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About mmaryland

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  1. You'll be waiting a long time for generic Rexulti to come out. You could always try to get a prior authorization approved through your insurance and then it would be covered under your formulary. I was on it from May 2017 to November 2017, so 6 months, starting at 2mg, then going back down to 0.5mg because of akathisia and then 1mg for a month, 2mg for a 2 months, then upped to 3mg for a month, and increased to the max dose of 4mg for the last 2 months. It wasn't controlling my mania, despite being on 1,350mg of Lithium daily. I was still having to take Seroquel to help me sleep so being on two AAPs was not something my psychiatrist wanted to continue for too long. Rexulti was amazing with respect to having literally no cognitive impairment or memory problems, hyperglycemia, no extreme elevated appetite like the other AAPs I had been on. If anything, I found it improved my outlook on life and helped me gather my thoughts, become more insightful, didn't induce any anxiety, never caused oversedation, basically felt nothing like any AAP I have ever taken. If only Rexulti had the capability to control mania or hypomania it would be the perfect medication for bipolar disorder. My psych. took me off it because I was still taking Seroquel 100mg to sleep at night in addition to Rexulti 4mg during the day, and switched me to Latuda about a week before Thanksgiving 2017. I was given 7 day free samples of 20mg, 40mg, and 60mg. I believe I started out with 40mg, and made sure to always eat with it. My psych. thought the Latuda would be sedating enough to help with my sleep, but it wasn't and I still was taking Seroquel 50-100mg at bedtime. All the while I had been on Lithium 1,350mg since February 2017, which didn't help with sleep either. I decided to take myself off Lithium and decreased my dose during my Winter break. I was off it completely by late December/early January 2018. Then we tried just Seroquel 100mg at bedtime and wow how stable I was, only I had no personality, emotions, feelings, empathy, or interest in communicating or participating in everyday activities/interactions. So I got switched to Saphris while introducing Lamictal in January 2018. I am now on 100mg of Lamictal, but only stayed on Saphris 5mg for maybe a week? I just really thought hard about if I honestly needed to also be treated with an AAP. This is when I proposed to my psych. to stop it, upon my agreement to take Seroquel or Saphris when I felt hypomania or manic episodes coming on. We also agreed to discontinue Valium 20mg at bedtime, which had been used since July 2017 to prevent benzo withdrawal seizures from Xanax and was successful in that aspect, and try to replace the Saphris and Valium at bedtime with Ativan 2mg or Halcion 0.25, I was given a small prescription for each and was to see which one I felt was better for helping get my sleep schedule on track. Well, Halcion took the win, but during this time I was also out of Xanax for 1.5-2 weeks and without the Valium being in my system I suffered a benzodiazepine withdrawal complication seizure. So now back on the Valium while tapering the Xanax, Halcion at night, with 100mg Lamictal every morning Lamictal has surprised me. I've been having really good control of my moods. I have infrequent acute depressive moods but haven't had really any highs or lows since being on it actually.
  2. Ever given Lamictal a try? I wanted off lithium because I couldn't deal with the side effects and the possibility of long-term and permanent damage to kidneys or thyroid, other organs etc. so I tapered down kind of fast from 1350 to 900 then a few days one 450 then stopped taking it all together. Starting Lamictal is a slow process due to the mandatory titration schedule. I am finding Lamictal pretty mild in terms of side effects and actually surprisingly effective! I am just over the 1-month mark and at 100mg until around 2/18-2/20 then I will probably increase to 200mg then.
  3. Does anyone else have experience with Rexulti completely destroying their depression? For me, Rexulti almost had a same day anti-depressant effect and controls depressive episodes acutely and astoundingly fast. I literally feel anti-depressant effects in as little as 3 hours after I take it. When I look back to when I was on it, I now realize that I didn't have a single bout of depression during that time, it just was not super effective in controlling mania. I think Rexulti is a hell of an anti-depressant, a way improved drug than abilify with less than half the side effects, no lethargy or cognitive impairment either which is always surprising to find in an antipsychotic. I know it has an indication for adjunctive therapy in adults with MDD but none for bipolar depression... maybe Lundbeck is just waiting for close to the expiration of the patent before the release new clinical trial data and extend their patent after they get the bipolar depression indication approved, but that's just a thought. Anyone else have a similar experience with Rexulti, brexpiprazole? Please let me know about your time on the medication and if it sat well with you or not so much. Interested in if others are also getting this rapid and significant anti-depressant effect from this drug or if it's just me
