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Hi,

I'm Vickie. I'm new to the forum. I'm on my second day with emsam. Doing ok.

I wanted to reply to Eve because I am someone who is not bipolar and who is on Lamictal. It has been a very good drug for me and I highly recommend it. I had no problems at all with a rash. What Lamictal did for me was level out my emotions. After a while on it I realized I wasn't an emotional basketcase anymore and I wasn't attacking my husband verbally in these out of control emotional meldowns and then regretting it the next day. I just don't get so totally overwhelmed anymore. It's been a great drug for me - the best yet, and I've been on many. Now I'm hoping that Emsam will give me the energy I need to raise my 2 little girls.

thanks,

Vickie

Hi, Vickie--Welcome! I sat up when I read your post--I find I'm doing the same thing with my husband (don't we hurt the ones we love..?), snapping at him and being very impatient with his attempts to "help" me (he never seems to do it just right). I jump down his throat before I can stop and think about what I'm about to say, and then I sooo regret it--he looks like a hurt puppy dog. Then I have to apologize. This has been happening since I've been on Emsam. I love the new energy I have with it, but I do find I'm less tolerant of others. I'm also having a rather nasty time with sleeping--not that I don't sleep, but it's not a restful one, and I wake up really early, like 4-4:30 in the morning. I can fall back to sleep, but again, it's not restful--wake, doze, wake, doze... Today I'm tired and headachy from overdoing it yesterday...but I feel too revved up to just hang out and relax. Hmmm. Now I feel like I need something to level me out a bit. This is crazy.

So I perked up when I read about the Lamictal in conjunction with Emsam. Oh, my, I'm self-diagnosing again! Guess I'll just talk to my doctor when I see her again...

Thanks for your input, Vickie. And Eve--hang in there! We're in this together!!

Be well--Leslie :hearts:

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Hi Leslie,

Definitely ask your doc about lamictal. I am overly sensitive to all meds, so I usually end up taking a much lower dose than most. Also, medicine tends to build up in my system over time, which brings on the zombie feeling for me. Just recently, I cut my dosage of lamictal in half because of this. Feeling more normal now. And I can always go up if I start feeling out of control again. We're always having to play with our meds, huh?!

I'm on day 3 of emsam and am already struggling with sleep. I was up til 3am last night. My doc gave me ambien - may have to take it tonight if I can't sleep. I guess I am feeling a little more energetic. But I'm also feeling pretty dizzy - have since yesterday. That's usually a side effect for me initially on most AD's so I'm not too worried. It usually goes away. If people only knew the struggle we go through to just feel normal!

take care,

Vickie

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Hi Leslie,

Definitely ask your doc about lamictal. I am overly sensitive to all meds, so I usually end up taking a much lower dose than most. Also, medicine tends to build up in my system over time, which brings on the zombie feeling for me. Just recently, I cut my dosage of lamictal in half because of this. Feeling more normal now. And I can always go up if I start feeling out of control again. We're always having to play with our meds, huh?!

I'm on day 3 of emsam and am already struggling with sleep. I was up til 3am last night. My doc gave me ambien - may have to take it tonight if I can't sleep. I guess I am feeling a little more energetic. But I'm also feeling pretty dizzy - have since yesterday. That's usually a side effect for me initially on most AD's so I'm not too worried. It usually goes away. If people only knew the struggle we go through to just feel normal!

take care,

Vickie

I'm really sensitive to meds, too...

I am so tired today but can't sleep--even just a 5 minute nap would be nice... Maybe it's because my mother's coming here from out of town tomorrow, and I have to get the place cleaned up and presentable. Guess I'm a little stressed--my mom and I have issues, but then, don't most of us..? That should be the challenge of the day.

I can't take Ambien--or rather, I'm not allowed to take it anymore--abused it for a while and now my doctor won't prescribe it for me. She's given me some Melatonin--a dose that's only available by Rx (what does THAT mean???). She said it would take three weeks or so to kick in--aaah! What do I do till then??? I would dearly love a few nights with Ambien...

Gotta go clean--thanks for the info about Lamictal. How do I find out more about it?

:hearts: Leslie

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Hello LESLIE, GRAYCOYOTE, VICKY (Torbietoes), and ALL!

Thank's to you all for posting! VICKIE; Welcome to Leslie's thread re/ EMSAM.

Here is how we are doing, if I may recap-

GRAYCOYOTE- is a longtime user and doing well with EMSAM as of a few days ago.

LESIE, EVE and VICKY are all about one week apart.

LESLIE- almost THREE weeks now. EVE- almost TWO weeks. VICKY- almost ONE week.

I am having difficulty sleeping too. As a longtime insomniac that is not indicative of anything however... I do think that EMSAM has given me a bit more energy. No where near enough energy to clean the house, mind you, but I am feeling a twinge of hope! I was irritable for a few days too, but not yesterday or this morning, so far.

However...I am getting no sleep. Not even one wink last night! Leslie...I worry about you as I think this may be a med for which additional sleep meds are necessary??? I did a little research and found that taking the patch off before evening or at bedtime, and waiting until the morning to put the next one on may be helpful. I worry about the missed dosage and it's effect on our Depression, however...so that's something to ask our Dr's. If desperate, I may try it tonight on my own.

This weekend I had a powerful spirtual experience while reading the post of a very enlightened member here, and that is when I started to feel a tiny bit hopeful. I really can not attribute it to Emsam as it is still early, and the poster, lambvet, is an extremely spiritual being with an amazing, expressive, command of words and language. However, Emsam may have been a factor. BTW...To me Hope means that I'm allowing myself to hope it will work, and Faith means that I believe it is going to work. I do not have Faith...yet, although I am working on it, and praying for it.

