Jump to content


Photo

Having Trouble With Treatments

nuvigil xyrem

  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

I was on Xyrem for a year and a half, and it was like a miracle drug for a long time. Cataplexy was greatly reduced, I was able to stay awake during the day, and I slept beautifully at night. It even helped me lose weight!

 

It wasn't until I lost TOO much weight and had a lot of trouble gaining it back, that I wanted to stop taking it. Long story short, my doctor is running a clinical trial for a new narcolepsy+cataplexy drug, and he suggested I would be a good candidate. In order to join it, I had to be off of Xyrem for a month, then take a special sleep study. Well, after all that, I didn't qualify for the trial.

 

At that point, I did not want to go back on Xyrem. I realized during my month of no drugs that I felt SO much better without the Xyrem - that is, mentally and emotionally. I didn't realize that it was the Xyrem causing me to be so irritable and boring. But after stopping it, I got my passion back! My creative muse(s) returned, my sex drive came back, and I generally felt alive (aside from the EDS returning) -- and like MYSELF -- again.

 

So... my doctor suggested that I try Nuvigil instead of Xyrem.

 

I take it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Often, I still get very sleepy during the day, but by bedtime, I can't fall asleep! Now I'm in this cycle where I get 5-7 hours of sleep at night, then take a nap when I get home from work, then can't fall asleep until late that night again...

 

Has anyone else had this experience? I'm not sure what to do about it now, but it's making me question everything. Am I napping because of the narcolepsy, or am I napping because I didn't get enough sleep last night? It seemed so much easier on Xyrem, and I'm tempted to go back to it, but I don't want to lose my passion and my ME-ness again. :(



#2 munky

munky

    Member

  • Members
  • 213 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Interests:Too many to list. It takes up too much space.

Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

I take Nuvigil, myself. Take it when I wake up in the late afternoon/early evening (I work nights) with my dinner. Then at work, I have a scheduled 20-minute nap every 4 hours. I also try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. That's all part of the treatment recommended by my neurologist.

 

I'm no doctor, but it's my understanding that the Nuvigil helps with the EDS, but that naps might still be required, for certain people. Alas, Narcolepsy is one of those things where an effective treatment is going to be different for everyone, and sometimes involve both medication and behavioral adaptations (i.e. naps).



#3 DeathRabbit

DeathRabbit

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,341 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rocket City, USA
  • Interests:Music, video games, exercise, hookah, not feeling like crap

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

It often seems that the side effects of Xyrem gorw with time. I wonder if it might be effective, if after one has been on the high dosage for a long while, to actually step it down to a slightly lower doses. There are some medications that become more powerful over time instead of less and perhaps Xyrem does this to some people.



#4 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

I take Nuvigil, myself. Take it when I wake up in the late afternoon/early evening (I work nights) with my dinner. Then at work, I have a scheduled 20-minute nap every 4 hours. I also try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. That's all part of the treatment recommended by my neurologist.

 

I'm no doctor, but it's my understanding that the Nuvigil helps with the EDS, but that naps might still be required, for certain people. Alas, Narcolepsy is one of those things where an effective treatment is going to be different for everyone, and sometimes involve both medication and behavioral adaptations (i.e. naps).

 

See, really, my problem isn't with the naps, although I can see now that perhaps I didn't write my inital post accordingly.

 

If I'm not on medication, I'm going to be taking naps. While on the Nuvigil, I am taking naps.

 

The problem is that the Nuvigil is keeping me from falling asleep at bedtime.

 

So now I'm wondering what the point of taking Nuvigil is. WIthout the Nuvigil, I take naps during the day, but I have no trouble falling asleep at bedtime. On Nuvigil, I still have to take a nap during the day, and then I can't fall asleep at bedtime. If the whole point of Nuvigil is to stave off the EDS, then it just kinda seems like a wasted effort, and it's creating more problems than it solves.



#5 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:46 AM

It often seems that the side effects of Xyrem gorw with time. I wonder if it might be effective, if after one has been on the high dosage for a long while, to actually step it down to a slightly lower doses. There are some medications that become more powerful over time instead of less and perhaps Xyrem does this to some people.