  4. Sonata?

    I second @Iceberg mention of halcion/triazolam. Similar to sonata in respect to duration of action, time to start working, but sonata IMO is much, much weaker for insomnia if the other treatments you mentioned didn't help much, and too easy to fight the sleepy dazed feeling and stay up unintentionally. Halcion has the potential to do this also, but I find it's hypnotic properties to be stronger than that of any z-drug, love that taking halcion with food isn't affected with respect to it's absorption or effectiveness like what happens with z-drugs when taken after a meal (AKA they just don't work at all in this case). I had to starve myself 2-3 hours back when I was using Ambien just to ensure it would be best absorbed, same with Lunesta and Sonata. If your dr doesn't like giving z-drug, well then I wouldn't expect to be given halcion by a long shot. IME Sonata is nothing special by any means, not very effective, and still has some similar side effects as halcion. If you liked doxepin, maybe you could check out Silenor, just doxepin rebranded as a lower dose, I think 3mg, indicated for insomnia only. Remeron/mirtazapine seems on the same level of sedation as seroquel; both also have similar hangover effects but I would say seroquel produces more cognitive impairment. Remeron 7.5 or 15mg worked great, and around 50-150mg seroquel for similar sedation. Have you tried Elavil/amitriptyline? I believe it's a trycyclic AD, my dad has success with it for insomnia. I wouldn't jump to older generation APs like thorazine to only treat insomnia unless you've exhausted almost every other hypnotic/sedative. Zyprexa is infamous for inducing metabolic disorder and even pre-diabetes, sometimes full-blown type 2 diabetes if you use it and aren't very cautious, testing your blood sugar, etc. Have you tried Rozerem? It works on the body's melatonin receptors, therefore inducing a more natural sleep state, not the kind of sedation we see with seroquel, for example. When it works, it usually works pretty well for those people. Lyrica might also be something to consider; I see you have tried neurontin (which i swear doctors are not afraid what so ever to hand that out) and lyrica is similar just somewhat stronger. Between 300-450mg I would get a nice sleepy feeling and drift off into dreams easily. Ativan could be a back-up plan if your inquiry about halcion gets shot down; 1-2mg is pretty decent for sleep, but seriously not every single night of the week. If you use a benzo such a halcion or ativan for insomnia it is extremely important to give yourself at least 2-3 nights every week where you are not taking the medication. If you feel you cannot go without a sedative every night, then it might be worth considering getting a medication that is not easy or quick to build tolerance or dependence (such as seroquel or doxepin) for the nights you are not taking the benzo, i.e. halcion, ativan, valiumm etc. But as of right now, how is the Sonata working for you? Are you also still using trazodone for sleep as necessary? What about the clonazepam, are you using that strictly for bedtime sedation or for other purposes, such as anxiety? Really might be worth doing some consolidation by getting rid of Sonata and clonazepam and replace those 2 medications with a single, more effective benzodiazepine for insomnia, if neither the clonazepam or sonata are cutting it and helping you get the sleep you deserve. My mommom and pop both swear by clonazepam for insomnia, but for me it doesn't really do the trick. Crazy how the same exact meds effect everyone very differently, even those whom we share a huge amount of DNA and genetics with,
  5. Medication daily

    Yes, I take Valium 10mg daily, just restarted it after having a seizure about 1-2 weeks after I discontinued it on 1/22/18. Was taking 20mg daily before 1/22 and had a grand-mal seizure on 1/30/18. Resumed Valium at just 10mg 2/2/18. We did discuss Klonopin but taking clonazepam daily flattens my mood somewhat and makes me feel sort of depressed/exhausted/loss of interest in things, while Valium does none of the above. It is actually very subtle and doesn't bother me with any significant side effects. IMO, it's a good benzo to use in cases of suspected medication abuse/dependence/addiction because I don't ever "feel" diazepam like I do other benzodiazepines, making it undesirable to take amounts more than prescribed all at once. Valium is probably the only benzo I can be prescribed and actually have enough pills to last me the entire month instead of running out a week early and face withdrawal complications, IME mainly tonic-clonic seizures. Also, I am taking Lamictal but we're not intending to treat seizures with it, just stabilize my manic/depressive moods and cycling.
