Posts Tagged ‘over-the-counter’

Vitamin B6

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTIONS: “Scientific studies have shown that B6 can be dangerous in very high doses. One study suggested that long term use of doses of 500 times the recommended daily level may cause damage to the nervous system. A second study found adverse effects in humans from ingesting a dose as low as 50mg a day, although there are question marks over the methods used in this investigation. The government plans to limit the sale of over-the-counter B6 to 10mg doses, with a doctor’s prescription needed for larger amounts.” -BBC NEWS[2]

USEFUL FOR: Depression, anxiety, insomnia, sex drive

DESCRIPTION: Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is found in foods such as nuts, fish, chicken, bananas, and green beans. Deficiencies of vitamin B6 can cause depression, anxiety, lowered sex drive, insomnia, water retention, weight gain/loss, and inability to process glucose.[1] Vitamin B6 also increases the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to be involved in mood regulation, and GABA (GABA receptors are thought to be responsible for the effects of benzodiazepines) in the blood.[3] During opiate withdrawal, it is important we treat our bodies with the utmost respect because a lot of people neglect their personal health during active addiction. Vitamin B6 can help with mood, and insomnia, while helping keep our bodies balanced healthily. It is available for purchase below from a variety of reputable sources.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

[1] Wikipedia – Vitamin B6
[2] BBC News | Health | Medical notes | Vitamin B6
[3] MayoClinic.com – Vitamin B6

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Melatonin

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTIONS:

If taken for inducing sleep – Melatonin should not be taken if eyes are exposed to bright sunlight, and melatonin should be avoided if operating any vehicle. If attempting sleep shifts of more than 1 hour, light therapy should also be used. Do not use melatonin for more than two weeks at a time.[2]

Nighttime awakenings and early morning insomnia – If you need to get up in the morning within 2-3 hours, Take regular instead of time release melatonin. Time release melatonin may last into the waking hours, causing confusion and mood problems. Do not take melatonin if you awaken less than one hour before you need to get up.[2]

USEFUL FOR: Insomnia, jet-lag, mood

DESCRIPTION: Melatonin is a neurotransmitter released by the pineal gland, which is a small gland located in the brain. The structure of the neurotransmitter is very similar to serotonin. It acts as a sort of regulator for the human “biological clock.” During the daytime hours, melatonin is at its lowest, whereas at night it is higher, peaking around 2 A.M. for healthy people, and 3 A.M. for the elderly.[1] Information received via the eye (light/darkness) travels to the area of the brain that regulates circadian rhythm, and from there signals are sent to the pineal gland which subsequently releases melatonin into the bloodstream. Typically, darkness activates nerves in the brain that stimulate release of melatonin. Melatonin is thought to be involved in the regulation of sleep, eating, and reproduction.

When the flow of melatonin is disrupted, which can happen due to jet-lag, aging, or stress, the body is negatively affected on both a mental and physiological level. Studies of jet lag have shown that melatonin, when taken at the normal bedtime hour at the new destination, can relieve symptoms of jet lag, and create a normal sleep pattern. Melatonin will not help people sleep longer, or fall asleep faster when taken at bedtime; however, taking melatonin very late in the afternoon has helped people fall asleep faster. Melatonin will help people get to sleep though. During opiate withdrawal, hormones are sent into a frenzy, and are all out-of-whack. Melatonin, which can be found at the local GNC or below, can act as a sleep-aid, and help regulate sleep cycles. Toxicity tests have proven melatonin to be very safe, but there are no conclusive tests proving its long-term effectiveness as a sleep aid; however, it’ll help do the trick for the time being!

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

[1] Erowid Melatonin Vault : Info. #1
[2] talk about sleep – How to Use Melatonin Correctly
[3] Melatonin.com

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L-Tyrosine

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTIONS: L-tyrosine has not been reported to have any serious side effects; however, long-term use of high doses (1000 mg+) should be monitored by a physician, as there are no studies of long-term use of high doses of L-tyrosine.