 

You know, I did try this. I was taking 3.75g for a long time, and the weight loss was just too much. So my doctor stepped me back down to 3g, and while it did help with the weight problem, it just wasn't effective enough to keep me awake during the day. :(



#6 DeathRabbit

DeathRabbit

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,341 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rocket City, USA
  • Interests:Music, video games, exercise, hookah, not feeling like crap

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

Maybe 3.5 then? I've been having trouble finding my ideal mix too. It's pretty discouraging that I've yet to see a significant improve or at least one that isn't pared by severe side effects since I started this stuff a month and a half ago.



#7 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

Maybe 3.5 then? I've been having trouble finding my ideal mix too. It's pretty discouraging that I've yet to see a significant improve or at least one that isn't pared by severe side effects since I started this stuff a month and a half ago.

 

Perhaps. My other issue with the Xyrem was how it affected my mental/emotional state, and I'd rather not go back to that medication if I can help it.

 

As for you... give it time. A month and a half seems like a long time, but with Xyrem I learned that it can take months to figure out the balance that works best. :)



#8 Megssosleepy

Megssosleepy

    Member

  • Members
  • 444 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:DreamLand USA

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

Perhaps. My other issue with the Xyrem was how it affected my mental/emotional state, and I'd rather not go back to that medication if I can help it.

 

As for you... give it time. A month and a half seems like a long time, but with Xyrem I learned that it can take months to figure out the balance that works best. :)

 

Yes def takes much longer then a month.  I feel like although Xyrem has given me clear moments throughout the day and it took away my depression that I had for 10 years or so... I do kindof feel Blah... but that could be the dreary winter, or the fact I was busy with work and school and now that I graduated I have more time to be blah.

 

One thing I have started doing (only two weeks now) I am not sure if its a good idea or not, but I dont take Xyrem on Saturday nights... this way I can have a couple of drinks hang out late eat food late ect... I was happy to find I was able to fall asleep pretty fast and havent had SP/HH yet.  Sundays are lazy days where I try to eat a ton and nap and relax.  Its crazy how much more I can eat when having not taken Xyrem.

 

I have found the only way to keep/gain weight is weight gain shakes with whole milk.  They add about 1000 calories to my day.  If I stop drinking them I loose everything I gained :( I am happy to say I went from a yuck 100LBS to a better but still not great 105! I will be happy at 110! (im only 5'1.5 :)

 

One more thing to add to this scattered post...

 

The moments of clarity are so strange to me, and as soon as I realize it is upon me it can bring tears to my eyes... feeling the fog completely lifted! To not feel the slight bit tired, they may only last 10, 15, 20 min, ahhh it makes all the BS of Xyrem worth it! 



#9 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:02 PM

Yes def takes much longer then a month.  I feel like although Xyrem has given me clear moments throughout the day and it took away my depression that I had for 10 years or so... I do kindof feel Blah... but that could be the dreary winter, or the fact I was busy with work and school and now that I graduated I have more time to be blah.

 

One thing I have started doing (only two weeks now) I am not sure if its a good idea or not, but I dont take Xyrem on Saturday nights... this way I can have a couple of drinks hang out late eat food late ect... I was happy to find I was able to fall asleep pretty fast and havent had SP/HH yet.  Sundays are lazy days where I try to eat a ton and nap and relax.  Its crazy how much more I can eat when having not taken Xyrem.

 

I have found the only way to keep/gain weight is weight gain shakes with whole milk.  They add about 1000 calories to my day.  If I stop drinking them I loose everything I gained :( I am happy to say I went from a yuck 100LBS to a better but still not great 105! I will be happy at 110! (im only 5'1.5 :)

 

One more thing to add to this scattered post...

 

The moments of clarity are so strange to me, and as soon as I realize it is upon me it can bring tears to my eyes... feeling the fog completely lifted! To not feel the slight bit tired, they may only last 10, 15, 20 min, ahhh it makes all the BS of Xyrem worth it! 

