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Deplin Is Helping Me

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#1 siesta girl

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:50 PM

Okay I will try to make this short. This is my first post. I am 43 and was diagnosed with Narcolepsy (I did the MSLT) almost two years ago by a sleep doctor who did not seem up to date on treatments nor on Narcolepsy itself. He wanted me to take Ritalin, which at first I refused to do, but after 5 months I felt desperate enough to try. In short it was horrible and made me feel worse, so I immediately stopped. I go to a naturopath doctor as well as traditional doctors and it was actually this naturopath who originally suggested the sleep test... others kept saying depression and I was certain I was not clinically depressed. About a year ago after my narcolepsy diagnosis, she had a sample of Deplin and thought I should give it a try. Deplin is for depression, but she just thought it might be worth trying.  The short of this is that the Deplin helps to clear the fog. I am still tired and I still need to take naps, but the Deplin definitely makes a difference enough so I can actually focus. A prime example is that I sometimes acquire contract work that is research on the computer. Pre-Deplin, I could barely get through an hour before I had to give in and lie down for a nap. Post-Deplin, I can get through 3-4 hours depending on how stimulating the research is. I would never say it gives me energy (nothing does) and I am still sleepy, but I can function so much better than before.

 

Deplin is L-Methylfolate, a prescription medical food (is it is basically the form of folate that can pass through the blood-brain barrier, helping to create serotonin, etc). My naturopath has to write a prescription for it. It is fairly new and is not covered by my insurance, so I buy it through Brand Direct Health for about $50/month.

 

Please do your own research, but I would love to know if this helps others. I have never been very good at taking pills everyday (vitamins, etc), but I take this everyday. I could feel a difference within a few days and it got better over time.

 

Oh and I meant to say I tried a generic L-Methylfolate and it did not work. An according to some pharmacies a generic for Deplin doesn't exist. So if you try it, go through Brand Direct.



#2 b.chrissie@yahoo.com

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

Thank you for sharing



#3 ironhands

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:38 AM

almost two years ago by a sleep doctor who did not seem up to date on treatments nor on Narcolepsy itself.

 

 take Ritalin, which at first I refused to do, but after 5 months I felt desperate enough to try. In short it was horrible and made me feel worse

 

others kept saying depression and I was certain I was not clinically depressed.

 

You're not alone in seeing a sleep doctor who doesn't know much about narcolepsy.  The sleep doc I saw gave me 3 options to help with SNORING and pretty much sent me on my way.  If I hadn't obtained a copy of the results myself, I wouldn't have known just how bad my sleep rhythm was, nor the fact my REM latency is <10 minutes instead of the usual 60-120.

 

I had a similar reaction with ritalin, it made me really angry and I was always falling asleep around 2pm at my desk

 

You may actually be clinically depressed, but, it's not the cause, it's a symptom.  My last sleep doc is also a psychiatrist, and pointed out that my depressive symptoms at the moment aren't entirely consistent with mood-disorder depression, but simply a symptom of the underlying sleep issues.  It's really common for most PWN to be depressed, due to the need for sleep, and the accompanying social problems.  It was a HUGE weight off my mind to find out that I wasn't "crazy", and that the "failures" in my life are explained medically.

 

Very glad you've found effective treatment!



#4 supertired

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:50 AM

Thanks so much for this post.  I felt really good taking this but some how quit taking it and forgot the name.

 

I had a new gf at the time and just thought it was her making me feel good.  Not seeing her anymore so I'll go and try the Deplin again.



#5 Ferret

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:27 PM

If Deplin works for you, then I'm not going to knock it. For all I know, you may be missing the enzyme or co-factors which convert Folic Acid (vitamin B9) into L-Methylfolate...and Deplin is L-Methylfolate.

But picking just one part of the equation to supplement is like putting gas in your car but not putting oil in it. You need both and a whole lot of other parts that work together to get the car going. And the body is way more complicated than a car but both need the right fuel...for the body that would be good, healthy, nutritious  and well balanced food.

Here's an interesting article on Deplin.

http://www.thecarlat...me-free-article

 

Here's a link for a natural way to get folic acid....

http://www.whfoods.c...utrient&dbid=63

 

From that link, here is a quote...

 

What factors might contribute to a deficiency of folate?