VICKY;

your news about LAMICTAL could not have come at a better time. Thank you so much! Now I will ask my Dr for it this week. Earlier this AM I had just about decided to decline the Lamictal at my appt b/c I'm hoping that maybe something positive re/ EMSAM may be 'just beginning', and I didn't want to start a long trial w/ Lamictal, that will take months to raise the dose to a theraputic level, and all the while I'd be feeling the 'new med S/E's',( ie sluggishness, drowsyness, sick, etc;) and not know if it's going to work in the end. I have had such a deep depression that I didn't know if I could make it through the added stress of a really long negative med trial w/o losing all hope.

However, after reading what Lamictal has done for your Unipolar Depression VICKY, I am going to try it! How long have you been on Lamictal? How long before you saw a positive effect? Is it uplifting for you? Activating? My reservations NOW are about how LAMICTAL will impact our Emsam fueled sleep issues? What dosage are you taking now VICKY?

LESLIE...

I think Vickie may have something here with the LAMICTAL & EMSAM COMBO. I am going to join her in the experiment! Are you going to discuss it w/ your Dr as well? The sleep issues are daunting, however.

BTW...For sleep have you tried taking one or two Tylenol PM caplets, Leslie? I beieve they are OK to take w/ your Melatonin, but ck w/ Dr is best advice. Two PM caplets plus a OTC Melantonin Capsule helped me get to sleep two weeks ago. That said, it was not particularily 'restorative sleep' nor was it 'all night sleep'. And... I had a nasty hangover type effect the next day. However, I was seriously in need of sleep at the time, so it was worth it to me.

I am counting on you both to check in here with progress reports, info, etc. My email isn't notified when someone posts here even though I requested it to be, so I will just keep checking here; it's Leslie's thread entitled EMSAM UPDATE for all news, info from you both, and all other's who want to contribute, OK? Everyone is Welcome to share.

VICKY...now that we have hyjacked LESLIE'S thread this combo better work! LOL Don't worry, Leslie is great, and we will still be reporting on EMSAM too, which is actually the main AD med

Try to get some sleep everyone! Still hoping and still praying for us all!

Eve

Edited by eve123
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Hi, Everyone--

I'm about to climb into bed...trying to go a little earlier, read a boring book so I get sleepy...I've been such a wreck today: my sleep has been so poor--don't know how to explain it, but I wake up early and tired, drift back to sleep, have weird, exhausting dreams, then wake up and am totally beat. The sleep deprivation is now overshadowing the positive effects of the Emsam, I'm afraid. Oh, what I'd give for a night of good, solid sleep! Is this the curse of the Depressed Ones? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I put in a desperate call to my pdoc this afternoon--was going to beg her for a couple of Ambiens--she didn't call me back. Bummer. That doesn't instill a lot of trust now, does it? I hate taking those OTC meds that supposedly help you sleep--they make me feel so sick the next day, it's not worth it to me, but thanks for the suggestion. I will check with my doctor about the idea of taking off the patch before I go to bed--wonder if that would help...

My mother is here from out of town for a week, and I'm feeling so frustrated--I want her to have a good time while she visits, but I've been pretty useless so far--haven't had the energy to shop for food or show her a good time. Guess she'll have to have her own fun. I'm just too grouchy.

I don't want to get discouraged about this. I was so hoping and praying that I'd feel better on the Emsam. Now it's a struggle without decent sleep. I am determined to resolve this!!! I refuse to give up!!! But I so need you all for support--thank you so much for hanging in there with me. I will do the same for all of you.

Keep sharing your thoughts and hopes, everyone.

'Night.

Leslie :hearts:

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Oh Leslie...

I can only imagone how difficult it is to entertain your mother when you are getting no sleep and are irritable.

EMSAM has helped you so much LESLIE. I hope your Dr will give you something for sleep so that you can stay on it. What about the safer, (supposedy non-addictive) sleep meds like Lunesta? I tried Lunesta & I found it to be just OK at 2mg dose pill. I was able to fall asleep on the first night but feel it's not dependable b/c on the third night I didn't sleep at all.

It is sad when you have to exhaust yourselff to the point of physical decline before your nervous system let's you sleep. I have gone several nights before colapsing in a heap.

When I re-read my last post I was so shocked by all the typos I made because of lack of sleep.

I don't dare drive if at all possible when I am sleep deprived. I will ask for ambien at my appt; but not sure I will get it. Seems Dr's always want to Rx Seroquel, which I think was too sedating for me and lasted all day long when I tried it years ago, but my memory is on the blink so I might be thinking of Sinoquan.

Hopefully your Mother will understand that this is a really bad time for you. Gives you the flip side view of your son's behavior when you went to visit him last month, right? Hey...this is why I enbrace forgiveness and practice it whenever possible.

Hello VICKY;

How are you doing? Are you able to sleep? How is the combination of EMSAM and LAMICTAL working out so far?

I am too tired to continue as I can hardly hold my hands over the keyboard. Yet sadly, I can not fall asleep!

Eve

Edited by eve123
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I'm so glad to see some other people trying out emsam! I'm on day 3 of the patch, and I'm having a problem with it coming off. I'm outside for a lot of the day, and in the summer heat, I seem to be sweating too much to keep it on. Yesterday, I ended up putting duct tape over it! Is anyone else having this problem, and do you know if sweat will make a difference in the medication absorption? Thanks!