  6. Thanks for the link to the manual. I've come across the Ashton Manual schedules before, specifically the 4mg Xanax a day to Valium taper schedule, but never actually discussed it in detail with my doctor or tried to seriously talk about it as a possible treatment plan/option. I am going to take a closer look at these taper schedules and print one or two to take to my next dr appointment this Friday, see if we can implement and follow a specific taper schedule. I kind of am worried about the higher dosage of Valium you have to transition over to up to 50-70mg Valium a day, you usually don't hear of physicians prescribing Valium in dosages even close to this. I mean isn't the max dose tablet formulation 10mg? Meaning at some point I would need a prescription for almost 200 10mg Valium tablets in just one month, and different dosages i.e. 5mg tablets as well as 10mg tablets. Wouldn't my health insurance deny coverage for more than 1 prescription for Valium if it's within the same month? They already send my doctor a 3-page letter disclosing "concerning medication duplicates" and to "reassess treatment options to reduce polypharmacy" because I was being prescribed Valium and Xanax every month since July 2017
  7. IME Valium did not feel sedating in the least, even at doses around 50mg. I'm glad to go back on Valium so I know I will have something in my system around the clock to prevent me from suffering too much from benzo withdrawal. It also helps with my neck pain which is a result of a major car accident I was in on Jan 5th, making my need for Flexeril gone. Valium has a lot of benefits I think it is often underestimated, I've only come to appreciate it after I realized it was the key component in controlling tonic-clonic seizures during my Xanax taper
  8. I couldn't agree more about thinking the government should be paying more attention to the benzo epidemic. I too have been experiencing the feeling of not being able to get enough air into my lungs and I have this stabbing pain in my sternum, it even cracks sometimes and makes me wonder if I am having a serious cardiovascular event. Taking a dose of alprazolam doesn't really do much to relieve the chest pain, I think I am going to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist soon to run some tests and make sure everything is alright with my heart. I never thought getting off benzos would be so hard, even after reading other's posts describing how dreadful the process was. Wish I would have heeded their advice when it could have helped. Feeling like this just makes me want to throw in the towel and give up trying to taper off these pills but it will only prolong my dependence.
  9. Switching benzos

    This is something I might bring up this Friday, even though I have tried Xanax XR in the past and it didn't quite help my anxiety as much as regular Xanax. In theory, it would probably be better to take XR while I am trying to taper off so it stays in my system longer, but I guess that's why I am also on Valium. I just don't know how comfortable my doctor would be giving me 2mg XR plus 1mg instant, but it's worth bringing up and discussing whether or not it should be considered. I would love if I was able to just take 2mg XR daily and be fine, only for some reason I don't see that working out well. We are trying to not go above 3mg a day of alprazolam, we're actually aiming for 2mg a day and have been for a couple months now, it's just been a long journey trying to go down on my dose without complications. I might just reconsider switching alprazolam to clonazepam for my own health and well-being
  10. Nerontin/gabapentin was brought up by my psychiatrist last visit because I had experienced a seizure a few days before from, you guessed it, benzo withdrawal. When I tried it in the past it made me ataxic and uncoordinated. I didn't even bother suggesting Lyrica, and was put back on Valium so I have some benzo in my system consistently while I try to decrease my dosage of Xanax and eventually get off this crap. The Valium does a pretty good job at easing the withdrawal symptoms and definitely prevents me from seizing if I haven't taken Xanax for several days. It might be worth something to bring up initiating a small bedtime dose of Valium possibly in addition to Nerontin. Really the only safe way to come off benzodiazepines is to reduce the dosage slowly and also take an anticonvulsant at the same time to ensure you won't suffer from any seizures (they're not good for your brain)
  11. Benzo withdrawal?

    I am currently going through a similar situation with Xanax. It's nobody's fault but my own that I am running into such difficulties, running out early, and leaving myself without benzos for a week at a time. I just had a seizure on 1/30 from benzo withdraw and the ER was more than incompetent. They said I had this grand-mal seizure because I missed ONE DAY of my Lamictal. I followed up with my psychiatrist and 3 other physicians and not one of them agreed with what the ER told me caused my seizure. I have been having headaches since the incident and not feeling the best; depressed mood and lack of interest/pleasure to do anything. I wish I had realized how powerfully addictive Xanax was before I experienced it first-hand. I cannot think of any other medications that have enslaved me like the benzodiazepines have... Some of us have the willpower and self-control to take this kind of medication responsibly, I just am not one of those people and unfortunately had to learn so the hard way.
