Categories
Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Trazadone and Alcohol

The Bottom Line 

  • Trazodone is a tricyclic antidepressant prescribed to treat depression.
  • Available in tablets, capsules as well as liquid.
  • Available under the brand names of Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro. 
  • Off-label uses include anxiety, eating disorders, insomnia.
  • Consuming Trazodone and alcohol together may cause severe side effects, and in some cases, death.

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone is a medication from the tricyclic antidepressant class which is prescribed to treat depression. A doctor may occasionally prescribe it off-label to treat anxiety, insomnia as well as eating disorders. This medication fits long-term treatment. It is most well-known under the brand names of Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro. Available in tablets, capsules, and liquid. It is believed to work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain which then provide relief for depression.

What conditions is Trazodone taken for? 

It is usually prescribed to treat depression. Off-label uses include anxiety, insomnia as well as eating disorders if no other first-line medications have been effective or caused many severe side effects. 

Can you drink alcohol while taking Trazodone? 

It is contraindicated to take Trazodone and alcohol together. Taking these two substances together in large doses may be deadly.

Is there an interaction of Trazodone and alcohol?

Taking Trazodone and alcohol together may cause many severe side effects and in high doses can be deadly.

Alcohol is a depressant and can increase the risk of side effects of this medication, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired concentration. Long-term application of Trazodone and alcohol can also lead to abuse and withdrawal. Other possible risks include: 

  • Drop in blood pressure. Taking Trazodone and alcohol alone or in combination may cause a drop in blood pressure, which may result in fainting or dizziness, especially in elderly people.
  • Impaired judgment. Individuals who consume Trazodone and alcohol may experience a decrease in their ability to think, concentrate, drive, or operate heavy machinery. 
  • Deterioration of depression or anxiety. Taking Trazodone and alcohol together may worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression, and in some cases increase risk of suicidal ideation.
  • Decreased motor skills. Taking Trazodone and alcohol together may decrease the motor skills. 
  • Long-lasting vomiting or nausea. Taking Trazodone and alcohol in high doses may lead to long-lasting effects of vomiting or upset stomach which may require hospitalization and pharmacological treatment. 
  • Overdose. Taking Trazodone and alcohol in large doses may result in toxicity and lead to overdose incidents. 

The full list of side effects when taking Trazodone and alcohol in both small and high doses, as well as their severity, differ in individuals. 

You should not mix Trazodone and alcohol to enhance the effects of your treatment. Speak to the doctor if you have had a history of substance abuse, or if your family members have had such incidents.

Individuals who suffer from Trazodone and alcohol abuse may speak to their doctors about the applicability of rehabilitation. Many rehab programs exist to stop abusing substances and start living a sober life.

Can Trazodone be taken for Depression? 

It is prescribed to treat depression in adults.

Is Trazodone FDA approved for depression?

It is FDA-approved to treat depression in adults.

Can Trazodone be taken for Anxiety? 

This antidepressant may be used off-label to treat anxiety if other medications have been ineffective or caused severe side effects

Is Trazodone FDA approved for anxiety?

Trazodone is not approved for anxiety treatment by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA).

What research supports Trazodone for anxiety?

  • Trazodone, Diazepam, and Imipramine were studied for efficacy in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) treatment. An 8-week double-blind study included subjects who have had a diagnosis of GAD and a score of 18 in the Hamilton Anxiety Scale. Subjects were randomized to take Trazodone 255mg/daily, Imipramine 143mg/daily, and Diazepam 26mg/daily. The results demonstrated that all medications reduced symptoms of anxiety significantly.
  • Trazodone was compared against Chlordiazepoxide efficacy in anxiety treatment. 83 subjects were randomized to take one of the medications and were assessed using the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Trazodone was found to be more effective to relieve anxiety over Chlordiazepoxide.

What do experts say about Trazodone for anxiety? 

Todd Christiansen, a child, and adolescent psychiatrist says – “Trazodone (once called Desyrel, now sometimes sold as Oleptro) was originally designed as an antidepressant. But due to the drug’s nature, patients had to take very high doses for it to effectively combat depression and anxiety.

What are the possible side effects of Trazodone?

The FDA warns about the following side effects when taking this antidepressant:

  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Serotonin syndrome;
  • Extreme tiredness;
  • Cardiac arrhythmias;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Suicidal ideation in children, and adults;
  • Motor skills impairment.

The following side effects are associated with taking Trazodone and alcohol:

  • Drop in blood pressure;
  • Impaired judgment, concentration, driving ability;
  • Vomiting and nausea;
  • Mood swings;
  • Deteriorated depression or anxiety;
  • Decreased motor skills.

Overdose incidents have been reported when taking Trazodone and alcohol together in large doses. If you believe you have overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).

Speak to your doctor about safe intake of this antidepressant. 

Can you take Trazodone while pregnant or breastfeeding?

The FDA does not deem this antidepressant to be completely safe for pregnant women. Other medications and therapies are available to treat anxiety or depression while pregnant.

A doctor may occasionally prescribe it to nursing mothers if no other modalities have been effective or caused side effects.

Can children take Trazodone? 

Children under 18 are not typically prescribed this antidepressant, however, a doctor may prescribe it to treat depression if previous treatments have not been successful.

How to take Trazodone? 

The initial dose of the medication is typically 150 mg/daily. A doctor may increase it up to 400 mg if the patient is unresponsive to treatment. Take it as directed. Do not change the dosage without speaking to your doctor. A gradual decrease in dosage is required to avoid withdrawal effects. Take it after food or a light snack.

A medical history including a history of Trazodone and alcohol abuse should be assessed prior to administering this medication.

Are there alternatives to Trazodone? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Trazodone for Anxiety 

Trazodone is an antidepressant prescribed to treat depression, while a doctor may occasionally prescribe it off-label to treat anxiety. If you believe that treatment with this medication may be for you, you must speak with a doctor. Beyond that, other medications are available for anxiety treatment including:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Trazodone, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Trazodone

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Trazodone

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Trazodone

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Tramadol and Alcohol

The Bottom Line

  • Tramadol is an opioid medication used for pain management.
  • A generic form of Tramadol is Ultram.
  • Available in tablets, capsules, and by injection.
  • Tramadol and alcohol are contraindicated to take together.

What is Tramadol? 

Tramadol is a medication prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain conditions, as well as pain after surgery. A doctor may occasionally prescribe it off-label to treat premature ejaculation, restless leg syndrome, or fibromyalgia. It may be prescribed for long-term treatment, however, caution is required as its regular use can lead to abuse and dependence.

The generic form of Tramadol is Ultram. It is available in tablets, capsules, and by injection. 

It is regulated under Schedule IV of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

What conditions is Tramadol taken for? 

The conditions that Tramadol is used for are moderate to severe pain in adults as well as pain after surgery. Off-label uses are linked to premature ejaculation, restless leg syndrome as well as fibromyalgia if no other medications have been responding or caused many severe side effects. 

Can you drink alcohol while taking Tramadol? 

It is not advised to take Tramadol and alcohol together. Tramadol and alcohol in large doses may cause severe side effects or be deadly.

Is there an interaction between Tramadol and alcohol?

Tramadol is an opioid medication, most commonly used as a painkiller. A doctor may usually prescribe it to treat moderate to severe pain or pain after surgery. It is believed to affect the central nervous system (CNS) and work on the brain’s neurotransmitters, including endorphins and enkephalins, to change how the body responds to pain. It belongs to the class of opioid analgesics and is only released under the Opioid Analgesic REMS program which controls its distribution. 

Alcohol is a depressant that is known to sedate the body and brain when consumed in small doses. When consuming alcohol in large doses, an individual may experience extreme sedation and long-lasting disconnection from reality. 

Mixing Tramadol and alcohol together may lead to life-threatening conditions, as an individual may overdose, experience difficulty breathing or long-term unconsciousness, among other severe side effects, such as: 

Enhanced effects of Tramadol and alcohol. 

Both Tramadol and alcohol act on the CNS which results in relief for the pain. When taken together in high doses, they enhance the effects of each other which may lead to extreme sedation, euphoria, or blackouts.

Suppressed functioning of heart, blood pressure, respiration. 

Tramadol and alcohol in large doses may both affect life-sustaining functions of the body. Mixing them may lead to a comatose state including low blood pressure, accelerated heart rate, and slow respiration which may be deadly.

Organ damage. 