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To Leslie, Eve, & Graycoyote,

I just wanted to thank you all for posting so much about your lives and experiences with depression and new medication. Reading the things you all have been going through and knowing I'm not the only one out there has helped so much. I felt a little like I was eavesdropping :) but I was so interested because it all felt so familiar. I just went through an awful withdrawal period of Cymbalta myself. I was taking 180mg (I know, it's a crazy amount) and the first couple of weeks were miserable. I am on day 3 of Emsam, and hopeful but scared at the same time. I was turned down for ECT because I was told by a couple of doctors that it wouldn't work for my atypical depression, so the MAOI route is my last option. I have been on just about everything under the sun, and was denied for Vagus Nerve Stimulation about a year ago by my stupid insurance company. I'm in the process of re-applying because I've got a new company, but for now its just the Emsam. I guess I'm mainly worried because I've also got a pretty bad case of ADD, and I'm really going to miss my Adderall. I'm hoping this will really help with concentration, so it won't matter. I'm also a vegetarian, which is fine for now, but I have a feeling I'll be going up on my dosage and have dietary restrictions. Does anyone know of any vegetarians on Emsam or any other MAOI who has figured out how to stay a vegetarian without the soy products? I'm also having trouble keeping the patch on. Any tips on that? Well, thanks for posting and listening, and I'm sure you'll hear from me again.

Thanks!

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I'm so glad to see some other people trying out emsam! I'm on day 3 of the patch, and I'm having a problem with it coming off. I'm outside for a lot of the day, and in the summer heat, I seem to be sweating too much to keep it on. Yesterday, I ended up putting duct tape over it! Is anyone else having this problem, and do you know if sweat will make a difference in the medication absorption? Thanks!

Hello tb313;

Welcome to the Emsam thread. Where on your body are you putting the patch? It seems to stick better on the upper body. I put mine on my upper arm or upper chest/shoulder area. Be sure to wipe the area w/ a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball first. that removes your natural skin oils and so far my patches are sticking. However, I am not outside as much as you are.

Don't know if perspiring alot will affect absorbtion of the med or not. I do know it is important to get the patch to stay securely stuck in place, so please try the alcohol. Leslie was having the same problem in the beginning but no longer.

Do you notice more energy tb313? May I ask if you are using Emsam for Unipolar Depression, or do you have another diagnosis? Have you had trouble sleeping since starting Emsam?

Please continue to post. You make five of us who are posting about our experiences on Emsam. Leslie has been on it for aproximately 3 weeks and was doing very well until insomnia kicked in. Hopefull shee will be able to get some sleep meds so she can remain on the patch.

Graycoyote is a long time patch user and reports very good results.

Vicky is just a couple of day's ahead of you and we are waiting to hear how she is doing.

I' m Eve and this is Day 13 for me. I am finally feeling a little energy from the Emsam Patch which is such a good sign!

I am cautiously optimistic, which is saying alot ffor me.

Like leslie I am experiencing insomnia and will discuss sleep meds w/ my Dr at my next appt and let you all know what we decide. I am sticking with the patch and hoping it will work for me.

Are you taking any other meds w/ Emsam? Please continue to check in here Leslie's thread, EMSAM UPDATE, when you can to let us know how you are doing. This thread has been a real source of support for me and I hope it will be for you too...and all other's looking for relief from Depression.

Eve

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Eve,

Thanks for the suggestion about where to put the patch. I did have more luck on my upper arm. I'm just going to have to strictly schedule my showers from now on! :) As far as other meds, I'm not taking anything else right now. I've been on Lamictal and Topomax with SSRIs and they worked ok, but obviously not well since I'm onto Emsam. I'm sorry you all are having problems with insomnia. I've had trouble in the past with that myself. I actually go through periods of insomnia and hypersomnia - yesterday I slept for 20 hours! If the only problem for you is falling asleep, Sonata works really well. I always had a problem with sleep meds because I was groggy the next day, but that wasn't an issue with Sonata. I think I've just resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never have a normal sleep pattern. Anyway, good luck with everything. I'm sure I will be back here every day because I don't have much on my plate this summer except working to get better.

It is encouraging to hear that this is working for some people! I'm just praying and keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be that lucky. Oh, I do have one more question for now - (I'm sure there will be a hundred later) - has anyone developed anxiety issues late into their battle with depression? I've been on meds for about 6 years now, and anxiety hasn't really been an issue until the last six months. During the school year, I was nauseated about 80% of the time, due to stress I think. Of course I didn't realize this until recently, and I'm wondering if Emsam will help with this too. Anyway, have a great day, and I will talk to you all soon!

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Hi, everyone trying Emsam and all those who are wondering about it...

This has been a hellacious week for me. The Emsam works great--too great. My brain wants to go, go, go all the time--even when I'm exhausted and want to take a nap. Can't fall asleep. My pdoc prescribed Lunesta two days ago after we talked about my sleep deprivation--I've been a zombie. I took one (low dose, I forget what exactly) about a half-hour before I wanted to go to sleep. A half-hour later I got a phone call...I answered the phone and still can't remember a word I said, only vaguely recall who it was. I have never blacked out in my life, even in my drinking days. It was very scary for me this morning when my husband asked who it was who called and what did they want, and I couldn't for the life of me remember. I am NOT taking any more Lunesta, even if I can't sleep all night tonight. Have a call in to my doctor to find out what to do next...

The thing is, I really do like Emsam--I like that I don't have food cravings, and I like that my libido is very much returned (my husband's happy, too) :hearts: I just wish there was some way to get a better sleep. When I don't have the right rest, everything seems to suck. So it's a catch-22 situation, and is really getting me down. I am trying to think positive and be patient...just oh, so want a lovely, restful sleep!

So enough griping for this session...how's everyone else doing? Hope you're all having good results and lots of zzz's.

