Friday, May 20, 2011

Latuda: Brief Personal Review

Note: Please check out my other later medication posts as my feelings about Latuda have changed...

I have linked to the official Latuda site above. I cannot vouch for more information than what was provided me there and in the original package insert.

Two weeks ago I had a psychotic break, despite taking both Abilify and Geodon for schizophrenia and Lamictal for mood symptoms.

To avoid a hospitalization, my doctor and I usually add Zyprexa, but I refused it this time, hating the rapid weight gain and overwhelming sedation, though it is otherwise a wonderful drug for me. This time, though somewhat dubious about being a "guinea pig," I agreed to try Latuda. Previously I had tried both Fanapt and Saphris with disastrous results. The latter in particular reduced me to complete anhedonia and apathy. I did nothing at all but sit in a chair and smoke, which was even worse than before, when at least I recognized that things were not right, that I did love to do art and writing, even though I could not do them at the time.

So on Friday, after an emergency appointment, I went home with a prescription for 40mg Latuda, which was upped to 80mg the next day.


Well, within about 4-5 days the voices screaming at me were gone, my thoughts were much clearer, my energy higher, my mood brighter. It seems impossible, but Latuda might be the medication I have long been looking for: Zyprexa-without-adverse-side-effects, which is to say, no weight gain and no extreme sedation.

Moreover, I wake in the morning eager to rise and meet whatever the day brings. To me, as an artist, poet and author this is so important. I haven't felt so much better or as hopeful in a very long while.

I will say that the one huge benefit of Zyprexa, my first real miracle drug, my "awakening drug" so to speak, was that I was able to read, to concentrate and think in a way that nothing has ever matched, no, not even Latuda. And though I miss this even now, I will have to wait for the day when the perfect drug comes out to permit all my cognitive capacities to function, not just some at a time under the influence of one drug or another. Until then, I prefer doing writing and art, under the influence of what I call the "output drugs" of Abilify and Geodon, (and Latuda) to the input drug of Zyprexa (on which I feed both on books and on food).


Both Abilify and Latuda although they do not help me read, do keep my mind alert and alive, allowing me to be creative, not drugged up. They are as well more than weight neutral, and in fact help me lose the Zyprexa-induced poundage. The one problem with Abilify is that at first it made me extremely irritable, even angry, until we combined it with Geodon. Now I never take the one without the other. Latuda when added to the mix, seems not to cause any additional problem, it just quickly alleviated the psychosis, which the other 2 meds did not cover.


I wanted to report these things here because it is so important for people taking anti-psychotic drugs, many with terrible side effects, to know that there may be another drug out there that might work for them. There is never a guarantee as we all know. Those that work for a certain person, might wreak havoc for another. Some swear for instance by Risperdal, and it only and consistently puts me into complete catatonia. Others hate Zyprexa and would never call anything about it miracle-working...

If anyone reading this has had experience with any of the drugs mentioned in this post and wishes to comment, I would be interested to hear from you.

3 comments:

Noeline Piris-Maldonado said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'm Bipolar 1 and starting the process tomorrow of weaning off Zyprexa and titrating Latuda up to 80 mgs. I've been on Zyprexa for 10 years and it was indeed my awakening drug but it was also a fattening, brain-numbing, sleep-inducing drug as well. I have gained a total of 114 lbs. and that, alone, has caused me stress.

Anyway, I appreciate your candor and bravery. I wish you continued health and many more successes with your artistic endeavors!

Best,

Noeline

You see, I am alive. said...

Thank you so much for your post. I have been weening off of Seroquel for the past few weeks. I have been Schizophrenic for about 3 years now. Still looking for that miracle drug. I am going to see my doctor tomorrow, I look forward to discussing the drugs you have mentioned as possible new options.

Long live God, Art, Love and Hope.

Anonymous said...

So nervous to find out if this drug will help my sister...she has tried just about everything and it just hasn't held...i am hopeful that drugs that really make a difference will come out very soon and everyone who is sufffering from these difficult symptoms will be free and able to live a normal life. Best of luck to all of you. Always have hope that it will get better--because it will. We are all moving forward whether by our own doing or that of society, sience or technology.