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Beginning My Journey on Latuda


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Hello all,

I am new to this website after doing lots of research on Latuda over the past 3 weeks. For years I had been suffering with anxiety/depression and nothing seemed to work for me. My tendency became to self-medicate with alcohol and that obviously just made things worse. This all started in my early to mid twenties as I slowly became a shell of my normal vibrant and social self. Just a year ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and the direction of medications prescribed to me took quite a turn. Originally my prescriber had started me on Lamictal to "create a base" for the antidepressant medications to work. At that time I was also started on Brintellix which ended up helping my anxiety a great deal, but left me at an all time low with my depression. After adding Abilify, it seemed things were staying the same if not getting worse with my depression. I was on Lamictal 150mg, Brintellix 20mg, and Abilify 5mg prior to starting the Latuda.

Just 3 weeks ago I was started on Latuda 20mg and told to taper off the Lamictal and Abilify, which I did. As directed, I took the medication with my biggest meal of the day, lunch, and I didn't really feel any effects that first week. After a week on 20mg, I was bumped up to 40mg of Latuda. That first evening on 40mg was probably the scariest I've ever had on a medication. I got home from work and could not settle down. I am usually fairly depressed when I get home from work since I don't know what to do with myself, but this was different. I was restless and somewhat scared but couldn't really identify what was going on. I ordered a pizza at 5:30pm and then felt like crawling into bed and curling up into a ball. I then started freaking out that I would fall asleep before my pizza was delivered so I got even more restless, waiting for the delivery which typically takes 30 minutes or so. At around 6:15 I actually called the pizza place because I was so eager for the pizza to be delivered, and then I called again at 6:30 because 60 minutes was now feeling like an eternity with what my body and mind were going through. The second time I called they apologized as they were having an exceptionally busy delivery night, but they still didn't know when my delivery would arrive. At that point I couldn't take it anymore so I got into bed with my cell phone and started falling asleep. At 7:00pm the pizza delivery guy called and I just told him to cancel the order, which I felt bad doing but there was no way I was going to get out of bed at that point. This was quite an episode for me to go through.

I had read the side-effects of the Latuda and still didn't really think much of what could have caused the episode. The rest of the week on Latuda was fine for me and I actually began feeling a bump in my overall mood and depression on the 40mg. I did not have another episode like the first night until yesterday, although it was a little milder. Thankfully today I had an appointment with my prescriber and I could tell her about those restless episodes, which after reading about the Latuda I thought might be Akathisia, but I wasn't sure. She confirmed that it was most likely Akathisia as a side-effect and prescribed me Cogentin today so I will be starting that along with an increase in the Latuda to 60mg. I am also going to start tapering off the Brintellix as my prescriber wants to see how the Latuda works in monotherapy for me, and SSRI's can sometimes be counter-productive when it comes to Bipolar 2. Additionally I will be taking the Latuda at bedtime since it seems to make me tired. I had been taking it around 1:00pm and I had been wanting to get into bed each night around 7:00 which is way too early for me. The good news is I have slept very well on it, and it has been easier for me to get up in the mornings. I hate to eat another 350 calories before bed but we'll see how it goes.

All this to say, I am really hoping that Latuda continues to have a positive effect on my depressed mood and that the Akathisia can be controlled or goes away. I hate taking another medication for a side-effect but I have never had hope for a medication like I do with Latuda, so I am going to do what it takes to see if this might be the right medication for my disorder. Anyway I just wanted to share my journey thus far. Comments or suggestions are welcome!

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I didn't find Latuda sedating, though some people do.  I took it with dinner, around 7, and 350 calories is a fine amount to eat for dinner.

Cogentin was helpful to me when I had akathisia on Ziprasidone and Seroquel.  Hopefully it helps you.  

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That sounds very similar to what I went through when I first started Latuda. I started taking it in the morning and thought I saw gonna die. The restlessness and then sedation was terrible. I called my pdoc and started Cogentin which helped but the sedation awful. I switched to taking it at nights and it worked much better. My pdoc told me she had a few patients get sedated from it. The only thing I don't like is eating at night but I keep lots of snack options to pick from.

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I took 140 mg of latuda for quite a while. It didn't do much for me. I was still having psychosis and I eventually became full blown manic on it and had to be hospitalized and put back on seroquel. 

I took it with dinner too and it did sedate me a tiny bit. But not like seroquel or zyprexa at all. 

I did not get that restlessness like you experienced (akisthia sp?). I have experienced that though before when I first started abilify. It went away for me and I still take abilify to this day. 

So there is hope that it will go away for you too. Especially since you have cogentin (sp?) on board. 

Good luck!!

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Your story sounds a lot Ike mine. The awful depression. The self medicating with alcohol. I am also bipolar 2. 20 mg of latuda doesn't help me and 40 gives me the awful akathesia buy helps my depression. I am going to try it with cogentin and see if that resolved it. I am also on cymbalta 30 going up to 60 tomorrow. My PDOC has the same opinion about antidepressants not being good go bipolar. But my depression is so bad I need something additional. I hope all this works out for both of us. My next step is lithium which I really would prefer not to have to take.

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