Leslie

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Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long since I checked in. I found out this week my brother has terminal cancer. I've been such a mess. I am going to see my family (they live in another state) on Monday. I'm in a hotel right now, not far from my house, because I needed some time alone before i could deal with that. I told my husband it was either a mental institution or a few days in a hotel, because i was losing it. I feel so much anxiety, stress and guilt because my house is a nasty disaster-i don't even like being in it it's so gross, i am not being a good mom to my 2 precious little girls because i don't have the energy to be what i should be for them, and i always feel like i'm letting my husband down because things are such a wreck and he has to take care of the kids so much lately. with my brother's illness on top of this, i had to take a break.

i've also been searching for other causes for my exhaustion. i went on a liquid diet - i know, stupid - and lost 100 lbs but then gained it all back. the thing is, when i was on the liquid shakes, i felt great within 3-4 days, and every time i go on the shakes, i feel much better. if i could just do shakes and never eat again, i would but they won't let me do that. so i'm thinking maybe i have a food intolerance, or celiac disease or something. the last doc i went to, a gastrointologist, said the reason i was tired was irritable bowel sydrome adn depression, that it was that simple adn i have to start taking care of myself in these areas. i think i've been looking for some reason other than depression becuase i'm so tired of dealing with it - it's been 15 years of medicines working a while then not working. and when it's not working, food is my drug of choice. so i'm a rather large woman now, which really sucks.

as far as emsam, i think i'll have to go up on the dosage for sure. i do have more anxiety, but can't separate out the emsam from the bad news, so who knows? Once I fall asleep (between 1-3am) I sleep great and have lots of dreams, but unfortunately my one year old gets up at 7am, so not enough sleep for me. since i went off my prozac 6 weeks ago, i've been more weepy, so i'm thinking i need to go up on the lamictal. currently i only take 25 mg (remember, i'm extra sensitive to meds and all my drugs are really low doses, because lamictal is supposed to be like 200mg or something).

anyway, i'll be out of town the first of the week, so you may not hear from me until thurs. or friday. i see my pdoc on thurs and plan to go up the the 9mg patch. (which by the way, my patch sometimes comes off too).

thanks,

Vickie

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Hello to Leslie, TB313 and Torbietoes;

What a mixed blessing EMSAM has turned out to be for you Leslie. Lunesta at 2mg did not affect me like it affected you at all. It seems Ambien work's well for you, or has in the past, right? I know your Dr is leery about using that med for you, but after reading that you wished she would prescriibe it, I decided to ask my Dr about it for my Insomnia.

My Dr did not give a reason why, but said she prefers Temazipam (Ristoril), so that is what she prescribed . Took it last night for the first time and I did sleep all night but felt groggy and slow this morning and not much energy all day. Hoping that will change as I get used to it.

Also started the Lamictal yesterday afternoon, so may that is what is causing the groggyness.

Torbie...so sorry to hear about your brother's illness. This is a really difficult time for you and my heart goes out to you. It is hard enough to be depressed in normal circumstances, but when you have a family tragedy it must be almost too much to . Plus you have small children, a home and husband to look after. All this at a time when you probably have trouble caring for just yourself.

I really wish I could help you tortie.. Is there any family nearby who are non-judgemental and would help out with organizing or give you a break from your precious daughter's? The stress is all too much for you, and would be for anyone, right now. You need help. Your husband sound's like he is helping, but that might be causing you guilt too. I often have thought that it would have been wiser to spend $$$ money on help instead of the fortune I spent on AD meds that have never helped.

Tortie,I hope Emsam work's for you. When I read what Leslie wrote about it "working to well" and that she has too much energy, I felt such envy. I feel Emsam has helped a little, which is actually saying alot for me as no other meds have worked for me. Unlike the two of you I am not sensitive to meds and I may need to up the dose.

Has the Lamictal caused you any difficulties? How long have you taken it and how long was it before you felt your depression improving? This is only my second day and I'm hungry all the time. Just wondered if there is any connection since I'm still trying to shed a few Lexapro pounds and not eager to gain more. Hope it's not the EMSAM, although a few people have said they feel hungry on it. Re/ your gaining back the weight you lost... sadly, the AD meds didn't help. An aquaintance gained alot on Prozac I so DO hope that EMSAM works for you Tortie, and me too, in the way it has for Leslie (except for the insomnia!) b/c she has noticed a lessening in cravings along with energy.

TB313; Hope EMSAM helps you as it has leslie, but w/o the Insomnia. Sorry to hear the mood stabelizers were just OK and did not make a big diff in you depressions. Re/ anxiety...I noticed some arount end of week 1 that was troublesome. Now just occasional feelings of pending doom a couple times per day.

Leslie...have you lost weight in the 3 1/2 weeks you have been on EMSAM, or is thatt not an issue for you? I ask b/c of your comment re/ lessening of cravings.. I hope you get your sleep problem fixed soon. Sorry the Lunesta gave you such a bizzaar reaction. How did you fair during your mom's visit? I can only imgine how stressful it was w/ no sleep. Providing you can get your sleep issue 'put to bed' (ha ha), do you feel that the extra energy you have received which has helped you keep up with things is enough improvement to stay on EMSAM? Has your depresssion lifted...or is it too hard to tell w/ the lack of restorative sleep?

To All; Please keep posting when you can.

Torbie; wishing you a safe trip home. I said a prayer for your brother. Your family will be in my thoughts.

Will be thinking of all of the rest of you too.

Eve

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Hi --EVE, Leslie, TB,Torbietoes, anyone else out there reading

I've been on emsam a year and a half-- the sleeping does get better. I think, I've never had but a small amount of trouble sleeping, because the Doc knew what was going to happen. I take 2/ 0.5 Klonopin and 25mg of seroquel before bed. He prescribed me some abien just in case, but I've used them maybe once.