 

I don't blame you, about not taking it on Saturday nights so you can drink! I definitely did that occasionally. Eventually, I just started making sure that I stopped drinking 4-6 hours before I took my first dose of Xyrem (as recommended by the Xyrem nurse staff), and it worked great for me. Of course, it was still kinda like I was the party pooper. "Oh, it's 9:00, time for me to stop drinking!" Hehe...

 

I agree with you about the weight gain shakes. I tried those for a long time, and I tried to eat a lot, too. Basically, they did help me gain back about 7 pounds, but you're right... as soon as I stopped drinking them on a regular basis, the weight just came right back off!

 

Yes, those moments of clarity are awesome. It's amazing how much I forgot what life was like before Xyrem, until I stopped taking it. Now I'm in a fog so much of the time, I hate it. I'm starting to feel the desperation all over again, especially since this Nuvigil just doesn't seem to be working for me.



#10 sleepywriter

sleepywriter

    Member

  • Members
  • 131 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Missouri
  • Interests:baking, cake decorating, writing, running, spending time with my family

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:53 PM

Have you asked the doctor about combining the Xyrem with an antidepressant?  I know it stinks to have to take add another medication to treat side-effects from another, but if Xyrem was effective, it might be a way to get back on it without having the mood changes.  I'm battling the weight loss now and have started to notice myself being...less happy, I suppose.  I am under a lot of stress lately, so it could be that, but my doctor did say we can talk about adding something like Effexor if it doesn't stop.

 

I tried Nuvigil first and hated it.  It kept me up at night, too, but I still fell asleep during the day.  It made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  That drug made me seriously irritable and gave me such bad headaches.  I was happy to stop taking it.



#11 munky

munky

    Member

  • Members
  • 213 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:near Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Interests:Too many to list. It takes up too much space.

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

See, really, my problem isn't with the naps, although I can see now that perhaps I didn't write my inital post accordingly.

 

The problem is more likely to be that I misunderstood it. I've been very bad about taking my naps--I just don't want to do it, despite the fact that I know there will be issues if I don't. Like this one. :blush:

 

If I'm not on medication, I'm going to be taking naps. While on the Nuvigil, I am taking naps.

 

The problem is that the Nuvigil is keeping me from falling asleep at bedtime.

 

So now I'm wondering what the point of taking Nuvigil is. WIthout the Nuvigil, I take naps during the day, but I have no trouble falling asleep at bedtime. On Nuvigil, I still have to take a nap during the day, and then I can't fall asleep at bedtime. If the whole point of Nuvigil is to stave off the EDS, then it just kinda seems like a wasted effort, and it's creating more problems than it solves.

 

I can't say the Nuvigil is keeping me from falling asleep. I was an insomniac all my life, up until the narcolepsy. It would take me 30 minutes or more just to fall asleep, and if I got four straight hours of sleep--meaning that when I woke up, I was able to get back to sleep within 10 minutes--it was a good day. Five hours meant I was coming down with something. More than that meant I was sick and/or drugged. More commonly, I'd sleep for about an hour, wake up and be unable to get back to sleep for another hour or more, then sleep for another hour or two ... lather, rinse, repeat. Now, when I go to bed, I fall asleep very quickly, and I usually manage to sleep all the way through to my alarm--again, meaning that when I wake up, I fall asleep again within a few minutes--but there are days when I'll wake up after four or five hours, and there's just no going back to sleep.

 

My best suggestion would be to echo advice you've already gotten and say talk it over with your doctor. Maybe s/he will have some other suggestion that will work better for you, such as the one Meg suggested.



#12 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

Have you asked the doctor about combining the Xyrem with an antidepressant?  I know it stinks to have to take add another medication to treat side-effects from another, but if Xyrem was effective, it might be a way to get back on it without having the mood changes.  I'm battling the weight loss now and have started to notice myself being...less happy, I suppose.  I am under a lot of stress lately, so it could be that, but my doctor did say we can talk about adding something like Effexor if it doesn't stop.

 

I tried Nuvigil first and hated it.  It kept me up at night, too, but I still fell asleep during the day.  It made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  That drug made me seriously irritable and gave me such bad headaches.  I was happy to stop taking it.