In addition to poor dietary intake of folate itself, deficient intake of other B vitamins can contribute to folate deficiency. These vitamins include B1, B2, and B3 which are all involved in folate recycling. Poor protein intake can cause deficiency of folate binding protein which is needed for optimal absorption of folate from the intestine, and can also be related to an insufficient supply of glycine and serine, the amino acids that directly participate in metabolic recycling of folate. Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, and heavy coffee drinking can also contribute to folate deficiency.

 

 

Of all the vitamins that the body needs, ALL of the B vitamins come up time and time again. You can't convert the amino acid Tryptophan without vitamin B6 to make the lovely neurotransmitter Serotonin. And there's not much point to taking a folic acid supplement (read Deplin here) if there's not enough Serotonin (or the other two neurotransmitters Norepinephrine and Dopamine mentioned in the first link) for it to act upon. 

So, which came first...the chicken or the egg?



#6 Chemist

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:39 AM

Is the original post not suspicious to anyone else? "siesta girl" only made this single post and the account hasn't been logged into again since that time. She also hyperlinks Deplin to the drug's website a total of four times, then tells us where we can go buy it, hyperlinking that as well. Finally, she ends by telling us that the generic doesn't seem to work and to make sure we buy the brand name through the website she linked us to.

 

I had mentally filed this post under the "Marketing/Spam" category and would suggest others do the same for this and similar posts from accounts that have zero established credibility.

 

Similar to Ferret, I'm not going to knock L-methylfolate and say it absolutely won't help anyone. However, from a scientific standpoint, to date there's no evidence that it would help improve the symptoms of narcolepsy, or that it would be any more useful than a regular high-dose folate supplement.



#7 ThreeDogTruck

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

Hi Chemist --

You make great points and I'm glad you commented. 

The statement "go through Brand Direct" should have alerted me, but I definitely overlooked that--

It's a shame when people abuse the privilege of joining this invaluable network by trying to use it as a marketing tool ...

and I know I'm desperate to try anything that would improve my quality of life

 

Regarding Deplin, which I have taken for several years -- the name brand product is very expensive -- I take the generic which is still $100 a month and not covered by insurance ...

My physician and I discussed the clinical trials with Deplin before I started taking it and that's what I would recommend to anyone who wants to try it.



#8 Chemist

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:26 PM

I'd like to hear more from ThreeDogTruck and others who are using or have used L-methylfolate. Are you taking it for depression or for symptoms relating to narcolepsy? Had you tried a regular high-dose folic acid supplement to compare its efficacy against that of Deplin? What time of day do you take it and what sort of effects do you get from it?

 

In any event, people have brought up folic acid and L-methylfolate enough times that I was prompted to actually look through the scientific literature on it to see what's possibly going on with it. I'm very glad I'm at a university presently because literally everything is behind a pay wall. What I found was that it has been demonstrated that folic acid derivatives lead to a decrease in norepinephrine secretion and an increase in serotonergic neurotransmission. Exactly how it does this isn't exactly clear, although a leading theory seems to be it accelerates neurotransmitter turnover by interacting with associated enzymes. I wouldn't expect such a change in serotonin/noradrenaline to directly improve daytime wakefulness, although it might indirectly improve it by improving sleep quality.

 

One of the main issues in using folic acid as a treatment is dosage. The effective dose used in rats would equate to something like 3 grams in the average human. The largest common supplement size I could quickly find for folic acid is 800mcg. You would have to take almost 4,000 of these pills to get 3 grams of folic acid. In human studies, the doses have been smaller, ranging from 5-15mg, but this still equates to about 19 pills per dose. The typically used dosage of Deplin is similar, generally between 7.5 and 15 mg, and honestly this is probably where the observed difference in efficacy between consumer folate supplements, L-methylfolate supplements, and Deplin or generic prescription L-methylfolate comes in. It's just so impractical to get such a large amount of folic acid or L-methylfolate through consumer supplements, whereas the prescription supplements are far more potent. At a 15mg dosage, I doubt there is going to be any difference between using folic acid or L-methylfolate even if the person has reduced activity of the enzyme that activates folic acid. I did see some L-methylfolate 1mg supplements in 100 count bottles, which I suppose would be enough to try L-methylfolate for several days to see what impact it has, if any.