I think all the complaining to Bristle Myers may have worked-about the patch coming off ---has finally made a change in the glue at least for the 12mg dose. I got a new box and have had everyone stick great. I also live in the deep South. Not to far from FL. and not to far from the coast.Very HOT and sticky. and I work alot outside and in attics.

Give emsam at least a 6 month trial. It is the best for my style depression I have ever been able to find.

God Bless You All---Don't forget Father's Day

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Hi --EVE, Leslie, TB,Torbietoes, anyone else out there reading

I've been on emsam a year and a half-- the sleeping does get better. I think, I've never had but a small amount of trouble sleeping, because the Doc knew what was going to happen. I take 2/ 0.5 Klonopin and 25mg of seroquel before bed. He prescribed me some abien just in case, but I've used them maybe once.

I think all the complaining to Bristle Myers may have worked-about the patch coming off ---has finally made a change in the glue at least for the 12mg dose. I got a new box and have had everyone stick great. I also live in the deep South. Not to far from FL. and not to far from the coast.Very HOT and sticky. and I work alot outside and in attics.

Give emsam at least a 6 month trial. It is the best for my style depression I have ever been able to find.

God Bless You All---Don't forget Father's Day

Hi Graycoat;

Thank's for posting and giving us all support. My Dr feel's that you do'nt see the real deal w/ EMSAM until 2 to 3 months out too, so i think your idea of a 6 month trial is brilliant! Glad everything is sticking!

The seroquel may be just what Leslie needs. I may try it again if temazepaam does not work. for my Insomnia.

All the newbies will be so thrilled you posted you good fortune w/ EMSAM. How long into treatment did you up your dose?

Happy father's Day to you if it applies (Child or pet).

THANK YOU!

Eve

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Hi, Emsam group!

Happy Father's Day--to all to whom it applies. Being a dad who's there for your kids is the greatest gift you can give them. In this day and age, there are too many kids without dads...it is so tragic. Guess that's why God made dads!

I loved reading everyone's posts of yesterday, and feel very encouraged about giving the Emsam more time, although when I talked to my pdoc the other day she said she may have to change me to something else. Noooo! Graycoyote: your info gave me hope that I'll level off--I can't believe the energy I've got--it feels like I'm on speed. Yesterday I did yardwork, mowed the grass, washed the windows, put up screens, and still had energy for the rest of the evening. Then comes bedtime... I did get an Rx for Ambien (whew), but a very low dose, and it doesn't take me all through the night, but I can be grateful that at least I'm sleeping (another whew) and though I feel groggy this morning, I know I had a little sleep. Waking up at 4 am isn't as bad as being up all night!

I do have weight issues, but am still having no cravings with the Emsam. Hope this lasts! I only know if I've lost weight by the way my clothes fit (don't use a scale...), so I'll let you when my pants loosen up, Eve!

Torbietoes: my heart goes out to you--seems like life just keeps happening even when we think it's more than we can handle. I am learning to ask for help, which is so hard for me--and to delegate responsibilities whenever I have the courage. I'm naturally such a doormat. Taking care of yourself is the top priority, because you have a little one who needs you. What's the saying? "When Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." As a mom, I can totally understand the stress of running a household--although when my kids were small I didn't know I was depressed and self-medicated with alcohol. You can imagine what my home was like...! So I applaud you for reaching out, sharing with us who understand, and just doing the best you can. Asking God (or a Higher Power) to help out does me good, too.

Once again, gotta go--Father's Day duties call: making breakfast for my husband, our son and his girlfriend who are visiting, my mom--and me! I am grateful for my loving family, and for you all in our little Emsam Group!

Blessings,

Leslie

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Hi Vickie,Leslie,Eve, Emsam group

I was put on melaril,lithium and effexor when I first started with depression in 94, I went from weighing 155 to 240 in just 7 months. So I know what you are talking about when you say weight gain.

Once I started the Emsam the hospital wanted me to walk daily so they could monitor any blood pressure problems. The more I walked the more energy I had. Plus the emsam helped me to have the want to I have lost 58 lbs now. But thats over a year and a half span. I'd like to lose maybe 10 more pounds. My wife and I bought a nordic trac bicycle and its nice to use while you watch tv. I think the emsam helps with the desire to get up and get going and it must help hunger issues also, plus helping with energy as well.

When I first gained some people didn't recognize me. Now that I have lost some people don't recognize me. My regular doc said once you have been big your bone structure changes to accommodate the weight, so if you where to go back to your old weight you would look sickly.

I'd much rather put up with the diet restrictions, a little trouble with sleep, occasional depression/ than being in the black hole of depression.

Someone asked about how quickly did the doc up my dose? I believe after 2 months on the 6mg, I went to the 9 and after another 3 months on to the 12mg which seems to be good for me. For how Long? I'm just going to enjoy the reprieve from such severe depression as long as I can.

TRUST IN GOD, HE IS OUR STRENGTH

GO BLESS YOU ALL

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Thank You Graycoyote. You have been our voice of experience and we appreciate your guidance. Your replies are always informative and uplifting. If is abundantly clear that you are no longer in the dark hole of depression and you seem content with your life and enjoy your family. What we all are striving for!

Your spiritual messages elighten and bless us.

I am trying to put my trust in God and hope to be worthy of hs blessings.