 

My doctor did mention the possibility of an antidepressant, but I've been resistant. Like you said, I don't want to add more meds to the mix unless I absolutely have to. In addition, with the Xyrem already affecting my mental/emotional state so much, I don't want to combine that with an antidepressant. I've so often herd that antidepressants don't make the depression go away, they just make people feel numb, as if they no longer have emotions. That's kind of the experience I already got from Xyrem, so I'm not sure how adding an antidepressant would help.

 

At least I'm not along in my Nuvigil experience. It gives me headaches, too, but not all the time. I still feel like it's not worth taking, though. Blah.



#13 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

My best suggestion would be to echo advice you've already gotten and say talk it over with your doctor. Maybe s/he will have some other suggestion that will work better for you, such as the one Meg suggested.

 

Yeah, I'll definitely be talking to my doctor about it at my next appointment. It just seems like he's running out of suggestions to give me. At least based on my last appointment (which happened after I had 2 weeks of Nuvigil samples). We'll see. :)



#14 DeathRabbit

DeathRabbit

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,341 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rocket City, USA
  • Interests:Music, video games, exercise, hookah, not feeling like crap

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:59 AM

I think with the Nuvigil, the numbness won't be such an issue. But take them at night before bed, because almost all tricyclics, SSRIs, and teracyclics have a mild sedative ffect.



#15 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

I think with the Nuvigil, the numbness won't be such an issue. But take them at night before bed, because almost all tricyclics, SSRIs, and teracyclics have a mild sedative ffect.

 

Hmm, interesting. Actually, for combination with Nuvigil, my doctor suggested some drug called Strattera. He actually gave me a prescription for it, but I didn't get it filled yet. I didn't want to add more drugs to my daily cocktail, plus it was expensive. Hrm...



#16 DeathRabbit

DeathRabbit

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,341 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rocket City, USA
  • Interests:Music, video games, exercise, hookah, not feeling like crap

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

I want to say someone else on here had experience with Strattera, but I'm not sure. Wiki says it's for hyperactivity. Strange thing to give a narcoleptic, but perhaps it's to cut the side effects of the Nuvigil.



#17 wisher

wisher

    Member

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:cookies, goats, cute things

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I want to say someone else on here had experience with Strattera, but I'm not sure. Wiki says it's for hyperactivity. Strange thing to give a narcoleptic, but perhaps it's to cut the side effects of the Nuvigil.

 

Yeah, my doctor told me it would help a little bit with the EDS and the cataplexy. I looked it up when I got home and saw that it was for people with ADHD and was confused. Whatever the case, I haven't tried it. Not sure if I will.



#18 MINItron

MINItron

    Member

  • Members
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington state
  • Interests:MINI Coopers, Fiber Arts, the Great Outdoors

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

Hmm, interesting. Actually, for combination with Nuvigil, my doctor suggested some drug called Strattera. He actually gave me a prescription for it, but I didn't get it filled yet. I didn't want to add more drugs to my daily cocktail, plus it was expensive. Hrm...

 

Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor where Ritalin is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Many of the drugs that are used for narcolepsy are primarily used for ADHD, so it isn't that far of a stretch that it could be of some use as an adjunct to Nuvigil.



#19 lkl

lkl

    Member

  • Members
  • 61 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:04 AM

While antidepressants do often cause sedation, sometimes, particularly SSRIs and SNRIs, they can be quite activating, and cause sleeplessness in some people. Often it is a matter of trial and error, to work out the best time to take it, depending on an individual's response.



#20 2Tired4This

2Tired4This

    Member

  • Members
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arizona
  • Interests:Is it weird that I had to change this field a little once I started my Meds? XD Now im more interested in computers, science, social-sciences, space, and the mechanics of cars more than i'm interested in girls.

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

From my short experience with Provigil/Nuvigil I can tell you that if you don't feel like you are 85% awake on it then it's not working for you. Especially if you are getting side effects. I've noticed that it doesnt remove my EDS and I can recognize when i'm having a sleep attack, but it passes within minutes and I can refocus on my tasks. So far it's only been effective in the 5 hour period after I take it. After that my EDS symptoms come back hard and I end up napping for the rest of my classes. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: nuvigil, xyrem