Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

HIV + Bipolar -- What meds are best?

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Hi there Seattle, I am not bi-polar but I do suffer from anxiety and OCD, so I can relate to your concerns about meds and other meds for mental health issues. I can say that I have been on Atripla for 2 and a half years with great success, although at times I do get anxiety, but I suffered anxiety before ever starting on meds, so I doubt it has anything to do with the Atripla however. That being said, some people will experience depression on Atripla (I have not). I tried Complera on a trial basis briefly, because of some sleep issues I was having, but I have to say it was a BAD decision! The Complera made my anxiety go through the roof and I felt so depressed I was almost suicidal on it. I stopped it after a couple of weeks and went back to Atripla, and I feel pretty good again now. I am going to be starting anti-anxiety meds soon on an as-needed basis.

I would ask your doctor about your concerns about HIV meds and depression. There are many options out there, and either your doctor or a psychiatrist can give you the best insight about what treatment options you have. Best of luck!

Hey, Seattle!  Welcome to the forums, and here's my two cents:

I have had - and am continuing to have - great success with Wellbutrin and Depakote for the BPMD.  They go just fine with my HIV line which includes Prezista, Truvada and Norvir.

I'm a bit suprised about your mental health stuff is not covered where you are by the Ryan White.  I guess I am very lucky in that mine is here in ATL.  The biggest help for me has been the Depakote - hands down.  The Wellbutrin gives a lift, but it's the Depakote that has stopped the awful roller coaster ride that had me spiralling out of control in the manic and then sinking hard in the depressive.

My best to you.  Let us know how it goes!


--- Quote from: Seattlem4m on January 03, 2013, 06:42:44 PM ---The Quad and Complera both can cause depression and I have been warned away from taking either of them.  Can anyone point me to information on what HIV med is best for people dealing with serious depression?  And also -- what anti-depression drugs work best with HIV drugs? 

--- End quote ---

Howdy. Just throwing this out there: Though, it made me nervous at first (being so new), one of the things I like best about Stribild (the Quad) is that I haven't seen complaints of CNS symptoms or aggravation of pre-existing mental issues. I have, um, a few problems, so I've followed every thread and article I could find on it. Tons of stuff about Atripla (the NNRTI component - Sustiva - takes anecdotal blame), but little about Stribild, which doesn't have an NNRTI.That's not proof of anything, but it's at least something I could hold on to. Maybe your doctor was talking about Complera, which also has an NNRTI?

Now I'm afraid they'll make switch to Atripla because it's cheaper. Really, really, really don't want to, but beggars can't be choosers, eh? :-/

If you do see any reports about Stribild and mental issues, please post if you can.

Thanks and good luck!

I take Isentress & Truvada for HIV and for my Bi-Polar, I take Citalopram and Seroquel. The Seroquel took some getting used to but now I swear by it. I feel so much better.

I've been talking Fluvoxamine (Luvox) for 6 months now.
No side effects. No changes in behavior.

(I take a small dose, 50mg to boost my melatonin levels.
My GP prescribes it off label to me.
He enters ''Social anxiety disorder (SAD)'', as my diagnosis so I can get the med more easily. I think I have a bit of it, because HIV made me reclusive.

--- Quote ---co-administration of melatonin and fluvoxamine increases blood levels of melatonin by 100-200 fold
--- End quote ---
. )

Luvox is a great medication:
1) it boosts your serotonin (directly) and melatonin (indirectly)
2) does not affect your dopamine (so your ''cravings'' [for food, drink, sex etc] are normal  (other antidepressants affect dopamine and can change one's sex drive)
3) it is a strong sigma-1 agonist (and thus a) eliminates ''highs'' in bipolar disorder; b) extreme ''highs'' in hypomania and mania; c) prevents possible psychotic episodes)
4) reduces ''shallow'' REM sleep, and promotes deep restorative NREM sleep
5) boosts your immune system by stimulating NK cells (natural killer cells) (directly) and IL-2 production (indirectly)


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