The Vortioxetine Diaries - The New Wonder Drug?
Hello, I’m still here.
Welcome to a new series of blogposts that I’ll either keep up with, or won’t. I’m hoping to though, because Vortioxetine is new on the market, and sadly there is little information out as, in terms of medicines, it’s quite new on the market.
I couldn’t quite work out how best to start this, especially as if you’re reading this now, you might know nothing about me, so first of I’ll do a quick re-cap.
The Patient (Me)
I’m a 29 female, diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Please don’t ask me how these interact because even I don’t know.
I have, since the age of about 13 tried many anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. The only class of medications I haven’t taken are MAOI’s (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), as I cannot be trusted to adhere to the dietary requirements involved when taking MAOI’s.
Since coming out of Psychiatric Hospitals in 2014 I have had a medication regime of Sertraline, Mirtazapine and Quetiapine. Over the years with support from my GP we have tried to reduce these, which has been unsuccessful, and at the beginning of this year (2018) I was desperate to try anything new. This culminated around June when I ended up taking the most ridiculous overdose I have ever taken. This set the ball in motion for a medication review with a psychiatrist.
There were issues I was having with my medications, both Quetiapine and Mirtazapine are associated with weight gain, and although this might seem silly, it was getting to me. I felt (and still do feel) unable to love the body I am in when I am constantly struggling with food and weight and how I think I should physically present. I know it’s not very body positive to admit this, and I understand that society hasn’t exactly helped with my pre-conceptions of my body, but that really is another issue for another day. My main point was that I was craving really unhealthy foods and eating them, which made me feel sluggish and fatigued, and my impulse control is not exactly brilliant.
The combination of Mirtazapine and Quetiapine were also making me feel thick. This will take some explaining. For years I’ve been plagued by intrusive thoughts and a racing mind, it’s not the easiest to deal with and I would always be thinking, but that would be preferable than how the Mirtazapine and Quetiapine have left me. My memory is shocking, to the point where I can’t actually tell you when I was last in hospital because I don’t remember what year that was, I actively have to look it up, which is silly, because I lived it. My short term memory is buggered too, and I can nip over the road to Co-op and forget what I was supposed to be buying. I feel, much of the time, like I’m in a soft cocoon, that I’m wading through deep water. I prided myself on understanding abstracts and complicated theories, in writing and my mind being able to think, so obviously to lose that was distressing.
This issues understandably don’t help with my general depression and malaise either. It’s just a big can of bullshit really.
So I was referred back to the psychiartist; my old psychiatrist now retired I got to see a new one. He was alright, I’m now getting to the age where the chances of me being older than my doctor are slightly higher, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and this new doctor (I don’t remember his name) was attentive.
In the appointment I discussed my issues and the issues I’m having with my current medication regime. As much as the drug combination has allowed me to function, I’m not happy, days are still blighted by suicidal thoughts and I can still be prone to tears, and I just still feel really crap. I still hit far too many of the this-patient-is-depressed markers.
The new psychiarist mentioned a new medication that came onto the market fairly recently, Vortioxetine. And me being me and desperate to feel like a human again, I said yes, gimme the drugs.
I did some preliminary research, as I wanted to know more about this medication, although I urge you all, to do this with caution, including reading this. I am only one person, please don’t take my experiences as gospel. In my investigations I did find positive mentions of this drug, even our dear Robbie Williams said it worked (PSA, it’s a MailOnline link, I’m sorry). In 2014 Vice wrote that it was having good results in rats and the USA, (Bonus points to Vice for this stunning line in their article - “If you don’t enjoy anything, you’re fucked”)
As of today, I have removed the Mirtazapine from my usual drug regime and this has been replaced by the starting dose of Vortioxetine, which is 5mg.
And this is where I’m going to struggle to be completely honest, it’s now almost two in the afternoon and after taking the Vortioxetine at 9am I am feeling pretty sick, BUT, and this is a very big BUT, I haven’t been weaned off the Mirtazapine, and that could leave me feeling sick.
Also this morning I’ve drunk about 6 cups of tea (caffeine shakes) and almost had a massive panic attack for no reason at all. The fact that my body has now relaxed from all that unused adrenaline often leaves me feeling rough.
Either way, I hope to update sometime in the next week with how I’m getting on, and if you’ve got any questions, or you feel like talking about your experience with Vortioxetine feel free to come find me @ms_veness on twitter.
Ps. At the beginning of this post I couldn’t spell Vortioxetine without looking it just, now I can.