Eve

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It is so wonderful to hear that people are losing the weight they gained on other depression meds. I am so looking forward to losing the 60 lbs I gained in a year on Cymbalta. I have a question, actually, that I wanted to ask you all. Is Emsam the first MAOI you have been on, or have you tried others? I have been thinking about it, and the only reason I started with Emsam instead of another one is because I'm a vegetarian and wanted to see if the 6mg would do it for me (since I could continue to eat soy). I've been on this dose for about 2 weeks now, and I'm a little discouraged. I know sometimes it takes longer to work, and today my doctor raised my dosage to the 9mg, so I'm going to try to stay hopeful. My main issue now that I can't eat soy any more is that I don't want to stay on this insanely expensive medication if I can find something cheaper that will work just as well (meaning another MAOI). Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Of course this is the one thing I forgot to talk to my doctor about! :) Thanks!

TB

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Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your encouraging words and prayers. Here's the update.

Just got back from visiting my brother in VA. It seems I missed his really bad days - he was his old self the days I saw him (still in pain some, of course). I didn't get to talk one on one with him because he always had a room full of visitors, but I did get to talk to his daughter. He is a fellow sufferer of depression and, like the majority of my family, has refused to get the mental health help he needs. He has used drugs, alcohol, women and work to ease the pain. He has often struggled with suicidal thoughts. His daughter says he seems relieved that he knows there's an end coming. He has had such a hard life, I can understand why. I'm hoping that he sees how much he is loved and that maybe these could be the best 5 years of his life. He begins chemo in 3 weeks and I'm praying that he doesn't get very sick from it - he seems so peaceful now I hope he doesn't lose that.

I'm doing much better. Seeing my brother doing well helped so much. Plus that weekend in a hotel alone did wonders! I highly recommend it when you feel on the edge of insanity. :)

re: lamictal: eve I have such a poor memory - do you find depression gives you that problem, too? I am just trying to remember how long I"ve been on lamictal - maybe a year? I had no side effects whatsoever, beyond the normal 2 week "I feel yucky" stage. I don't remember it taking a very long time to kick in - maybe a month? I don't think it's made my food cravings any worse than usual. It does turn me into a zombie when I'm on too high of a dose. I just have to cut down when I feel that way. I honestly just feel more sane on it, like I can use my brain to think through things and not be controlled by emotions. I'm much more logical in my relationships with others and am not so paranoid about what other people think of me ( a classic sign of atypical depression). I think 2 days is not enough time to know what's really going on with you right now. Please give it time and a good chance to work eve - you so deserve it!!

re: emsam: I've been feeling much better the past few days - more energy, but haven't slept very well. I hesitate to be excited because it is time for my period and I always get a surge of energy around that time. But I haven't needed a nap the past few days. It's 11:30 pm now, and I'm not very sleepy - I think it's time to pull the ambien out. I have a pdoc appt tomorrow - not sure whether to go up on the emsam or not, since I just started feeling better - I'll see what she thinks.

re: taking care of myself: As soon as I can get the house picked up enough that you can see the floor, I'm hiring a maid! I feel so guilty about doing that, but I'm doing it anyway. I feel guilty a lot because my depression has cost us so much financially - me not being able to hold down a job, not going to further my education so I could make more money, pdoc bills, meds, and all my other crazy attempts to feel better that cost so much money. My husband longs for financial security and most people our age are much more financially secure. But, you know, it's not my fault. I didnt' cause this. It's just for better or worse, you know? I would be dealing with all this if he were the one that had this, but he doesn't, I do. And I need to take care of myself. I just found out not long ago that his mom, who kept an impeccable house, had help when he was little. So if she needed help, I definitely should not feel bad about paying for help. And I have to remind myself that he's not perfect. We didn't own a home until we were 35 (we were married at 23) because he feared the commitment, so we don't have much equity at 42. Also, because he feared having kids, we didnt' get started until older and now we have a 5 year old and 1 year old and I'm 42 and have no energy and can't clean my house so we need to hire help - see how easily I can make things his fault?! :)