 

Considering the large dosages that are required given the relatively weak effect, I just don't see how this would be more effective than an antidepressant, although it would have fewer side effects. And, even taking into consideration its antidepressant effect, many users of this forum are on antidepressants and don't seem to have appreciably improved daytime sleepiness, but some of them do sleep better.

 

Interesting side-note: Today I learned we've taken depressed and healthy people and depleted their bodies of serotonin or norepinephrine just to see what would happen. Interestingly, the healthy people don't get depressed. The depressed people do get worse, but only when they're deprived of the neurotransmitter that corresponds to the type of antidepressant they're on. So people responding to SSRIs get worse when you deplete their serotonin, but not when you deplete their norepinephrine, etc.



#9 Ferret

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:43 PM

Got a link to that interesting side note?



#10 Chemist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:42 AM

They've been doing these types of studies for well over a decade now, so there are numerous articles relating to tryptophan or tyrosine depletion. But here's one: http://www.biologica...0095-5/abstract



#11 ThreeDogTruck

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:37 PM

I'd like to hear more from ThreeDogTruck and others who are using or have used L-methylfolate. Are you taking it for depression or for symptoms relating to narcolepsy? Had you tried a regular high-dose folic acid supplement to compare its efficacy against that of Deplin? What time of day do you take it and what sort of effects do you get from it?

 

 

Hi Chemist --

I was prescribed the Deplin for depression along with the other meds I take for depression, and the clinical study my psychiatrist talked about was done in patients with depression.

I take 4 different meds for depression, so it's hard to know which med is helping what symptoms --

I take Deplin in the morning

I've been treated for depression for 20 years, but what part of that may have been due to uundiagnosed hypersomnolence, who knows??

That's why I was curious if anyone had relief from excessive daytime sleepiness with Deplin.

 

It's all sort of a mess, having depression and idiopathic hypersomnolence, and hard for me to figure out which medication is helping which symptoms, and then the efficacy of one medication wears off over the years and I have to switch to another medication ...

 

I'm especially interested to hear if anyone has tried doses of Deplin above 15 mg daily ...

I don't think I've had any side effects from the Deplin, so it may be worth a try ...

 



#12 ThreeDogTruck

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:42 PM

An according to some pharmacies a generic for Deplin doesn't exist. So if you try it, go through Brand Direct.

 

 

This sentence in the first posting should also have clued me in that the post is only a marketing ploy ...

Generic Deplin absolutely exists, and any mainstream pharmacy (i.e. Walgreens) would know that it exists, even if they do not stock it ...

 

Thanks, Chemist, for reminding us to be careful in reading postings on this network ...



#13 Ferret

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

They've been doing these types of studies for well over a decade now, so there are numerous articles relating to tryptophan or tyrosine depletion. But here's one: http://www.biologica...0095-5/abstract

 

I would really have liked to have read the whole article. For example...for how long was the study? I know that plasma samples were taken but when? Were the last plasma samples taken immediately after? two weeks after? a month after? What I'm trying to say is that those "healthy" subjects may have taken a while  to feel the effects of tryptophan depletion either from the actual withholding of tryptophan or from another pathway that was mucked up by the withholding.

I believe that time passed is involved with depression in much the same way as time is passed without B12 until you develop Macrocytic Anemia. And time needs to pass until either a medication or supplementation works its magic. There are no quick fixes...or conclusions. JMHO.



#14 Chemist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:15 PM

Yes unfortunately most of the published research articles are behind pay walls so you're only able to see their abstracts unless you have a resource nearby with access to them. This was just one study of many and they vary wildly in their experimental design and what exactly is being measured and when. They do tend to show the same general trends.

 

Most studies actually measure 5-HIAA instead of, or in addition to, plasma TRP. 5-HIAA, a metabolite of serotonin, is a more direct way of determining serotonin activity within the brain. When serotonin is released, some of it is metabolized, and so if you're seeing little to no 5-HIAA then there is little to no serotonin release going on. Obviously these studies take place in humans so they can't do any measurements that would physically harm the subject. However it turns out rats have incredibly similar neurophysiology and they also develop anxiety, depression, etc. and they can measure this quantitatively. So to answer questions like the ones you pose with even more precision they have done very similar studies to these in rats except they then decapitate them, slice their brains into sheets, and then do all sorts of wonderful analysis on the tissue.