When Tramadol and alcohol are taken together in high doses, they usually lower blood pressure which results in deoxidation of the organs like the brain. This may lead to brain damage, poor memory, and concentration, altered learning, and attention scores, as well as complex problem-solving. 

Overdose.

Mixing Tramadol and alcohol in high doses may lead to overdose, as these two enhance the effects of each other and may cause intoxication of the body.

Development of chronic diseases. 

Regular intake of Tramadol and alcohol together may increase the risk of developing certain medical conditions including cancer, ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, dementia, arteriosclerosis, or stroke among others.

Uncontrolled behaviors. 

Taking Tramadol and alcohol in combination may increase risk of accidents, aggressive behavior, crime, unprotected sexual contact due to poor judgment, and misunderstanding of what is good or bad.

Sexual dysfunction.

Men who regularly mix Tramadol and alcohol have an increased risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction or impotence.

Malformations and abnormalities of the fetus.

Pregnant women who take Tramadol and alcohol together may give birth to children with multiple disorders or poor respiratory conditions.

Increased probability of mental health conditions.

Individuals who chronically abuse Tramadol and alcohol together may be at great risk of experiencing depression, anxiety as well as substance use disorder.

Increased probability of self-harm incidents.

Individuals who take Tramadol and alcohol in the long-term may experience suicidal ideation or behaviors.

Increased probability of hallucinations.

Tramadol and alcohol may cause hallucinations when taken in large doses. 

Tramadol and alcohol addiction treatment is available in certain medical centers. If you require help, speak to your doctor or seek a rehab clinic that provides a withdrawal treatment. 

The abuse of Tramadol and alcohol is a common concern within all age groups, however, the highest precaution when prescribing this pain killer should be given to young adults under 25 who may voluntarily misuse it.

Disclose a full list of medications and health supplements you already take as well as inform the doctor if you have had a medical history of abuse with Tramadol and alcohol or any other substances.

Can Tramadol be taken for Anxiety?

Tramadol is not classified as anxiolytic medication, however, a doctor may occasionally prescribe it to treat anxiety induced by pain when no other medications showed response or caused severe side effects. Other modalities are available to treat it.

Is Tramadol FDA approved for anxiety?

Tramadol is not approved for anxiety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Can Tramadol be taken for Depression? 

Tramadol does not have proof of efficacy for depression treatment. Other modalities are available to treat it.

Is Tramadol FDA approved for depression?

Tramadol is not FDA-approved for depression.  

What research supports Tramadol for anxiety? 

  • Tramadol was studied for anxiety/depression-associated behaviors induced by pain in rats. Elevated plus-maze test (EPM) – to record anxiety scores has been involved in the study. On the EPM, rats spent 45% less time than sham on the open arms of the maze. The results have demonstrated that this opioid medication reversed the changes in anxiety-related behaviors in rats, relieved chronic pain, and anxiety as a comorbid of this health condition.

What are the possible side effects of Tramadol? 

It may occasionally cause severe side effects when consumed solo or taken in combination with other medications, health supplements as well as alcohol.

The most common side effects when taking Tramadol are:

  • drowsiness;
  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • sweating;
  • agitation;
  • anxiety;
  • constipation;
  • hallucinations.

The common side effects when taking Tramadol and alcohol are:

  • increased probability of suicidal thinking;
  • vomiting;
  • organ damage;
  • mental and physical impairment;
  • sexual dysfunction.

Do not abruptly stop taking this medication without speaking to your doctor. Gradual discontinuation of the dosage is required.

Overdose incidents have been reported when taking Tramadol and alcohol in high doses. If you believe you have overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).

It may impair driving ability. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects your body.

The full list of side effects and their severity depends on the individual’s medical history and treatment plan.

Always speak to your doctor before taking opioid-like pain killers.

Can you take Tramadol while pregnant or breastfeeding? 

Tramadol is not recommended to take while pregnant, as it has the potential to cause malformations and abnormalities in the fetus. Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant, as other modalities are available to treat pain.

The FDA does not approve the use of this pain killer in nursing mothers. 

Can children take Tramadol?

Children under 12 should not be prescribed Tramadol. The FDA warns about its potential for fatal outcomes in pediatrics. 

How to take Tramadol? 

The prescription of this pain killer is only available with the Opioid Analgesic REMS program. The dosage of Tramadol is tailored individually. Always speak to your doctor about the safe intake.

Use in adults:

  • for pain management. The initial dose is 50-100mg/every 4-6 hours.
  • for chronic pain management. The initial dose is 100mg/daily.

Use in geriatrics:

  • for pain management. The initial dose is 300mg/daily of an immediate-release capsule.
  • for chronic pain. The initial dose is 300mg/daily of an immediate-release capsule.

Do not adjust the dose without speaking to your doctor. 

Are there alternatives to Tramadol? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Tramadol for Anxiety

Tramadol is a medication prescribed to treat pain in adults. It is a controlled substance that has many precautions, contraindications, and is available only under the Opioid Analgesic REMS program. Speak to your doctor about other prescription medications, including:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Tramadol, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Tramadol

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Tramadol

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Tramadol

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Moderate Anxiety Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Nardil

The Bottom Line

  • Nardil is an antidepressant used for depression and anxiety treatment.
  • FDA approved for depression.
  • Available in tablets.
  • Requires a certain diet.

What is Nardil?

Nardil (Phenelzine) is a monoamine oxidize inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant. It is prescribed to treat most forms of depression, except for bipolar depression. A doctor may occasionally turn to its off-label use for anxiety, panic disorder, fear, or mood swings management. Nardil is most often used when a patient has not responded to previous treatments or has experienced side effects.

Nardils mechanism of action is linked to increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, and dopamine which both then contribute to relief of anxiety and depression symptoms.

This medication comes in tablets of 15mg strength. 

Can Nardil be taken for Anxiety? 

Nardil can sometimes be prescribed off-label for anxiety manifested as a stand-alone health condition or an accompanying symptom of depression. Anxiety caused by everyday stress is not an indication for Nardil. Also, it is not recommended as the first-line medication for the treatment. It may be used as an alternative, substitute for other medications, or in combination.

Is Nardil FDA approved for anxiety?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Nardil to treat depression in adults. It is not approved for treatment of anxiety. The FDA has issued a black box warning for Nardil as it has the potentiality to elevate suicidal thinking in adults. Prescription and caution are required.  

What research supports Nardil for anxiety?

Nardil (Phenelzine) has been studied for anti-anxiety effects:

  • Phenelzine was studied in combination with Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy (GBGT) on safety and efficacy in social anxiety treatment. 128 subjects with symptoms of a social anxiety disorder (SAD) were subjected to trials for 24 weeks. The results demonstrated that Phenelzine and GBGT were more effective when prescribed together rather than stand-alone treatments.
  • Phenelzine was studied against Atenolol and placebo in the treatment of SAD patients. Subjects were administered with Phenelzine 76 mg and Atenolol 98 mg daily for 7 months. Subjects treated with Phenelzine experienced fewer side effects but required following certain dietary restrictions. Phenelzine improved anxiety scores.
  • Phenelzine was studied against Imipramine in managing anxiety scores. The results showed that their combination was successful in treatment-resistant and severely ill patients with anxiety and panic disorder. 

What are the possible side effects?

Nardil is believed to cause mild to moderate side effects which can be avoided or prevented by adjusting the right dosage in adults, or by making dietary changes (discussed in the next section).

Commonly reported side effects include:

  • dizziness;
  • drowsiness;
  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • dry mouth;
  • weight gain;
  • sexual dysfunction.

Stopping Nardil use abruptly may cause withdrawal side effects:

  • dizziness;
  • insomnia;
  • nausea.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns about its potentiality to increase suicidal thinking in adults. Periodical assessment of Nardil’s usefulness is required.

Nardil can impair alertness or cause drowsiness while driving or operating heavy machinery. Do not drive or operate until you know how this medication affects your reaction. Its administration in the long-term treatment may rarely lead to abuse or addiction. Doctor’s supervision of treatment is required.

Does Nardil have interactions with other medications? 

Nardil may interact with certain medications and cause issues. Do not combine Nardil with serotoninergic agents such as Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, as serious and fatal events have been reported.

The following medication may interact negatively with Nardil:

  • Antidepressants;
  • Appetite suppressants;
  • Medication for blood pressure;
  • Migraine medications;
  • Other MAOIs;
  • Parkinson’s medications;
  • Cold medications with dextromethorphan.