  12. I took 1,350mg when I was on Lithium for about 10 months. Never got to determine my blood levels because I never followed through and got the lab testing done
  13. Been a while since I updated, and some of my meds have changed so here is my current cocktail: Lamictal 100mg once daily (working up to 200mg by 2/16) Memantine 5mg twice daily (working up to 10mg twice daily) Dexedrine 15mg two capsules twice daily Zenzedi 30mg once daily Xanax 1mg two to three times daily Valium 10mg once daily at bedtime Halcion 0.25mg at bedtime as needed Recently had a seizure on 1/30 from benzo (mainly Xanax) withdraw; I was not taking Valium at the time either (stopped on 1/22) so I guess Lamictal wasn't enough to prevent benzo withdraw seizures. Resumed Valium 10mg 2/2 and am really serious this time about trying to get off Xanax so I don't have to deal with dependency/addiction for the rest of my life. My psychiatrist mentioned in-patient detox as an option to get off benzos but I want to actually give myself a chance to take this seriously and wean off without having to admit myself. Why are these depressants so damn attractive and addictive?? You can officially add me to the group of people who can legitimately say I wish I never even began taking Xanax. At least I am fortunate enough to have a doctor who is willing to go as slow as I need to get my body off alprazolam. Lamictal is working pretty well for my mood, I'd say as good as Lithium without as many side effects. Memantine to help reduce/prevent further stimulant tolerance; don't know how effective it is since I've only been on it for 3 weeks. Halcion is amazing, my ideal sleep aid. Finally found something that helps me get to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, not drugged or over-sedated. I try to only take it 4-5x a week so it maintains its effectiveness. Will keep you guys updated on my progress over the next weeks/months, please wish me as much luck as possible
  14. I don't think I was on it long enough to really answer this question. I got off of it after about 3 weeks, but while I was on it I found it pretty effective as a sleep aid. I don't like taking any anti-psychotic so I proposed to my psychiatrist for me to get off them and see if I do OK or if I clearly need an antipsychotic. I was really just using anti-psychotics like seroquel and saphris to help me sleep, not so much for bipolar problems. The most positive experience I have had with an AP was Rexulti, I don't recall having any depression the entire time I was on it and the side effects were minor when I slowly titrated up to 4mg.
  15. So I have been on xanax 1mg two to three times daily for about 1-1.5 years now; Paxil is great and I don't need xanax when on paxil but it makes me manic as hell so that isn't really an option. Been thinking whether Zoloft would be any different.... Anyway, still on xanax same dosage, but just doubled my valium from 10mg at night to 20mg at night because I was waking up from sleep with difficulty breathing and panic symptoms. I asked to try ativan, eliminate the antipsychotic i use for sleep mainly since ativan 2mg really helps with insomnia, and get rid of the valium. Well she said lets try increasing the valium first then we will go from there. Valium honestly does nothing for me. At 10mg I legit feel nothing. It takes at least 40-60mg for minimal anxiety relief. I respect its long half-life but if it's not benefiting much for sleep, or other anxiety problems in the morning I feel like why should I continue it. Switching to ativan 2mg at bedtime could get me off valium and saphris for sleep (would love to not be on an antipsychotic mainly for sleep anyway). Ativan very little to no next day drowsiness, cognitive impairment, lethargy, flat mood. Refreshing sleep is what ativan gives me. Any ideas why the dr might be pushing for valium instead even after I explained it doesn't help for sleep, for anxiety, only thing it is good for is if i dont take my xanax for 1-2 weeks and I wont have a seizure, but my neurologist said lamital should cover that since it's an anticonvulsant. I don't know whether to stay on 2 benzos as the same time, whether it's xanax and valium or xanax and ativan, or to ask for an increase in xanax to maybe 5-6mg/day in divided doses, maybe 2mg twice per day and 1mg once per day, or 2mg 3x a day. My neurologist said if you need to be on these types of medications than it is warranted and pretty much OK in my case. Klonopin sucks, not as much as valium, but it does barely anything for anxiety, esp. panic, or sleep. Makes me have a depressed mood actually, while xanax uplifts my mood and helps me enjoy life without having anxious mood and panic attack symptoms. Ativan just makes me drowsy so I prefer that for sleep. My main question is regarding how i could proceed. Adding ativan, stopping valium maybe saphris, or upping xanax dose and being on only one benzodiazepine. I do have a tolerance so higher doses than 1mg sometimes are needed to stop anticipatory anxiety, avoidance anxiety, and esp. panic attacks. Restoril doesn't help with sleep surprisingly. Never tried triazolam but would love to due to its short half-life and potency/efficacy for insomnia, but my dr thinks it wouldn't be a good idea. Dr says stims may be increasing my anxiety but don't think that is the case. Really want an effective benzo combo or pick to be on xanax only, just at a higher dose. My parents think its crazy to take 3 xanax a day but it's what helps and lets me live life. Somtimes i take more than prescribed because 1mg will not help my symptoms. I just want to be on a stable dose, whether its xanax 3mg xr 1x daily with 1mg 3x daily or 2mg 3x daily. Something has got to give, and the hardest part is even bringing up increasing my xanax dose with my dr because of its bad reputation since everyone seems to abuse it nowadays. I'm ready to take a trip to mexico and take a visit to their pharmacies...