 

Studies in rats also don't generally rely on dietary modification to study the effects of neurotransmitters. There are drugs, obviously not used in humans, that directly inactivate the enzymes used to produce certain neurotransmitters so they can be sure they're not getting made. Others are extremely selective and potent agonists or antagonists for various receptors. And of course all the psychotropic medications used in humans are also used in rat studies.

 

And you're correct, there are no quick conclusions, but I wouldn't call over a decade of research and hundreds of studies "quick." There have been studies with conflicting results, but it's the overall general trend in conclusions that is most likely nearest to being correct. A group has likely done a meta analysis at this point on these studies but I'm not aware of one off the top of my head and unfortunately don't have time to go hunting for one.



#15 Ferret

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:36 PM

Thank you for taking the time to answer. I was hoping it was a simple link to something you already had bookmarked. Just say "Go Fish" next time :) I can do some more searching on my own since I'm retired and do have the time.
It's been a lot of years since I got to play with a microtome and float  those "slices" out of the water bath onto a slide. Never did enjoy Histology...too much microscopic work...and you can fall fast asleep with your eyeballs resting on the eyepieces (just in case you ever need a nap). ;)

 

There are drugs, obviously not used in humans, that directly inactivate the enzymes used to produce certain neurotransmitters so they can be sure they're not getting made. 

 

 

This really intrigues me. If they can inactivate the enzymes, then they know what the enzymes are. I wonder if they can actually quantitate the enzymes. I wonder if the inactivation is permanent or for a certain period of time. I wonder if they can cause an increase in the enzyme production and thus effect an increase in certain neurotransmitters.

Gone Fishing.



#16 Chemist

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:33 PM

Haha well I'll let you fish around but yes they know the full biosynthesis pathways for all major neurotransmitters which would include the enzymes involved. If you'd like a jumping off point: tryptophan hydroxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase are the enzymes of interest because they catalyze the rate-limiting step of serotonin and dopamine synthesis, respectively. They can be quantified directly in tissue specimens and in humans they use radioactive ligands selective for enzymes of interest in combination with a PET scanner to map the concentration of enzymes in the brain and elsewhere. As far as inhibitors, they vary in whether they are transient (reversible) or permanent (irreversible.) For tryptophan hydroxylase, p-chlorophenylalanine is an irreversible inhibitor. You can also look at alpha-methyltyrosine for tyrosine hydroxylase. Finally, they use p-chloroamphetamine, a molecule which differs from regular amphetamine by only a single atom, as a neurotoxin to kill serotonergic neurons. 6-hydroxydopamine is used in a similar manner but for dopaminergic or noradrenergic neurons.



#17 ruthie s.

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:09 PM

Can ppl take this Deplin, I wonder, with Xyrem? I was looking to consult w/ my dr. about an antidepressant to add that could help with the "cause" (Narcolepsy & getting deep sleep w/ Xyrem) - or at least not interfere with it.



#18 Chemist

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

I don't know of anyone who has actually taken it alongside Xyrem but there's no reason to expect that the combination of the two would cause any issues.



#19 siesta girl

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

Hello to you all,

 

I was the original person to post about Deplin and yes, I am finally logging back on. I do not enjoy being on the computer alot, as it tends to be one of those things that makes me more sleepy :-). I imagine most people here can relate to this.

 

I think it is good for everyone to be cautious, but I am not a scammer. I just wanted to share very clearly what I experienced.  I did not want to waste anyone's time, so I gave the link to Deplin. Also, regarding the generic version, it is very confusing. I orginally received a generic version through RiteAid, but it did not work for me. When I called my insurance company, they told me there is no generic version. When I talked to a CVS pharmacy, they told me there is no generic. Hence, for me Deplin was the right place to recommend people start if they wanted to try it because this is what worked for me. I wish it were covered by insurance or was less expensive. The Brand Direct website was given to me by my naturopath and is less expensive, although now the price has gone up.

 

Again, the Deplin helps lessen the fog and a little of the sleepiness for me, but I do not believe it is a cure or makes it disappear.

 

I am glad this started a conversation around L-methylfolate, folic acid, etc. I still hope to hear if it helps anyone else. For instance, did "supertired" try it again?

 

Happy napping to you all.







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