Nardil is an MAOI medication which requires a dietary regimen excluding certain food and beverages.

Avoid eating and drinking:

  • liver;
  • herring;
  • wine and beer;
  • dry sausages such as salami;
  • beans;
  • cheese (except for cottage and cream cheese);
  • yogurt.

After discontinuing the treatment with Nardil, you have to abstain from the mentioned foods for at least two weeks.

Always speak to your doctor about possible interactions.

Can you take Nardil while pregnant or breastfeeding?

There is no evidence about Nardil’s harmful effect in pregnant women, however, in animal studies, the maximal doses prescribed to humans have been found to retard the growth of rats and dogs. Speak to your doctor about taking Nardil when pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant.

It is not known if Nardil can excrete into breast milk.

Can children take Nardil for anxiety? 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve Nardil for children. Doctors may rarely prescribe it if benefits outweigh the risk or if other medications have shown no response.

How to take Nardil?

The dosages may differ for each health condition Nardil is prescribed for. Speak to your doctor about the treatment plan suitable for your particular case. 

The treatment dosages are classified per the early and maintenance phases.

The initial dosage is 15 mg 3 times per day.

  • Early phase. 15 up to 90 mg per day until a patient shows tolerance. It may take up to 4 weeks to feel the effect of treatment. 
  • Maintenance phase. 15 mg per day. A doctor will gradually decrease the number of intakes until there is no risk of withdrawal syndrome.

If you skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not exceed the dose. Overdose events with Nardil have been reported. If you believe you have overdosed, seek emergency help immediately.

Are there alternatives to Nardil? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Nardil for Anxiety

Nardil is an antidepressant that responds to long-term treatment. It requires a certain meal plan and may be contraindicated for use if you already take certain medications it can interact with. Speak to your doctor to get to know about other prescription medications for anxiety. Some of them are:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Xanax
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Nardil, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Nardil

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Nardil

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Nardil

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Moderate Anxiety Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Gabapentin and Alcohol

The Bottom Line

  • Gabapentin is FDA-approved to treat partial seizures and nerve pain caused by shingles infections.
  • It may be prescribed off-label for anxiety treatment.
  • Available in tablets and as a generic, Neurontin.
  • It is contraindicated to mix Gabapentin and alcohol.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a medication from the anticonvulsant class. It is used to treat partial seizures, and pain caused by shingles. A doctor may occasionally prescribe it off-label for certain mental health conditions such as anxiety or bipolar disorder. It is also occasionally used for insomnia, hot flashes, and restless leg syndrome.

This medication is believed to affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain and decrease sensitivity to pain.

It is available in tablets. It fits short-term applications, however, a doctor may use it long-term if benefits prevail the risks.

What conditions is Gabapentin taken for?

The medication is used for are seizures, postherpetic neuralgia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, hot flashes, restless leg syndrome as well as insomnia.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Gabapentin?

It is not advised to mix Gabapentin and alcohol. Take the medication only as directed by your doctor.

Is there an interaction between Gabapentin and alcohol?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication for partial seizures and nerve pain caused by shingles infections in adults and children. It works by decreasing sensitivity to pain when prescribed for postherpetic neuralgia, and by affecting low levels of calcium when prescribed to treat seizures. While relatively safe to take as directed by the doctor, some interactions with this medication may cause severe side effects. Taking Gabapentin and alcohol in combination should be avoided.

Alcohol is a sedative with a variety of effects. It has the potential for altering mental processes. The effects of alcohol resemble medications used to produce sleepiness for surgery, and it works very quickly. In small doses, Gabapentin and alcohol produce sedation, while their excessive consumption may lead to abuse and dependence. In some individuals, excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to several persisting side effects including:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures

Taking Gabapentin and alcohol together may increase the risk of experiencing nervous system side effects, as well as impaired thinking and judgment. Among other potential dangers of combined Gabapentin and alcohol consumption are:

Intoxication. 

Mixing Gabapentin and alcohol may lead to extreme intoxication. An individual may lose concentration, experience dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea, among others. Incidents of choking on vomit may occur.

Blackouts. 

Taking Gabapentin and alcohol in high doses may lead to memory loss and poor alertness. An individual may faint or be unable to remember long-term memories.

Overdose. 

Overdose incidents have been reported when mixing Gabapentin and alcohol. Both substances may slow breathing and lower heart rate. A combination of Gabapentin and alcohol in high doses may be deadly.

Mood changes. 

Gabapentin and alcohol in combination may lead to uncontrolled behaviors, where an individual exposes himself to dangerous activities.

Suicidal thinking.

Gabapentin and alcohol may increase the risk of suicidal thinking. The use of this medication alone is already linked to such risk, so taking Gabapentin and alcohol together can be extremely dangerous.

Injuries. 

Gabapentin and alcohol in combination produce extreme sedation, decrease motor control, and increase risk of falling.

Doctors advise to abstain from combining Gabapentin and alcohol. When using both substances, they may alter or enhance the effects of each other. 

You should only take this medication as directed by the doctor. Gabapentin and alcohol should not be mixed.

Can Gabapentin be taken for Anxiety?

A doctor may prescribe it off-label to treat anxiety disorder if no other first-line medications have been effective or have caused severe side effects. It may be used for anxiety symptoms caused by bipolar disorder. Normal anxiety does not require the prescription of this medication, as other modalities are available to affect it. 

Is Gabapentin FDA approved for anxiety?

Gabapentin is not approved for anxiety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is FDA approved only to treat postherpetic neuralgia and control partial seizures in both adults and children.

Can Gabapentin be taken for Depression?

It is not usually prescribed to treat depression. Other modalities are available to treat this mental health condition.

Is Gabapentin FDA approved for depression?

It is not FDA-approved for depression. Other modalities are available to treat this mental health condition.

What research supports Gabapentin for anxiety?

  • Gabapentin was studied for efficacy in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) treatment. A 59-year-old female with GAD and major depressive disorder (MDD) was psychiatrically hospitalized where she was administered with Gabapentin 600-900 mg doses daily for 10 months. After a 10 month follow-up, she showed significant remission of anxiety symptoms with 900 mg doses.
  • Gabapentin was studied against a placebo for social anxiety disorder treatment. 69 subjects were divided into two groups, the first group took Gabapentin 3600 mg/daily, the second group took the placebo for 14 weeks. The results demonstrated that the medication reduced anxiety scores by 27 points with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), compared to 12 points in the placebo group.
  • Gabapentin was studied for anxiety reduction before surgery. 40 subjects were randomly assigned to Gabapentin 1200 mg or placebo 1-2 hours before the surgery. The results demonstrated that the Gabapentin-group had lower anxiety scores than the placebo. 

What do experts say about Gabapentin for anxiety?

Andrew Saxon, M.D., chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry says “Non-pain related conditions like anxiety and alcohol withdrawal can benefit from gabapentin.”

What are the possible side effects of Gabapentin?

Like any medication, it may cause side effects including:

  • dizziness;
  • drowsiness;
  • ataxia;
  • Fatigue;
  • headache.

Mixing Gabapentin and alcohol may lead to:

  • intoxication;
  • impaired alertness, consciousness;
  • blackouts;
  • mood changes;
  • increased suicidal thinking.

The full list of side effects and their severity depends on the individual patient’s medical history as well as a treatment regimen. Gabapentin and alcohol overdose incidents have been reported.

Always speak to your doctor if you experience side effects when taking this medication.

Can you take Gabapentin while pregnant or breastfeeding?

This medication is not recommended for use in pregnant and nursing mothers. It may harm the fetus and excrete into milk.

Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, as safer modalities are available for you.

Can children take Gabapentin?

It may be prescribed for use in children to treat seizures who are at least 3 years old.

How to take Gabapentin? 

The dosage is tailored individually. Speak to the doctor if you decide that treatment with this medication may be for you. 

The initial dosage is 300 mg. It may be doubled on the second day and tripled on the third day until the therapeutic effect is achieved. Take it as directed by the doctor. Do not increase the dosage. 

If you believe you have overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).

Are there alternatives to Gabapentin? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Gabapentin for Anxiety 

Gabapentin is a medication prescribed to treat seizures and pain in adults and children. A doctor may occasionally prescribe it off-label for anxiety. Speak to the doctor about other prescription medications that may be a good fit for you. Other modalities are available including:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Xanax
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Gabapentin, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Gabapentin

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Gabapentin

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Gabapentin

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Moderate Anxiety Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Celexa for Anxiety

The Bottom Line

  • Celexa is an FDA-approved medication used to treat depression;
  • It is used off-label for anxiety;
  • Available in tablets and oral solution.