USEFUL FOR: Energy, depression, alcohol withdrawal support, phenylketonuria deficiency, Parkinson’s Disease

DESCRIPTION: L-tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that the body synthesizes from another amino acid, phenylalanine. It is the precursor of several neurotransmitters, including L-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Supply of norepinephrine and epinephrine, two of the bodies most important “stress” hormones, are often depleted as a result of stress. Because L-tyrosine acts as a precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine, it may help reduce the adverse effects of stress (environmental, psychosocial, and physical).

When taking opiates, the body becomes accustomed to an obscene amount of dopamine, a chemical involved in the feeling of pleasure, and when opiate intake is stopped withdrawal is felt. Withdrawal often involves anhedonia, the loss of the ability to experience pleasure. L-tyrosine may help correct the imbalance caused by opiate addiction. Food that are rich in L-tyrosine include animal meat, wheat products, oatmeal and seafood. Overall, L-tyrosine can help increase feelings of well-being, heighten mental alterness, and offset stress-induced physical/mental fatigue.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

[1] PDRHealth – L-tyrosine
[2] Wikipedia – L-tyrosine
[3] Erowid Experience Vaults – Totally Underrated (L-tyrosine)

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Kava Kava

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: Excessive use may cause liver damage. Milk thistle can help prevent liver damage. Kava kava must not be taken with any benzodiazepine (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium).

USEFUL FOR: Anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, stress relief

DESCRIPTION: Kava kava, a member of the pepper family, is an herb that can ease anxiety without the cloudiness of the mind presented with traditional anxiety medications. Kava was the prime choice of drink for royalty in the South Pacific, and is believed to have originated in Melanesia. Studies prove kava is effective for relieving anxiety and panic.

Dosages for specific ailments as recommended by WholeHealthMD.com

  • Anxiety – 250 – 500 mg (2-3 times a day)
  • Insomnia – 250 – 500 mg (30 minutes to an hour before bedtime)
  • Pain – 250 – 350 mg (2-3 times a day)

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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Ibuprofen

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: Prolonged use can cause stomach bleeding and ulceration, kidney dysfunction, and liver inflammation.

“Consult your doctor if you are taking antihypertensives, steroids, anticoagulants, antibiotics, itraconazole or ketoconazole, plicamycin, penicillamine, valproic acid, phenytoin, cyclosporine, digitalis drugs, lithium, methotrexate, probenecid, triamterene, or zidovudine.

Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: bleeding problems, inflammation or ulcers of the stomach and intestines, diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus), anemia, asthma, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, kidney stones, or a history of heart disease or alcohol abuse. Use of ibuprofen may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney disease, since these organs work together to remove the medication from the body.”

-WholeHealthMD

USEFUL FOR: Muscle aches, pains, headache

DESCRIPTION: Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), can help relieve some of the aches and pains experienced during withdrawal. Prescription strength ibuprofen is 800 mg; it is not recommended anyone go over this dosage in one sitting. For some, as little as 400 mg, the recommended dose for adults, will be enough to ease some of the pain. A popular brand of ibuprofen is Advil, but generics work just as well and are cheaper.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

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DLPA

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: Those with the genetic disorder, phenylketonuria (PKU), should not take this supplement. It can lead to brain damage, and progressive mental retardation if left untreated. The disorder is typically diagnosed shortly after birth. This is the same warning found on packs of gum which contain the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Aspartame is broken down into phenylalanine in the body.

If taking baclofen, levodopa, an anti-depressant, or an MAOI, consult a doctor before taking this supplement.

