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Anyone try Emsam yet?


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may be too late for me to say but tried the emsam patch 6 mg, 3 weeks in became drastically more suicidal and over the weekend came up with 5 separate plans I would've been willing to perform that would certainly have worked.

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I agree w/ Amabilis that 8 days is not long, try to be patient and see if things improve (I know it's hard). BUT I would call your doc and see about a precription for a sleep med. Zolpidem (generic of Ambien) is safe to take w/ MAOI; that is what I use. I use the basic version, which wears off after 4 hours, since my problem is getting to sleep. If you also have problems staying asleep, there is the Ambien CR (controlled release; not sure if generic available for this one or not), which lasts 8 hours (bascially in layers I guess; i.e., a 4 hour dose released and then another 4 hour dose once the pill is digested that far).

Since you'll be asking doc about a sleep med, you can also tell your concerns about the increased anxiety and get his/her opinion on that, too.

Good luck,

mimsy

Thanks Mimsy and Amabilis for your responses! I think the sleep problem is resolving itself as I actually felt pretty sleepy at one point on Saturday afternoon and was able to take a refreshing, 1 hour nap. Then I was able to sleep fine again that night and last night. As for the anxiety, that's no better. It's like I get something done but I can't put it out of my mind. It still feels unfinished; like I forgot something. I don't trust that I did it correctly. This is mostly with work stuff. It's very strange and hard to describe. I'm hoping it will sort itself out in a few days. I'm going to mention it at my next appointment.

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I was already a bit like this before starting on Emsam but it feels like these thoughts are amplified. It's as though my brain is always "on" and I can't turn it off. I also have problems falling a sleep which was never a problem before.

Hi Jewels,

What you are describing sounds very similar to my response on Emsam so far. I have had that response on other meds as well. The Emsam has given me a clarity through the fog, and that now translates into anxiety. As in, now I can see the mountain of work to be done. That is rather overwhelming. I also understand about falling asleep. Even if I am tired, I can't get my brain to turn off, and that was not the case recently before I started the Emsam.

It is still too soon to tell for me, but perhaps these side effects will lessen with time. I am more concerned about my depression than my anxiety at the moment, but we know they all work together.

Best Wishes,

B

Hi Amabilis,

I'm glad to hear the Emsam is helping with your depression, or at least providing some clarity through the fog as you say. It has given me more energy but almost too much.

I find it is hard to distinguish between the cause and effects of depression: is my anxiety causing my depression? Am I anxious because I'm depressed?

Hang in there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am interested in trying Emsam as I have had zero luck with the previous 7 I have tried.

But, my doc is more likely to push a TCA on me first as we have not gone down this path yet.

Is Emsam usually a last resort after all have failed- could I trial this before going down the TCA route ?

Feel as though I am at the end of my drug rope and am desperate to find something that brings me some relief.

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Is Emsam usually a last resort after all have failed- could I trial this before going down the TCA route ?

I think that is up to you and your doc. I did ECT before I would try an MAOI, but that's just me. Granted I have failed a lot of meds, but it is my understanding that the chance you will respond to the next drug goes down each time you fail a drug. So switching to another class of drug, either TCA or MAOI, makes a lot of sense. Just keep trying.

My suggestion is to pro/con the TCA vs MAOI, and decide what makes the most sense for your particular episode. I wouldn't worry about either being a last resort, you have failed enough meds, and it makes sense to be aggressive to find something that works for you. I wish you the best no matter what you and your doc decide.

For what it is worth, I am now at 6 weeks on Emsam, and I am seeing real improvement. Similar to the improvement I saw with ECT, and the docs are hopeful that this is sustainable. It helps a lot that I am having very few side effects.

Best Wishes,

B

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  • 3 months later...

I wanted to share my EMsam experience, for what it's worth. I've been fighting mental illness for about 20 years and have been on just about every med out there, from tofranil way back in the 80's to cymbalta recently and now Emsam/Limictal.

I'm being treated for Bipolar II, treatment resistant.

I'm addicted to Ambien, so I don't know whether Emsam is causing me insomnia- I'd feel like it was no matter what if I didn't take Ambien, at this point.

I increased from 6mg (three weeks) to 9mg which I've been on for a week. I had two REALLY good days this weekend where I willingly left the house. I'm still unmotivated to actually do anything around the house or to contribute. Today after almost 48 great hours I started feeling hopeless again. I'm ready to try ECT, I think. My doc wants me to get into an experimental drug study locally but the chance that I would get the placebo and then **** myself is more than I want to mess with.

When I started the Emsam, it was alongside 3mg Invega, but after 10 days on the Invega I abandoned it because I'm trying to nail down the cause of my compulsive eating. Emsam supposedly causes weight LOSS, so what's up? I've gained 15 pounds since the holidays, so I don't think it's necessarily just the new drugs. The weight gain is unbearably depressing, and of course there is no motivation to exercise. I used to do Yoga every day.

I feel better since going off Invega and am building up to therapeutic dose of Limictal.

I haven't had a menstrual cycle in 37 days which is very unusual for me, but I can't find any information on whether this may be medication related.

I do have problems with the patch staying on (I live in the deep south too) and wrinkling, as well as the irritation at patch site from the glue.

So anyway, I'm new to the site but I've been reading up on all the drugs I've tried this year, so I thought I should contribute a little instead of just lurking.

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  • 2 years later...

i have been on the ensam patch just over 6 months, moving from the 6 mg to the 9 mg and now the 12 mg patch. It is helping, primarily giving me more energy, alertness, the ability to be engaged with work, etc. Not being able to sleep at night is the worst problem. I take 1 mg of ativan (lorazapam)at night or at 2 or 3 in the morning when I wake up. The patch is helping, still have depression, but its better. It does take a while for subtle improvements to be noticed. I take trazodone at night to sleep also even though it is contraindicated. I take a lower dose. Without the trazodone, I would not sleep at all. I wish there was more research out there on the insomnia connected with the MAOIs. I was on Nardil twice over the years but it seemed to stop working. I hope this one continues to work. I put the patch on in the AM after a shower. It has stayed on even through a shower although sometimes it falls off.

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