What is Celexa?

Celexa is a brand name for Citalopram, a medication in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is used as an antidepressant to treat depression in adults. Its use in children with depressive disorders is not recommended, however, the efficacy in clinical trials has been found. Occasionally, a doctor may prescribe it off-label for anxiety, social phobia, and panic disorder. It is available in tablets or as an oral solution. 

Celexas antidepressant effects can be felt in 1 to 4 weeks. It is normally used short-term; long-term use is not recommended as it may increase risk of diabetes or abnormal heart rate or rhythm.

Can Celexa be taken for anxiety?

Celexa  can be prescribed off-label for anxiety, and is believed to be effective as a treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD). It works by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, and dopamine which can affect mood. SSRI medications block the reuptake of serotonin, meaning more serotonin is present in the brain. Doctors may occasionally use it in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). However, this medication is not the first-line relief for anxiety disorders and is used when no other medication has relieved anxiety or when treatment has caused side effects.

Is Celexa FDA approved for anxiety?

Celexa is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat anxiety. However, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), its use is recommended for treatment of panic disorder. The FDA approved Citalopram only for depression in adults over 18 and issued a black box warning as this medication has the potential to increase suicidal thinking. 

What research supports Celexa for anxiety? 

  • Celexa was studied in a retrospective case observation. 13 subjects with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were treated with a 33 mg dose of Citalopram daily for 12 weeks. After the clinical trial, all subjects reported significant improvements in GAD and depressive symptoms.
  • Celexa was studied for efficacy in children and adolescents with depressive and anxiety symptoms. For 8 weeks, 78 subjects were administered with a 20-40mg dose of Citalopram daily. 56% of subjects responded to Citalopram. Most observed side effects were mild, and no increase in suicidal thinking was reported.
  • Celexa was studied in elderly people with anxiety disorders. 34 subjects were administered with 10-20mg of Citalopram daily for 8 weeks. 65% responded to the treatment, although extreme sedation was commonly reported. 

What are the possible side effects?

Like all medications, Celexa may cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects of Celexa include:

  • drowsiness;
  • nausea;
  • insomnia;
  • dry mouth;
  • asthenia;
  • vomiting.

When used for anxiety, withdrawal symptoms have been reported, including:

  • irritability;
  • vomiting;
  • nightmares;
  • dizziness;

Do not abruptly stop taking Celexa, as the body gets used to increased serotonin levels and sudden discontinuation may lead to disturbing thoughts. A doctor will gradually taper the dose of Citalopram to terminate the treatment with no side effects.

This medication has the potential for abuse and dependence and may be misused. Prescription and caution are required.

This medication may affect your alertness or cause drowsiness if you drive a car or operate heavy machinery. However, compared to other antidepressants, it is less likely to cause drowsiness. Consult your doctor before use.

Does Celexa have interactions with other medications?

Celexa may interact with certain medications, herbs, and health supplements. Speak to your doctor about all possible interactions to avoid negative effects.

The possible interactions which may interfere with the efficacy of Celexa or be dangerous include:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI);
  • Blood thinners;
  • Ibuprofen;
  • Aspirin;
  • Antidepressants such as Fluoxetine;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Allergy and cold medications;

The most dangerous interaction is with MAIO medications. Fatal events have been reported when taking MAOIs alongside Celexa. They have also been reported when discontinuing Citalopram and starting MAIO straightaway. Inform your doctor if you take MAIO medications or plan to take them alongside Citalopram.

Abstain from alcohol while taking Celexa, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns about potential overdose events. 

Can you take Celexa while pregnant or breastfeeding? 

It is not recommended for use in pregnant women. A doctor may occasionally prescribe it only if benefits outweigh the risks. 

It is not recommended in nursing mothers as Citalopram is excreted into human milk. Infants whose mothers took Celexa when breastfeeding have the potential to experience extreme drowsiness, and weight loss. 

Can children take Celexa for anxiety?

Children under 18 are not usually prescribed Celexa, however, a doctor may use it if benefits outweigh the risks.

How to take Celexa?

Celexa should be taken one time per day either in the morning or evening, with or without food. Try to make a habit of taking it at the same time daily. 

The initial dosage for adults is 20mg/daily. A doctor may increase it but not over 40 mg per day.

The initial dosage for the elderly is 20mg/daily. It should not be increased.

Overdose events have been reported, especially when taken with alcohol. Do not increase dosage yourself. Always speak to your doctor about a safe intake of Celexa. If you believe that you overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).

Are there alternatives to Celexa?

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Celexa for Anxiety 

Celexa is an antidepressant that is approved for depression treatment. A doctor may use it off-label for anxiety, however, it may not be fit for your particular case. Speak to your doctor about other prescription medications suitable for anxiety treatment. Some of them are:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Xanax
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Celexa, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Celexa

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Celexa

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Celexa

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Moderate Anxiety Moderate Severe Anxiety Psychiatry & Medication Severe Anxiety

Cipralex

The Bottom Line

  • Cipralex is an SSRI medication prescribed to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Cipralex is FDA-approved to treat anxiety.
  • Also available under the brand name of Lexapro, and generic name of Escitalopram.
  • Fits long-term treatment.

Cipralex (Escitalopram)  is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs), usually prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. Cipralex is believed to work by balancing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which leads to relief.  It appears to be safe for long-term application if taken as directed. 

Cipralex is also widely sold under the brand name of Lexapro, or under its generic name Escitalopram. Available in tablets and oral solution.

Can Cipralex be taken for Anxiety?

Cipralex is usually prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults. In European countries, it is also approved for social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as panic disorder. 

Is Cipralex  FDA approved for anxiety?

Escitalopram is approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What research supports Cipralex for anxiety? 

There is extensive evidence on the efficacy of Escitalopram for anxiety.

  • Escitalopram was studied against the placebo for efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Outpatients were randomly assigned to take Escitalopram 10mg/one time per day for 4 weeks or placebo for 8 weeks. The Escitalopram group reported significant improvements in the anxiety scores over the placebo. Escitalopram was well-tolerated in all subjects with a minimum of side effects.
  • Escitalopram was studied against a placebo for efficacy in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD). 177 subjects received placebo, and 181 received the Escitalopram dose of 10-20mg daily for 12 weeks. The results demonstrated that Escitalopram was more effective based on anxiety total scores compared to the placebo group.
  • Escitalopram was studied against Paroxetine as the first-line medication to treat GAD. Subjects were randomized to take Escitalopram 10-20mg/daily or Paroxetine 20-50mg/daily for 24 weeks. Both medications were effective with low rates of treatment-related adverse effects. The study suggested using Escitalopram as the first-line medication to treat GAD.

What do experts say about Cipralex for anxiety? 

Dr. Keith Roach, a primary care internist says “I often prefer to change a person from a medicine like Xanax (alprazolam) to a medication like escitalopram (Lexapro), which is similar to citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac), among many others. In many people, the side effects are lower and effectiveness is higher.”

What are the possible side effects? 

The side effects of Cipralex are usually of a short-term nature, and are likely to disappear after the patient becomes accustomed to the medication. During the treatment with Cipralex, you may face the following side effects:

  • nausea;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • dry mouth;
  • dizziness;
  • constipation;
  • extreme sweating.

When stopping SSRIs like Cipralex, a gradual decrease of dosage is required, as they may cause withdrawal effects including:

  • insomnia;
  • nausea;
  • headache;
  • irritability.

Some men may also experience sexual problems when abruptly stopping the intake of SSRIs like Cipralex, including erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. In women, it may lead to vaginal dryness.

Overdose incidents have been reported with Cipralex. If you believe you have overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).

Does Cipralex have interactions with other medications?

Cipralex may interact with other medications and health supplements. Disclose your full list of medications to your doctor before starting treatment with Cipralex.

Cipralex may interact with:

  • Antiplatelet medications;
  • Aspirin;
  • MAO inhibitors;
  • St. John’s wort;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Medications for insomnia;
  • Muscle relaxants;
  • Opioid medications.

It should not be prescribed to patients with diabetes or prescribed with caution, as it may become harder to control safe levels of blood sugar.

