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Lindy74

Latuda experiences -- scared

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I have debilitating anxiety, and major depression.  I currently take Ativan and Fetzima, and also Remeron and Trazodone for sleep.  Pdoc wants to add Latuda, and I'm scared.  I'd like to hear of others' experiences with this med.. Also, how important is it to take with at least 350 calories of food?  I have very low appetite and never eat that much at once.

thank you,

Lindy

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Latuda works pretty well for most people, but I'd be lying if I said that people don't have bad experiences with any medication. But Latuda really is usually a pretty harmless medication for most. It was my first atypical antipsychotic that I took, which I took for a little over a year at 40 mg, and it worked very well. It seemed to silence the "static" in my head that I actually didn't even know was there until I started taking it. People in my family noted that I seemed more "me," and that my mood was more fluid and less labile and jagged. I had no weight gain (actually lost weight at first when I first started it), and no side effects to speak of while starting it and taking it. I eventually did develop akathisia (which is probably because I took prochlorperazine with it for nausea), which prompted a switch in medication. But I have since taken it two more times (total of three times). It seems to be stimulating in lower doses (20 mg), innocuous at mid-range doses (40 mg), and becomes somewhat sedating the higher you go in dose (60-80 mg is the highest I went in dose, though the max for bipolar depression is 120 mg and for schizophrenia it's 160 mg).

It's actually very important that you consume at least 350 calories with it when you take it because if you don't, it won't be fully absorbed and it won't have a full effect on you (i.e. a 40 mg dose will be like a 20 mg dose or less, etc.). If you have trouble consuming enough calories at a time to take it, try drinking protein shakes from protein powder mixes. Those work pretty well and are usually a lean source of calories (whey protein for example... you probably want to stay low on carbs, so watch out for carby protein drinks...)

Another idea, if you like apples and peanut butter together, is to eat a large apple with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. That roughly equals just over 300 calories in most cases, so it's still not quite enough, so you might supplement an extra tablespoon of peanut butter, or something else. Apples are carby, but the carbs are fiber and pectin, the latter of which binds to cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and slows glucose absorption by trapping carbohydrates, thus making it a soluble dietary fiber. Plus they have many more nutrients including antioxidants (brain health —> can help relieve oxidative stress, which is found to be excessive in the brains of those with depression/anxiety). Peanut butter has healthy fats in it which can decrease the risk of heart disease and can raise "good" cholesterol levels without raising total cholesterol levels. Also, don't be weary of the fat in peanut butter (fat doesn't make people fat, carbs make people fat).

If you stick it out for a while and still find that you are having trouble eating enough at a time to get the caloric requirements of taking Latuda, you might ask to switch to an antipsychotic with an indication for major depression that doesn't require food intake, something like aripiprazole (Abilify) (this one can be tough to tolerate at first if you have really bad anxiety, though, but it's doable, and in many cases can be very well worth the trouble!), Rexulti (brexpiprazole), and while it doesn't have an indication (yet) as an adjunct for major depression, Vraylar (cariprazine). Seroquel XR (quetiapine ER) might be another good alternative as it can help with anxiety, but you would have to watch out for weight gain, if that's a thing for you. Olanzapine (Zyprexa) is another one that is supposed to be great for depression, but it too is a weight gainer, and is also responsible for causing type 2 diabetes for many of those who take it, so that is something to watch out for in that one. If 350 calories is trouble for you, you might want to avoid ziprasidone (Geodon), because it requires 500 calories with it and must be taken twice a day, so that's 1000 calories/day right there...

Hope this helps, and good luck with the Latuda! Hope it helps you, and I hope your anxiety and depression get better as soon as possible!

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