I'm a 38 yr. old female and take 300mg of Seroquel at night, plus lithium and tegretol 3 times a day for bipolar disorder. I don't have insurance and make about $1000 too much per year to qualify for discounted meds through a local social services program. Unfortunately, Seroquel costs more than I make in a week so I am looking for herbal supplements that might could substitute. Recently I have looked into passion flower and valerian root but haven't taken them. Does anybody know anything that binds to the same receptors as seroquel which I could tell my doctor about when I see him next? My ultimate goal is to be able to afford medication but am open to non-pharmaceutical ideas as well. Thanks!
I would look into other insurance options. For example there is the Medicaid Buy in for Working People with Disabilities. What you describe does not have antipsychotic properties and could not replace an antipsychotic. You could find out more about health coverage options at your local independent living center. There should be some means by which you could get health care coverage. Find that out first before trying those natural remedies which can't replace an antipsychotic and two mood stabilizers. There is one in every county of every state:
Great knowledge from ILadvocate and bprc. I have some insight to the question to the valirum root and passionflower It won't do the trick. You are on a mood stablizer and an antispcotic(sp)I don't know your lithium mg. nor your tegretol mg.
What I suspect is that you could be a bp 1 rapid cycler with delusional thinking.( like me )
All your med changes should Always come from your Doc. Ask for samples. My doc keep me in seroquel for over 6 months. Best wishes and good luck
I too am a 38 yr old female suffering from Bipolar II....i havent found that "magic pill" so to speak....but after 24 meds in 6 yrs..i have to say there is something to be said about wholistic medications...dont let someone discourage you from your search...there is ALWAYS a natural equivalant to any MAN made substance....do your research...find a provider that is open to incorporating natural....look at places like scandanavia...asia...where there is an abundance of fish...omega 3s...places where there are iron and magnesium rich waters and soil...those areas have VERY LOW TO NO mental illness....our bodies are deprived of trace minerals...so many of our issues can be traced to our deficiencies....and that is NOTHING a pill can correct....GOOD LUCK!!! to us both!!!
My understanding is valarian root is more of an anti-anxiety herbal. I have no idea about the passion flower. I've taken valarian root and it did make me mellow. Smells like old sweat socks though. If you are looking to go this way I would find someone trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine they would know better what combinations may work for you. I tried it myself but found that it was making me sedated so I stopped. You won't find something that is a straight across switch though. Seroquel is very specific in how it interacts.
I guess I disagree with some of the comments above. While Valerian Root or Passion Flower can't substitute for things like Seroquel, they can be taken in conjunction and you'll end up taking less of the anti-psychotic, or sleep medication, and feel clearer headed.
i agree with Kjstar11 i have looked into the statistics in Japan and the scandinavian countries and they possess very low figures when it concerns mental illness. I attibute this to their waters plenty of omega-3. I think we need someone here who knows of any ongoing research to tell us about and whether they have special diet.
A friend of the family - who died now - once he had BP2 his family took him to some hospital in Paris. They spent some 100.000 $ they said and he stayed in bed there for 2 months feeding him through injections only with some elements the family doesn\t know about. When he came back he stayed free from BP2 for 5 years but then he relapsed again. This story i heard from his brother but didn't gain much from his story (he isn't a lier) and the cost is prohibitive of course. But the benefit of the story is that there must exist like hummingbirdT said a substitute to man made drugs somewhere there. The indians have old meds as well as the chinese, I don't know ... acupuncture, etc..pdocs in the west always disagree to this opinion. simply because they make a good living out of their pts illness.
Of course I am not insunuating that one should stop his med and revert to these methods but I suppose one shouldn't close the door to this trend of techniques. WHO KNOWS.
As to seroquel this is my Godsend drug and kept me almost stable for 2 years now and can't substitute it at the moment. In egypt it isn't very expensive, i.e. almost affordable. But the bad thing i started my dose at 50mg now i am on 150mg. So if really this valerian root (not only mimic the benzos but has anticonvulsant properties) can reduce my dose then it's better of course. We need more data on this and REAL experience from patients here.
Make sure you ask your pharmacist before combining herbals with prescriptions. My mental health center has a pharmacist on staff that you can ask questions to. Some interactions can be dangerous to deadly. For example St. John's Wort is an excellent antidepressant herb for mild to moderate depression. However, it acts on the same receptors as the antidepressants and taking both causes a system wide overload and land you in the hospital with Seritonin Syndrome. In addition it, like the antidepressants, can cause mania in people with bipolar. 5 HTP can also increase antidepressant response.
Just because it is herbal or natural doesn't mean its safe or without side effects. They are as powerful in some cases as prescriptions and deserve to be treated with a healthy dose of respect.
So please don't add them on without talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
And I am not anti herbal. I take herbal suppliments myself. I just did research and asked my pharmacist. I also do accupunture. I believe in the power of Eastern medicine. Its just when east meets west - it can cause a collision - sometimes they just don't mix.
I take green tea, omega oils, high quality multivitamin, vitamin D, licorish root (for digestion and to calm the nausea I get from meds - not mood related), glucosamine (again not for BP), and sometimes I take an anti-oxident blend but it is expensive. There are a few other I would like to try but I have to get them okay'd by the pharmacist. I notice a difference when I take them.
I took valarian root before BP meds, so I don't know if it interacts. I just know it stinks. lol.
Seroquel knocks me out cold, but it's also @&%# expensive and gives me a hangover. So basically I only use it as a "kill switch" for when I feel a mixed state coming on. I swear, I think that's my baseline.
I've found valerian tea to be sedating, but not enough so for a hard core insomnia. I've also found that my cats love it. It's related to catnip. There are also a lot of "sleepy" tea blends out there, which include chamomile, skull cap and a bunch of other things. Again, they may be relaxing, but not enough so.
For insomnia, which is rare since being on Lamictal, I take Chlor-Trimeton. It's an antihistamine, and it works fairly well. Some people use Benadryl, but it makes my legs restless and I see flashing light when I close my eyes. Neither make for sleep.
I don't think anyone would choose St. John's Wort for insomnia, but I'll echo lindahand's warning. It makes me manic.
I remember reading that omega-3 fish oil works in a similar way in the brain as sodium channel blockers do. This keeps the brain from over-firing, which may be a commonality between bipolar and epilepsy.
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