Abstain from drinking alcohol when taking Cipralex, as it may lead to extreme sedation and symptoms of dizziness, drowsiness, impairment in thinking as well as overdose if taking both substances in large doses.

Can you take Cipralex  while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Cipralex is not linked to malformations, respiratory issues, or abnormalities in the fetus, and may be occasionally prescribed by the doctor for pregnant women.

Cipralex is believed to be safe for nursing mothers. Speak to your doctor about the correct intake of this antidepressant when breastfeeding.

Can children take Cipralex for anxiety?

Children under 12 are not typically prescribed Cipralex for anxiety. It has a black box warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration, as it may increase suicidal thoughts or intentions in children and young adults. Other modalities are available to treat anxiety for this age group.

How to take Cipralex?

Cipralex dosage is tailored individually.

The initial dose is 10 mg one time per day. It may be increased to 20 mg if there is no therapeutic effect. 

Take it with or without the food, as directed by your doctor. Make a habit of taking the dose at the same time every day. If you have difficulty sleeping, it is believed to work best if taking in the morning.

This antidepressant should begin to work within 1 to 4 weeks, however, it may differ between individuals.  

Are there alternatives to Cipralex? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Cipralex  for Anxiety 

Cipralex is typically prescribed to treat anxiety disorders in adults, however, as an SSRIs medication, it may lead to potential side effects and have dangerous interactions. If you believe this medication may be for you, speak to the doctor about its applicability and efficacy for your particular case. Other modalities are available to treat anxiety including:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Xanax
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Cipralex, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Cipralex

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Cipralex

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Cipralex

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Energy & Holistic Mild Anxiety Moderate Anxiety Moderate Severe Anxiety Therapy

Buddhist Retreats

Overview

Buddhism is sometimes mistaken for simple meditation, where practitioners focus on their peace of mind and inner quietness. However, Buddhism is much more than that; it is spiritual development and requires constant study of the true nature of life. Buddhist retreats have recently become a popular way of experiencing Buddhist practices, guided by a guru who may help you to spiritually disconnect from daily responsibilities. To help you get started, we have reviewed the best Buddhist retreats where beginners may learn the basics of this faith, or advanced practitioners can upgrade their practises.

What are the best Buddhist retreats? 

These are 4 of the best Buddhist retreats available to people from around the world:

The Buddhist Retreat Centre, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This Buddhist retreat is located in a valley near the Umkomaas river in KwaZulu-Natal, and is surrounded by forests and rolling hills. For over 20 years, practitioners of all religions have visited this place to experience tranquility and explore nature. The 300-acre property contains various paths through nature including walks through pine trees, past ancient cycads and assegai-sharpening stones, and among rocky outcrops. Beyond that, the retreat is a bird-lovers paradise, with over 160 species of rare birds currently living there, including the Blue Swallow. The impressive biodiversity of this Buddhist Retreat Center even led to it being declared a Natural Heritage Site by former President Nelson Mandela. 

This Buddhist Retreat Center offers both lodges and cottages for a variety of durations. Facilities include dining room, office, shop, art and lecture studio, and library, as well as a meditation hall for daily practices. 

The center offers a variety of retreats, including Investigating Buddhism, which teaches the philosophy of this religion. Other retreats include ones featuring birds watching, photography, pottery, drumming, and cookery workshops.

Highlights:

  • Located a 90-minute drive from Durban, between Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo.
  • The Buddhist retreat center is staffed by former monks, Hatha-yoga teachers, master transformation life coaches, psychotherapists, ex-trauma counselors, and psychologists.
  • The center offers retreats, self-retreats, and daily visits to explore nature.
  • Prices range from R850-3300 per night. If staying for 10 days or longer, you get a discount of 10%. If staying for 20 days or longer, the discount is 20%.

Dalai Lama’s teachings, Dharamsala, India

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. When he teaches in India, thousands of spiritual practitioners gather in Dharamsala for at least 1 week. Accommodation for the teachings period can be found in a guesthouse run by the Dalai Lama’s brother, Shantum Seth, a Zen priest. This retreat best fits those who want to discuss and learn Tibetan culture. 

Advance registration is not available and starts only three days before the teaching. Instead, you are required to visit the Tibetan Branch Security Office in McLeod Ganj. Foreigners should bring their passports, while Tibetan or Indian citizens should bring a photo ID. Registration does not cost anything except a donation of 10 Indian Rupees. All visitors should make sure to bring a cushion, a cup, and a sun hat with them.

As the Dalai Lama teaches in Tibetan only, translators are available in designated areas who translate  into Chinese, English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. 

Note, electronic gadgets are not allowed at this retreat.

Highlights:

  • These Buddhist teachings are held annually in Dharamsala.
  • The teachings last for one week or so, and are initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 
  • These teachings are free of charge, however, you may make a donation to monks and nuns.

Esalen Institute

According to the founders, Michael Murphy and Dick Price, the Esalen Institute is neither church, spa, inn, nor monastery, but a combination of all of the above. This institute is a 27-acre estate, located along a scenic and remote stretch of California’s coast, around 12 miles south of Big Sur, with views of both mountains and sea. The institute accommodates 20,000 people a year, who come to learn life-changing practices and explore nature.  

This institute hosts workshops in many disciplines, and helps individuals to manage stress and psychological crises, practice art-making, and experience yoga with gurus. They teach many topics, including body and mind, science and mysticism, meditation, and the history of the East and West.

Depending on availability, you may book a place on the Buddhism retreat at Esalen, where gurus teach mindfulness meditation in addition to 5 Rhythms dancing.

Highlights:

  • Located on California’s central coast.
  • Staffed by life-coaches, yoga gurus, psychotherapists, and artists, among others.
  • They offer a variety of workshops including Buddhism, yoga, art, writing, relationship classes, personal reflection, social/political change, and many more.
  • The cost includes accommodation, meals, experiential program classes, and use of the baths as well as other facilities available for chosen workshops. The price for weekend workshops ranges from $850 (sleeping bag) to $3180 (Point House Plus-Double). Five-day workshop costs start from $675 to $6525. Seven-day workshop cost starts from $1095 to $9432.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Spirit Rock is a meditation center  located on the 411-acre oak woodlands in the hills of West Marin County in California. This center is staffed by teachers and volunteers, who help retreatants to experience freedom and joy of life.

Spirit Rock offers a variety of  Buddhist based retreats and workshops, including Dharma, yoga, and meditation. They also offer non-residential drop in sessions and daylong events. For those who are unable to visit the Buddhism retreat or other classes, Spirit Rock offers online programs. 

Highlights:

  • Located approximately 45 minutes northwest of San Francisco, 60 minutes west of Oakland, and 12 minutes from Fairfax.
  • Spirit Rock is staffed by residential and visiting teachers who have years of practice in meditation and other life-coaching programs.
  • The programs offered are retreats, family classes, Dharma meditations, yoga training as well as online classes.
  • The cost for programs starts at $105 per day. Furthermore, there are volunteer programs that allow you to serve the center while attending most of the classes for free. There is a limited scholarship for non-residential programs as well.

Further to these 4 centres, many cities have Buddhist centers, which offer sittings, dharma talks, as well as residential and day retreats. We suggest visiting your local Buddhist center’s website for more information. 

What is Buddhism? 

Buddhism is a faith developed more than 2,500 years ago in India by Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha. Today, it is believed to be followed by 535 million people in the world. This faith is based on spiritual practices and development which help to uncover the true nature of reality. Buddhist followers practice meditations in order to develop kindness, wisdom, and awareness. They do not worship a creator as a God but learn to understand that every action has a consequence, that changes are possible, as well as that nothing is fixed or permanent. Buddhism does not divide people per race, nationality, caste, or gender. Buddhists learn to transform their life experiences and live life responsibly. The teachings of the Buddha show the way how to escape from suffering by living freely. If people learn how to release their attachment to desire and the self, they are able to achieve the state of Nirvana.

There are three forms of Buddhism:

  • Theravada Buddhism – Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand
  • Mahayana Buddhism – China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan
  • Tibetan Buddhism – Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan

Buddhism has many followers who organize retreats or build centers to promote this spiritual culture. Buddhism may be practised anywhere, at a temple, dharma centers, dedicated retreat centers, as well as in a cave. Some retreatants practice alone.

What are the 3 main beliefs of Buddhism? 

The three main beliefs of Buddhism are called three universal truths:

  1. Nothing is lost in the universe
  2. Everything Changes
  3. The Law of Cause and Effect

What are the 5 rules of Buddhism? 