Anyway, everyone have a restful night - talk to you soon. Vickie

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Hello I'm new to this site. I was googling around looking for a treatment for treatment resisitant depression. I may have a less serious case so I do not want to offend anyone here by acting like my problem is life or death but I am in a deepm depression and want OUT!!! I'm on a search for something to help me and I bumped into alot of info on the EMSAM PATCH and for what I have read it seems like it may be my next move. I have been depressed for about 4 years now. I have always had GAD and have handled it some what well. My closest friends never really knew how anxious and nervous I always was. They knew I was wound tight but never did they ever know that I honestly can't relax. No reason to tell anyone unless they can relate because your wasting your breath. I've always been jealous of people that seem so laid back with no worries(or if they do worry it's the correct amount for the case) I worry all the time and never have just relaxed and felt free. I have always been chasing the dollar and have had very stressful pressure packed jobs running huge car dealerships, where the owners would hire and fire at a drop of a hat. I hurt my back about 4 yrs ago and become addicted to hydrocodone(pain meds) at age 39. My addiction doctor said I an very rare and I fall in the 1% of addicts since I never even tried a drug including pan growing up, and to get addicted so late in life is so rare. The hydrocodone must have changed my brain chemistry because it seems like nothing works to get me back to where I was b4 being addicted. I was always nervous b4 but I was always interested in joking around and laughing, women, golf, basketball, etc. I beat the addiction once b4 using a wonder drug as far as I'm concerned (subutex) A pill that dissolves under your tounge that blocks any affects from the hydro withot you getting wd's . As long as you taper correctly (which is easy to do)you should only have about 2 days of med. level flu symptoms. I tried 3 or 4 times to detox straight from the hydro and it was 14 days later and still felt like crap. I know this has nothng to do with ENSAM but I felt you may need to know all this to know my situation. I have a very bad back and was doing something stupid and hurt my self again and ended up back on hydro for about a month. I am back tapering on subutex now. I can taper as quick as a week even though my dr. asked me to never do that again. I think its more to do with the money because he spends about 15 min with me every month and he gets $200 per month for the appt. Anyway I would like to see if anyone out there knows whether it is ok to do the EMSAM patch along with subutex or if I need to detox off of it b4 I try. I looked at the foods that I have to stay away from if they need to go to a higer dosage down the road and that stuff is taylor made for me, there's nothing on that list other than a couple of foods to "be careful" with that I would have to watch. I would like a few questions answered if possible. 1)How long will it take to hit my system on an avg. as long as I'm not on or wd'ing from anyting else at the time? (It seems like there are a few people saying they felt some change the 1st day and most that didn't felt it may had something to do with the rx's they were on or wd's from other rx's they were detoxing from ) 2) Is there any possible addiction to it? 3)Do you have any suggestions on finding doctors in my area that is aware of this patch 4) Is there any info on what happens if I stop using it abruptly? is there any warnings I need to know ? 5)Someone said on here that it would be best if you live outside the US to use a reversible MAIO if there is any truth to that does anyone know if there is website that sells it? 6) There are some stories on here that seem almost like a miracle. (being depressed for 20 yrs and every rx in the world has not worked and within weeks you are doing things you lost interest in years ago!! that sounds like a MIRACLE to me) The question is for the info that you know does this look like a drug that will peter out like all the other SSRI's that I have tried or does it look like this will balance you out for good as long as you take it.(As much as I want some relief from this it would suck to get back to normal and be right back again. And at last The way I seem to understand this drug through all the info that I can find is that the only reason that the DR's went away from MAIO's were because of two things. 1 is the pharmacuetical comp. really pushed the SSRI on the DR's as the new and improved drugs without any food reacton to watch for and they backed that up by making the side effects sound way more serious than they really were. All the warnings are true that you can actually die from this in certain situations but where the misleading comes in at is the real chance are very very slim. Most foods on that list want really do much to you in 99% of the cases without a perfect storm of things happening in your body at the same time. So my question is- if I dont recognize any foods that I can't give up on those list for the better of this drug than I would be better to us the oral pill because it seems to read to me that the patch is actually the least effective because it is so watered down so that it;s not strong enough to cause any side effects if any food are eaten on the list, and if you can definetly not eat any of those foods you can go with a stronger milligram or even a whole diffent MAOI that is more intense. Thanks alot I.m sorry I asked so much it's my 1st go around it wan't be like this agian STEVE

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Update from me, leslie8247, on this Summer Solstice: Please don't look to me for information on this strange drug Emsam...I am not having a very good time on it lately, and most likely am not any kind of authority on it. I am on the 6 mg patch, and have been for, ummm, how long now? Over a month? I am up and down and sideways, never feel quite right, am sleep deprived and bordering on suicidal thoughts at the moment. For a while I was doing okay--only just okay, though. Then my mother visited, my daughter announced she has to go into detox for prescription meds, and I just can't seem to get out of this funk. I want to see my pdoc, but I'm trying to tough it out till I see her next week with the hope that things will brighten up for me.

I got a rash on my upper arms because of the heat and humidity of summer now, so am wearing the patch on my upper back today. My arms itch where the patches were...

To be honest, I feel seriously depressed today, and wonder if I am going to make it. My husband came home from a golf tournament tonight all elated and rather drunk (they fed them dinner and booze afterward)--I don't play golf and really could care less. Feel no connection with him lately.

So I can't say I'd rave about Emsam right now--all it does is make my body feel like it's buzzing all the time. When I want to rest, it won't let me...I feel like I always have to do that one next thing on my to-do list...and the next...and the next.

I'd like a break from everything right about now...maybe a tent on a mountain top somewhere, so that I can sort things out. If I don't watch out, I may do something I regret, like divorce my husband. I'd rather divorce myself, if that were possible. I am very tired--tired of feeling like this, tired of trying these freakin' drugs. Maybe I'll go off everything entirely...

Sorry I'm not in a good place--wish I could be more encouraging. I don't know what the withdrawal is like from Emsam...shudder to think. I just wish this stuff would work...

:hearts:

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Hello all who are interested in other's experience with Emsam. :)

First a little history.... I have OCD, and major depressive disorder. It is a kind of chicken and egg type thing with the diagnoses though. I often wonder... " If I didn't have OCD would I have the awful depression?"

I was on Celexa for almost five years at 60mg a day. It helped take the edge off of my obsessive worrying, but I still struggled with OCD to be sure and I was still depressed. I also really lacked "drive" which is what I see others have experienced as well and I know that this is a known problem with SSRI's.....or perhaps it was caused by the residual depression... who knows? Allso it made me tired. It really helped even out my mood though, and I was thankful for the partial relief from the obsessions. Unfortunately I had to get off of it because I felt it was losing its effectiveness - and I was tiring of the residual symptoms I was still feeling and was hoping I could find a new medicine that could help me more effectively.

After getting of the Celexa I was unable to get back on anything for more than a week at a time for over a year and a half... due to my extreme fear of medicines (a nasty symptom of my OCD) which was exacerbated by any side effect I felt, etc.... I would start worrying really bad that it was "hurting" me and I would stop the new med.

Recently, as my depression started getting super bad, I was prescribed Emsam. I took it for almost two weeks and I started to notice a percievable lift in the depression near the end of that time. I also noticed the vast improvement in and return of my sex drive which has been gone for a long time. I started to feel "passion" again. Also worth noting, I felt no side effects from Emsam, which was a welcome relief from the barrage of side effects such as dry mouth, insomnia, akthasia, constipation, etc... that I experienced on other drugs I tried, especially other SSRI's after Celexa.

