; or ·early signs of lithium toxicity, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, tremor, lack of coordination, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears.


    I will share a personal experience that I had using Lithium and Xanx. I had been on Lithium for two years. I was lucky not to have experienced many of the side effects that most people have to deal with. I am Bipolar I and I research all of the medications I take. I became dependant on Xanx for sleep and began taking up to 8mg or 10mg a night and during the morning hours of 7-9 a.m. I became disorented which was my fault and I began thinking that every day, which was every time I got back out of bed after taking more Xanx and passing out, and so every day I took my Lithium like the dutiful patient that I am. My blood became so toxic that my sister found me half clothed, passed out half in and half out of the bathroom. I couldn't answer her questions, I couldn't speak, and when I got to the ER they were afraid I would slip into a coma. No one in my family knew the effects of Lithium, and so in the days leading up to the pass out moment, when I had been unable to walk without falling into the wall or tripping over my own feet, when I keept asking about the party and all the people that had been at my house and why I didn't know about it, no one could possibly figure it out so they waited. WORST THING TO DO That's why some drugs can't be used in combination. This was the fist time I had gone behind my psychiatrists back and gotten another medication because I felt he wasn't listening to me. My GP perscribed the Xanx, but I never told my psychiatrist because I knew he would tell me to stop taking it.

    Equetro: Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, or unsteadiness may occur as your body adjusts to this medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
    Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest pain, swelling of the ankles/feet, trouble breathing, fatigue, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, persistent or severe headache, fainting, trouble urinating, change in the amount of urine, decreased sexual ability, unusual eye movements (nystagmus), vision changes, hearing problems, mental/mood changes, pain/redness/swelling of the arms or legs, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, sun sensitivity, joint pain, hair loss.

    Lexipro: Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech).

    Neurontin: Drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, fatigue, vision changes, weight gain, nausea, dry mouth, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.


    The FDA has sent a letter to drug manufacturers requesting labeling changes on these antidepressants -- warning of possible suicide, worsening depression, anxiety, and panic attacks in adults and children.

    Antidepressants involved in this warning label request are:
    "We don't know that the drugs are responsible for these behavioral changes, but nonetheless we're telling physicians and families to be aware of this and that if the behaviors do emerge, to get treatment right away," said Russell Katz, a director with the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a news teleconference today. ​

    The proposed warning label will "include information about behavioral changes that may occur in patients who are prescribed antidepressant drugs," said Katz.

    "This applies to adult and pediatric patients and involves the potential for suicidal thinking or suicidal behaviors and warns the physician and family about any behaviors that might emerge that haven't been experienced before," he added.

    But the FDA stopped short of recommending people discontinue taking their antidepressants.

    "We specifically decided not to tell people not to use these drugs," said Katz. "We don't think that is necessary at this point."

    In addition to looking for signs of worsening depression, the following symptoms may also be a sign of a problem:

    • Anxiety
    • Agitation
    • Panic attacks
    • Insomnia
    • Irritability
    • Hostility
    • Impulsivity
    • Severe restlessness
    • Mania in both adults and children being treated with antidepressants for major depression

    If these changes appear, treatment should be evaluated, the FDA says. Medications may need to be discontinued when symptoms are severe, begin abruptly, or if they signal a new disorder.

    I have seen a number of these FDA warnings and they are worth paying attention to. Please, Please watch what you take. Look up the dangers with that particular drug and its interactions with others, especially other psychiatric meds. Psychatropic and Neuroleptic meds are particularly dangerous. They can impair your natural process of thinking to the point where you have no idea what you're doing. I will write again in another post about neuroleptic medications imparticular. Take care.
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