Buddhism followers should comply with the following rules.

  1. Do not kill. You should live without harming someone as well as have no violent intentions, even in your mind.
  2. Do not steal. In today’s reality, it may be referred to as the avoidance of fraud as well as economic exploitation.
  3. Do not lie. This concerns gossiping as well.
  4. Do not misuse sex. Monks and nuns should follow complete celibacy. Other Buddhists should not be involved in any sexual harassment or exploitation.
  5. Do not consume alcohol or other drugs. No intoxicants should cloud the mind.

What can I expect at a Buddhist retreat? 

Buddhist retreats may occur in various settings including open territory, dedicated retreat centers, temples, monasteries, as well as caves, and may differ in length of time. Some may consist of a few hours of meditation, while others may last weeks or months. Buddhist retreat may be in the form of self-retreat, when an individual dives into a meditation journey, or in a group setting, where many people engage in spiritual practices together.

Buddhist retreats require participants to be quiet during the meditations, and some may also forbid the use of gadgets. For example, at the Dalai Lama’s teachings, you are not allowed to use gadgets, even for translation. However, some retreats may encourage conversations between the participants to share their experiences or life stories.

Short spiritual practices fit beginners who need to learn the basics, while longer retreats of weeks or months are a good choice for advanced practitioners. As well as  meditations, you may be given assignments, including cooking, gardening, art-making which are considered a part of the practice.

Not all Buddhist retreats focus solely on meditations, with some centers incorporating the study of liturgy practice or chanting. Individuals may also participate in these practices for free by helping the centers. Volunteers may clean, cultivate plants, and take care of the environment in return for visiting most of the classes, workshops, or sessions, often at no cost.

During the Buddhist retreat, you are most likely to live in designated rooms with other people. You will share the food, bathroom facilities, and help with the cleaning while you stay there. However, there are many Buddhist retreats that allow you to book a single room or house. You should contact your preferred center to learn the cost of this.

We wish you peace of mind and complete immersion with your inner tranquility.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Categories
Energy & Holistic

Medicinal Mushrooms

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are edible macroscopic fungi occasionally used for the prevention and alleviation of many medical health conditions, as well as adjunct to a healthy diet for balancing the nutrition. Medicinal mushrooms are usually taken in powder and are not intended for consumption in raw condition. 

Medicinal mushrooms have been around for thousands of years. The researchers found that the first references of certain types of fungi used for healing properties have been linked to Chinese, Indian, and Japanese Medicines. Indian texts dated 5,000 years highlighted the mushroom’s medicinal properties used in ritual drinks, while Japanese folklore featured the Shiitake as a cure for cancer-ridden monkeys in the fables.

Nowadays, these fungi may be found in plenty of popular health and dietary supplements which are usually added for boosting the efficacy of the supplements themselves and their active ingredients. Furthermore, some manufacturers prefer to add these fungi to tinctures, teas as well as processing them for further intake as foods.

The most popular uses of medicinal mushrooms include immune support, relief for difficulty sleeping, mental health conditions, and promotion of weight loss among others. These fungi are also believed to benefit cancer treatment, however, more studies have to be conducted. 

Beyond that, there is a comparison that  “medical mushrooms may act as nootropics”, as per Dr.Michele Ross, former addiction researcher with PhD. in neuroscience. — “and enhance cognitive function”.

Despite this favorable profile on medicinal fungi, they are not considered to be the first-line treatment to one’s medical health conditions. Speak to the doctor about their applicability to your particular case.

Medicinal Mushrooms 1

What are the different types of medicinal mushrooms?

There are 7 medicinal mushrooms known for healing and supporting health properties including:

  • Lion’s Mane

The main benefit of Lion’s Mane is the support of cognitive function and nervous system. They are rich in beta-glucans in charge of blocking the tumor growth, immuno-modulating antioxidants as well as neuroprotective chemicals. Lion’s Mane are believed to protect individuals against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  • Reishi

Reishi are most well-known for promoting healthy sleep and boosting the immune system. One may also use them to alleviate stress. Due to the presence of beta-glucans in Reishi, these fungi have liver-protective, and anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, they aim to balance blood- sugar levels. 

  • Cordyceps

Cordyceps are medicinal mushrooms used for an energy boost, as they have the ability to affect and increase Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) compounds responsible for nourishing the propagation of the cells which then enrich people with energy. Beyond that, Cordyceps are known for anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial effects, lung-support during asthma or other respiratory conditions, and their analgesic properties.

  • Chaga

Chaga is a fungus used for antioxidant effects. It may support liver and brain functioning, and strengthen the immune system. Chaga is also related to anti-cancer properties and may enhance the digestion. As for beauty effects, this medicinal mushroom is believed to clear skin. 

  • Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail also improves immune function and digestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this fungus has been found to be used for lung disease treatment, while Japan used Turkey Tail to manufacture the drug PSK which is prescribed for cancer treatment alongside standard treatment protocol. This fungus contains one of the highest amounts of beta-glucans among other medicinal mushrooms.

  • Shiitake

Shiitake is beneficial for the immune system, liver functioning, and cardio health due to the active compound — Lentinan. The major benefit of Lentinan is its ability to fight infection and diseases. Shiitake was believed to be the elixir of life back to the Ming Dynasty in China. Beyond that, this fungus is fully edible and many people use it for cooking. Shiitake is rich in B-vitamins that help to control blood sugar levels and provide anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Maitake

Maitake is known to control blood pressure and boost the immune system. It is an edible fungus. Maitake is also believed to control cholesterol levels, and help with obesity and diabetes.

Medicinal Mushrooms 2

Why use medicinal mushrooms?

There are myriad benefits of medicinal mushrooms. Chinese and Japanese Medicines may occasionally incorporate them into the treatment of many diseases like cancer, while modern applications, thanks to the assortment of health supplements with medicinal fungi in the composition, allow to boosting health, and strengthening the functions of organs. Some fungi may be also used for wellness to clear and moisturize the skin and provide an anti-aging effect among others.

The benefits of medicinal mushrooms include:

  • Antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant properties;
  • Analgesic effect;
  • Nourishment with vitamins and minerals including Vitamine B and D;
  • Fiber depot, as fungi may be incorporated to diet plan aimed for weight loss; 
  • Beta Glucan support for the immune system;
  • Polysaccharides which provide anti-cancer, antibiotic properties among others.

Medicinal fungi are not fully discovered in all their beneficial properties on the human body, so many of them may vary in effects and may also cause unwanted sensations when taken as not directed.

What type of medicinal mushrooms are best for anxiety and stress?

Reishi are known to reduce stress and provide anxiolytic effects. Their mechanism of action is not fully understood, however, they are believed to regulate the body functioning and bring it back to the balanced state. Furthermore, Reishi provide peace of mind by promoting healthy sleep. They soothe and relax the brain as well as unwind persisting stress which contributes to difficulty sleeping.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for brain health?

Lion’s Mane is the best for brain boost and health. It is believed to promote nerve growth and then protect individuals against Alzheimer’s. Also, it contributes to the reparation of neurons, and affecting neurotransmitters in charge of memory, concentration, mood, learning among others. Beyond that, Lion’s Mane is known for eliminating brain fog.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for sleep?

The beneficial properties of Reishi are also related to sleep difficulty. They work by affecting the neurotransmitters in charge of stress which then promote healthy sleep and calming effect on the nervous system. Reishi may be used alongside sleeping aids for the highest efficacy and/or prevention of insomnia.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for the immune system?

Typically, all the above-mentioned medicinal fungi are known for their effects on the immune system and function. Cordyceps aim the immune system when they are incorporated into the treatment programs for infections including HIV, hepatitis. Maitake increase the activity of white blood cells such as macrophage which is a natural killer cell. Lion’s mane stimulates nerve growth factor production that is vital for immune function. Turkey Tail contains polysaccharide PSK which is in charge of inhibition of sarcoma formation. Reishi by stimulating macrophages aim to develop an anti-tumor property. Chaga is rich in antioxidants, melanin, and zinc that all support the immune function. Finally, Shiitake contain much Vitamin B and D, amino acids, niacin, and selenium that all nourish the immune system as well.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for energy?

Cordyceps are considered one of the best for energy. They are believed to work by helping the system utilize more oxygen, increase Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) compounds, and enhance blood flow which then enrich individuals with energy. They fit professional athletes as well as those who lack endurance.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for cardio health?