I had to get off of Emsam though for two reasons. One, it is very expensive, and two, I felt it was making my OCD worse. I wonder if it was making my OCD worse because it is a fairly selective inhibitor of MAO type B, which works by increasing your dopamine levels because MAO B is what breaks down dopamine in your body. OCD is thought to be caused by too much dopamine and thus not enough serotonin, so I wonder if this was the problem? I also wonder why he would prescribe that for me knowing I have OCD. It is quite confusing.

I was told by my doctor that it was not completely selective for MAO-B and would also inhibit MAO-A as well which is responsible for the break down of serotonin, thus it would increase serotonin as well. (The reason that you don't have to have the diet restrictions with the 6mg patch is because enough MAO-A is left in your intestine to break down tyramine.)

Anyway, I think it is promising from my experience with it, but I am not sure it should be given to people with OCD. I would recommend others try it for depression if they have insurance and are ok with possibly having to implement diet restrictions with dosage increases.

Hope this helps someone. :) :hearts:

Edited by crittercuddler
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Anyone having trouble with the patch sticking:

I found some surgical tape called Blenderm made by 3M that I put over my patch, and it has worked wonderfully! I had to order the tape online because you can't find it at regular drug stores, but it's waterproof, stretches with your skin a little, and doesn't hurt to take off. This is the cheapest place I found it - http://www.qualitymedicalsupplies.com. It was a little expensive, but well worth it since it keeps the patch on!

On another note, leslie, I'm with you. I'm still waiting and wondering if Emsam is worth it. It's very humbling to read about others' situations and dealing with life and depression with family responsibilities. I feel sorry for myself (a little too often) that my crippling depression is ruining my youth, but then I realize how much harder it would be if I had a family to take care of too. I have managed to force out of my life most people who once cared about me, and I can't imagine how hard it must be to maintain relationships with a spouse and kids. My mom tells me that I'm actually lucky to be having this problem now instead of later in life. I see merit in what she says, I'm just finding that the years keep passing with no sign of relief in sight.

I also figured out that I've pretty recently developed a hefty anxiety problem. I don't get panic attacks, but if I have any stressors in my life, nausea and dry heaves take over. I swear I went to the doctor (at the clinic at school) about every two weeks trying to figure out what in the world was wrong. Finally, I brought it up to my psychiatrist, and he suggested I take klonopin. Do any of you have problems with anxiety, too? And if so, has anyone had any luck on klonopin? Just curious.

Incidentally, I also applied with my insurance company for Vagus Nerve Stimulation. I was denied two years ago, but I changed insurance companies recently, so I thought I'd try again. I've never talked to anyone who has had this procedure, so I'm curious to know if anybody has heard anything about it. That, and MAOIs are my last options. I'm praying about both of them.

Thanks for listening!

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It is so wonderful to hear that people are losing the weight they gained on other depression meds. I am so looking forward to losing the 60 lbs I gained in a year on Cymbalta. I have a question, actually, that I wanted to ask you all. Is Emsam the first MAOI you have been on, or have you tried others? I have been thinking about it, and the only reason I started with Emsam instead of another one is because I'm a vegetarian and wanted to see if the 6mg would do it for me (since I could continue to eat soy). I've been on this dose for about 2 weeks now, and I'm a little discouraged. I know sometimes it takes longer to work, and today my doctor raised my dosage to the 9mg, so I'm going to try to stay hopeful. My main issue now that I can't eat soy any more is that I don't want to stay on this insanely expensive medication if I can find something cheaper that will work just as well (meaning another MAOI). Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Of course this is the one thing I forgot to talk to my doctor about! :) Thanks!

TB

Hello tb313;

Graycoyote is the only person experiencing weightloss so far who has posted in this thread, so who knows about that aspect??? He is a guy and we all know that it is easier for them to lose w/o the hormonal up's and down's we women have!

Emsam is another form or the old med Selegiline and it is quite inexpensive in pill form, I have read. Patent has run out and it may be available as a generic. (Deprenyl is one brand) Selegiline pills are FDA approved for treatment of Parkinson's Disease but not depression. The selegiline patch or Emsam Patch is the transdermal method. I think Dr's fear the pills b/c of overdose tendencies in some patients w/ Mental Issues. The patch caught on b/c at the low 6mg dose diet is not a problem, thus no worry re/ foods. I am seriously thinking of trying the pills later on if all goes well for me on Emsam for the same reason you are...High cost!

As a vegetarian is whey protien powder shakes a no no? I imagine so if you're strict about it. I rarily eat meat and get most of my protein from egg whites and protein powder. I don't like the idea of eating an amimal either. However...I do occasionally have seafood. I know, I know.

Let me know how you do on the 9mg. My Dr won't even think of increasing my 6mg dose until after 6 weeks, but that is probably due to the doc's busy vacation schedule and being unavailable to see me for another month! Re/ the other MAOI's...they work a bit differently as I understand and effect both A & B and Emsam concentrates on B whatchamacallit's.

If that explaination is too 'scientific for you' (LOL) then maybe you are as sleep deprived as I am! Sorry...can't concentrate! Anyway...the traditional MAOI's (Nardil, Parnate) didn't work for me.

Are you experiencing more energy? Any gastrointestinal differences? Are you taking meds for sleep? Let's all hang in and hope for the best, OK? I will post how I am doing in detail later today or tomorrow as time is short.

Good Luck w/ the 9mg! Please post how you are doing on it and any differences you notice.

Eve

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