Reishi are effective for the heart and cardiovascular system. They may prevent coronary heart disease, hypertension as well as high blood pressure. The triterpenes such as acid F and S found in the composition of Reishi help to protect the blood vessels against hardening which then prevents blood cell clotting.

What are the best brands for medicinal mushrooms?

  • Paul Stamets’ Fungi Perfecti

Fungi Perfecti is a family-owned company that promotes the cultivation of medicinal fungi as well as gourmet fungi. It was founded in 1980, since that time Fungi Perfecti carries the mission to make people aware of all the favorable properties of medicinal mushrooms. Beyond that, they are dedicated to attracting more organically minded growers who will support and carry the industry into the next century.

The founder of Fungi Perfecti is Paul Stamets who is a speaker, mycologist, and medical researcher. He shares his knowledge on production, medicinal use of the fungi, and widens the respect for these organisms among people. Mr. Stamets lectures on how fungi can help the health of people and the planet. He is the author of several books including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World.

The assortment of Fungi Perfecti is huge, and one may find syrups, capsules, tea, powders, extracts, sprays made of medicinal mushrooms alone or in conjunction with other herbs including Elderberry, California Poppy, Passion Flower among others.

Highlights:

  • The price for Fungi Perfecti products vary between $19-$31;
  • They offer discounts for extracts, capsules, and powders. One may save up to 25%;
  • Fungi Perfecti offers for sale grow accessories, and the actual fungi for cultivation;
  • There is an assortment of books and gifts for mushroom-lovers.

What are the risks associated with taking medicinal mushrooms? 

Medicinal mushrooms are not all edible and are typically sold in the form of supplements, powders, tea, capsules among others. One should not take them without consulting the doctor. 

There is lack of research on their efficacy and/or safety for certain medical health conditions. Beyond that, medicinal fungi are not usually well-tolerable by pregnant and nursing mothers. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ensure to speak to your doctor before taking medicinal mushrooms.

The most common side effects when taking these fungi include:

  • dryness of the mouth;
  • upset stomach;
  • allergic reaction;
  • nausea;
  • liver toxicity.

If you experience any side effects after taking medicinal mushrooms, stop the intake immediately, and address this concern with the doctor. 

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911

Categories
Tech & Devices

Virtual EMDR

We independently research and recommend the best products and services. We take objectivity seriously. We may receive commissions on purchases made from some links.

What is Virtual EMDR?

Virtual EMDR is an Internet-delivered form of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing psychotherapy. Originally, EMDR was created to manage traumatic memories, and the distress resulting from them. It is a self-guided therapy appropriate for many health conditions and treatment protocols. These include depression, addictions, PTSD, trauma, phobia and fears, grief, or loss, among others. EMDR works by encouraging a patient to focus on one problematic area, like trauma, while simultaneously being exposed to bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements. It is thought to reduce the vividness and emotional distress associated with traumatic memories. 

This virtual psychotherapy program fits both beginners and advanced users, who can use Eye Movement therapy at home without the need for a therapist. The program follows professional standards and treatment protocols established by EMDR practitioners worldwide. Furthermore, this virtual psychotherapy has been found to be effective with one session only, however, some patients may need more sessions to achieve a therapeutic effect. It is easy to follow a treatment plan with step-by-step guidance. Thousands of satisfied clients practice it at home for management of daily distress or anxiety states among others. No special equipment is required, only a set of headphones and a computer or tablet with a large screen. A therapy session may start immediately regardless of time of day.

It is possible to combine virtual therapy with the in-person Eye Movement therapy. This can be done by using virtual EMDR on the days when a patient does not have an appointment with a therapist. As the Emotional Distress Rating (a scale of 1 – 10 reflecting your current negative emotions), differs in patients, the number of sessions is tailored individually. Patients are typically required to undergo 3 to 12 sessions.

Each session may be ongoing at home or in any other setting free of noise and other people. A patient may need a set of headphones in conjunction with a computer or a tablet with a large-screen. 

How does Virtual EMDR compare to EMDR in person?

Virtual EMDR is a self-guided program for which a therapist’s help is not required. Although direct comparisons between virtual and in-person EMDR are not yet available, the efficacy of virtual EMDR compared to intentional deep breathing for test-taking anxiety was the subject of a 2015 Ph.D. The multiple studies conducted for this concluded that that treatment was effective for reducing test-taking anxiety, even in a classroom setting, and after just one minute. The only other published research on virtual EMDR specifically examined the effect of virtual EMDR combined with virtual cognitive behaviour therapy (another common therapy) on PTSD in adults. This study observed significantly reduced symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and distress, from pre-treatment to three-month follow-up, and noted that these results compared favourably to several face-to-face intervention studies. These studies suggest that virtual EMDR can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy, but if you believe you need professional support from a therapist for Eye Movement therapy, please refer to a specialist in your area, prepay coaching for virtual sessions or switch to EMDR in person.

What does the research say about virtual EMDR?

EMDR has been the subject of a growing number of scientific studies. Many positive results have been observed for a variety of conditions.

For example:

  • EMDR was studied for efficacy alongside Internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT). 11 participants with PTSD symptoms completed 6 sessions of EMDR and iCBT with post-treatment questionnaires. All subjects showed improvements in PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, and distress. In a post-treatment follow-up, 55% of the participants did not qualify as clinically depressed or distressed.
  • EMDR efficacy for psychological and physical symptoms was reviewed in a meta-analysis. 24 controlled trials were included and supported the use of EMDR therapy for emotional trauma and other negative life circumstances. 7 out of 10 studies reported EMDR to be more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy. 12 studies reported a reduction of negative emotions and disturbing images with EMDR. 8 studies reported a myriad of other positive memory effects. 

What conditions are virtual EMDR used for? 

This virtual psychotherapy is used for various conditions including mental health conditions.

Virtual EMDR for depression

  1. EMDR as a treatment for long‐term depression, 2017
  2. The Efficacy of EMDR in the Treatment of Depression, 2016

Virtual EMDR for anxiety 

  1. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Anxiety Disorders, 1999

Virtual EMDR for PTSD 

  1. Treatment of PTSD: Stress inoculation training with prolonged exposure compared to EMDR, 2002
  2. A controlled study of treatment of PTSD using EMDR in an HMO setting, 1997

Virtual EMDR for OCD

  1. EMDR Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Preliminary Research, 2012
  2. Comparison of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing with citalopram in treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorder, 2011

Virtual EMDR for bipolar disorder 

  1. EMDR Therapy Modulates the Default Mode Network in a Subsyndromal, Traumatized Bipolar Patient, 2013

Virtual EMDR for chronic pain

  1. EMDR in the treatment of chronic pain, 2002

Virtual EMDR for consciousness expansion

  1. EMDR as a Transpersonal Therapy: A Trauma-Focused Approach to Awakening Consciousness, 2018

How does Virtual EMDR work?

A patient should have a set of headphones alongside a large-screened computer or tablet. A program uses eye movements alongside side-to-side audio tones to change how you react to negative feelings.

Preparation

  1. Prepare mentally for a session. 
  2. Find a quiet and comfortable place, and start the program.
  3. Set aside at least 20 minutes for one session and 30 minutes if you are new to Eye Movement therapy. The program will ask you how much time you have.
  4. Indicate the problems prompting you to start a session.
  5. Select a protocol. There are Standard, Addiction, PTSD and Trauma, Phobia and Fear, Grief, and Loss or Depression protocols.
  6. Set up visibility, color, speed, audio tone, and time. 

Target Selection

  1. Start the Eye Movement tool. 

Desensitization

  1. Process a target using Eye Movement.
  2. Focus on a negative memory or trauma causing distress or pain and move your eyes following the colors on the screen.
  3. Negative associations resulting from trauma or any other distress-related experience will start to neutralize.

Installation

  1. Try to empower yourself with new beliefs over negative moments from the past using Eye Movement.

Closing

  1. Follow the exercises to calm the body and mind before returning to daily activities.

Ensure to follow the closing steps to get centered.

What will I feel during a virtual EMDR session?

The effects may vary in patients, however, as you are revisiting painful memories, you are likely to experience a deep concentration on your negative feelings that may empower yourself to react positively. This can cause a feeling of light-headedness, which some people liken to having drunk a couple of glasses of wine. People have reported a variety of emotions and states, from feeling mentally exhausted, to laughter and crying. These feelings are normal, but if you have any concerns over how you are feeling you should get in touch with a trained professional.

What will I feel after a virtual EMDR session? 

The effects may vary in patients from session to session. Most patients report positive changes after one session and some may reduce their Emotional Distress Rating by 2 points after a single session.

How much do Virtual EMDR sessions cost?

The cost may vary depending on the provider, but typically range from $69 to $149 per month for unlimited access. Also available to buy are coaching packages, which allow you to speak to a therapist before and after the sessions.

What are the risks of Virtual EMDR treatment?

Like all treatment, this virtual psychotherapy may cause side effects. However, these are fewer compared to the prescription medications used for alleviating depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or other conditions. 

Virtual EMDR may cause the following adverse reactions:

  • vivid dreams;
  • distress from negative memories;
  • lightheadedness;
  • the onset of new traumatic episodes from the past.

These side effects vanish as therapy continues and the patient learns how to deal with negative memories and empowers themself with new positive emotions.

Is it safe to do EMDR without a professional present?

Virtual EMDR is considered to be a relatively safe therapy if a patient does not have severe mental health conditions that require another treatment protocol. If you believe you need a guideline or support from a therapist, some providers offer personalized coaching options. You may talk to a coach before, during, and after the Eye Movement session.

How do I get started with virtual EMDR?

Contact one of the providers of Virtual EMDR in your area to discuss how to enroll. Speak to your physician to check if this therapy is a good fit for your particular case.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911

Categories
Psychiatry & Medication

MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor)

The Bottom Line

  • MAOI is an antidepressant usually prescribed to treat depression.
  • Certain MAOIs are FDA-approved for depression.
  • MAOI medications are not FDA-approved to treat anxiety.
  • Require diet restrictions.

What is an MAOI?

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) were the first type of antidepressants to be developed, in the early 1950s. Examples of MAOIs used to treat depression include: 

  1. Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  2. Phenelzine (Nardil)
  3. Selegiline (Emsam)
  4. Tranylcypromine (Parnate) 

Although these MAOI medications are prescribed to treat depression, the off-label uses include generalized anxiety disorder(GAD), panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD). A doctor may also prescribe them to treat Parkinson’s and other mental health conditions which did not respond to other antidepressants. If you are considering using a prescription medication to treat any condition, always consult a doctor beforehand.

MAOI medications work through affecting monoamine oxidase enzymes, which then modulate certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. By affecting the reuptake of these chemicals, MAOI elevate their levels allowing them to continue influencing cells that have been previously affected.

However, while effective, MAOIs are no longer considered the first-line medications for depression treatment. They may dangerously interact with other medications, health supplements, and even foods. For these reasons, they are often used when a patient does not respond to another treatment.

What are the different MAOIs?

The examples of MAOI medications are:

  • Rasagiline 
  • Selegiline 
  • Isocarboxazid 
  • Phenelzine 
  • Tranylcypromine 

What conditions are MAOIs used for?

MAOI is used for various mental health conditions. A doctor may prescribe them for different types of depression, anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s among others. Also, some MAOIs can be prescribed to treat bulimia nervosa, PTSD, pain, migraine as well as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Can MAOIs be taken for Anxiety? 

MAOI is believed to be effective for anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety, social phobia, PTSD, OCD, and panic attacks. 

Which MAOI are FDA approved for anxiety?

MAOI medications are not approved for anxiety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, a doctor may prescribe a MAOI off-label for anxiety. 

Can MAOIs be taken for Depression? 

MAOI is a type of medication prescribed to treat different types of depression. They are most well-known for efficacy in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and atypical depression, however, they are not the first-line medication for these mental health conditions. They may interact with various medications and health supplements as well as require certain dietary restrictions.

Which MAOIs are FDA approved for depression?

The FDA approved the following MAOI medications for depression:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

The FDA also issued a black box warning for MAOI medications, as they have the potential to increase suicidal thinking in adults. Prescription and caution are required.

What research supports MAOIs for anxiety?

There is extensive research supporting MAOI for anxiety:

  • Tranylcypromine was studied for panic disorder and social anxiety efficacy in a double-blind dose comparison trial. Tranylcypromine was administered in 30 mg and 60 mg dosages to subjects for 12 weeks. Tranylcypromine 30 mg reduced panic attacks in 69.9% of subjects, while Tranylcypromine 60 mg reduced panic attacks in 74.8% of subjects. for social anxiety. Tranylcypromine 60 mg was twice as effective compared to the lower dose. 
  • Phenelzine was studied against a placebo for efficacy in treating phobic anxiety in a double-blind trial. 40 subjects with agoraphobia and social phobia were administered either with Phenelzine or placebo for two months. The Phenelzine group reported significant improvements compared to the placebo. The study suggested prescribing Phenelzine for anxiety disorders for at least two months to maximize the benefits of the treatment.
  • Selegiline was studied for efficacy in social phobia treatment. 16 subjects took the Selegiline dose of 5mg/daily for 6 weeks. Subjects were seen weekly by a psychiatrist to examine their clinical state using the the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale as well as, the Liebowitz Social Phobic Disorders Scale. The results have demonstrated that only 9 subjects completed the study, while 3 subjects out of total 16 have found Selegiline effective for anxiety and have been clinically improved with social phobia symptoms.

What do experts say about MAOIs for anxiety? 

Kenneth Schulman, MD, says about MAOI “Unfamiliarity and ignorance lead to apprehensions concerning MAOIs, removing an excellent therapeutic option.”

Steven Stahl, MD, Ph.D., author of Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology says about Nardil “a pharmaceutical secret weapon for patients who fail to respond to the better-known agents.”

What are the possible side effects of the various MAOIs? 

MAOI has an extensive profile of possible side effects, including:

  • drowsiness;
  • nausea;
  • dry mouth;
  • insomnia;
  • hypertension;
  • hypotension;
  • weight gain;
  • confusion.

Do not abruptly stop taking MAOI without speaking to your doctor. Sudden discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms including:

  • insomnia;
  • nightmares;
  • anxiety;
  • irritability.

The full list of side effects and the severity depends on the individual patient’s medical history and treatment regimen.

Overdose incidents have been reported when taking MAOI. 

MAOI may impair your ability to drive. Do not take MAOI until you know how they affect your body. Always speak to your doctor if you experience any side effects when taking MAOI.

MAOI may interact with certain medications. Disclose your full list of medications alongside health supplements to your doctor.

Medications that MAOIs potentially interact with include:

  • Other antidepressants including Fluoxetine;
  • Pain killers;
  • Seizure medications;
  • St.John’s wort.

MAOI medications require dietary restrictions. Abstain from eating and drinking the following products when taking MAOI:

  • Cheese (except for cream cheese and cottage cheese);
  • Sauerkraut;
  • Soy products;
  • Yogurt;
  • Caviar;
  • Fermented sausages;
  • Beer and red wine.

After discontinuing the treatment with MAOI, a patient should abstain from these foods for at least two weeks.

Can you take an MAOI while pregnant or breastfeeding?

MAOI is not recommended for pregnant women. These antidepressants have the potential to harm the fetus. A doctor may occasionally prescribe them if benefits outweigh risks.

MAOI is not recommended when breastfeeding.

Other treatments are available for anxiety in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Can children take MAOIs for anxiety?

The use of MAOI in children is not recommended. Other treatments are available for anxiety in children.

How to take MAOIs?

MAOI dosage is tailored individually based on a patient’s medical history and treatment regimen.

  • The initial dosing regimen with Phenelzine is 15 mg 3 times per day. 
  • Isocarboxazid is 30 mg one time per day.
  • Selegiline is 1.25 mg one time per day.
  • Tranylcypromine is 10 mg one time per day.

MAOI can be taken with or without food as prescribed by the doctor. Be mindful of the dietary restrictions, and do not take certain foods alongside MAOI.

Do not change the dosage without speaking to your doctor.

If you believe you have overdosed seek emergency help immediately (call 911). 

Are there alternatives to MAOIs? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to MAOIs for Anxiety

MAOIs can be prescribed to treat depression. A doctor may occasionally use these medications off-label for anxiety. Speak to your doctor about taking MAIOs, as it may not be a good fit for your particular case. There are many other prescription medications that may be an alternative. Some of them are:

  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Buspirone
  • Xanax
  • Inderal
  • Cymbalta
  • Tofranil
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether MAOI, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to MAOI

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to MAOI

Learn more about different energy & holistics modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to MAOI

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.