USEFUL FOR: Analgesic, anti-depressant, dopamine restoration

DESCRIPTION: L-phenylalanine can be converted into L-tyrosine, a protein forming amino acid. L-tyrosine is converted into L-DOPA, which is further converted into dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. D-phenylalanine prevents enkephalin degradation, which is thought to be the mechanism providing the analgesic effects. The antidepressant effects are thought to be a result of the elevated levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

When quitting opiates, dopamine levels plummet causing dysphoria and loss of pleasure. DL-phenylalanine can help restore dopamine levels. Opiate cessation also causes a reduction in endorphins, which is part of the reason withdrawal occurs. D-phenylalanine helps prevent the breakdown of enkephalins, one of the endogenous opioids. As a result of the stated pharmacological actions, dl-phenylalanine may help ease some opiate withdrawal symptoms.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

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Diphenhydramine

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: Consult a physician before taking diphenhydramine if taking any central nervous system depressant. CNS depressants include opiates/opioids, benzodiazepines (Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, etc.), barbituates, and alcohol.

USEFUL FOR: Insomnia

DESCRIPTION: Diphenhydramine has a variety of applications as an over-the-counter medicine. It is used to relieve allergies, motion sickness, and occasional insomnia. During withdrawal, it can help ease the insomnia that never seems to end. A common dose for the treatment of insomnia is 50 mg.

Finding the best price. Certain varieties of diphenhydramine can be very expensive, therefore, it is important to know how to identify products containing this as the active ingredient. Certain kinds of Benadryl and the sleep-aid Sominex may contain the exact same amount of the active ingredient, but differ in price. To be on the safe side, the only product which is applicable in this sort of situation is one which has ONE ACTIVE INGREDIENT, diphenhydramine. Brands which only contain diphenhydramine as the active ingredient include Sominex, Unisom, and Benadryl.

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5-HTP

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, and the following is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others during opiate withdrawal. Before starting any regiment including any medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses it with a licensed physician. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

CAUTION: 5-HTP must not be taken with any anti-depressant (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) due to an increased risk of a possibly fatal condition called serotonin syndrome. 5-HTP may exacerbate anxiety and depression in some individuals.

USEFUL FOR: Depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia

DESCRIPTION: 5-HTP works by naturally increasing serotonin levels. In the brain, 5-HTP is converted into serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin. Melatonin has proven to be an effective sleep-aid. Increasing serotonin levels may also create some relief from depression and anxiety. In some individuals, 5-HTP may be more effective than prescription anti-depressants.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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Over-the-Counter Withdrawal Comfort Medicine

Friday, December 18th, 2009

DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors, and the following information is NOT medical advice. It is merely a list of things that have helped others get through opiate withdrawal. Before starting a regiment with any kind of medicine, it is imperative that the patient discusses his/her plan with a licensed medical professional. Some of the medicine listed can react badly with certain foods and other medicines.

Other Names
Symptoms
Find the Lowest Price on the Internet
5-HTP
Depression, insomnia
Diphenhydramine
Sominex, Tylenol PM
Insomnia
DLPA
D- & L-phenylalanine
Pain, depression, etc.
Ibuprofen
Advil, Motrin IB
Muscle/bone pain
Kava Kava
Anxiety, insomnia
Loperamide
Imodium A-D
Diarrhea, etc.
L-tyrosine
Depression, energy, mood
Melatonin
Insomnia
Milk Thistle
Liver health
Multivitamin
Centrum or generic equiv.
General well-being
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Depression, general health
Valerian Root
Insomnia, anxiety
Vitamin B6
Energy, depression
Vitamin B12
Energy, brain function

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Over-the-counter opiates used to stop diarrhea and maybe ease withdrawal

Friday, December 18th, 2009

by Chris Strosser
Posted: 11/29/06
Last Edited: 2/24/09

Most people are not aware that opiates can be found over-the-counter at the local drugstore, and that anyone can buy them. In fact, one product in particular is widely used and isn’t restricted to those under 18 years of age. The drug I’m referring to is loperamide, meperidine’s strange distant cousin and the active ingredient in the popular anti-diarrheal, Imodium AD. Loperamide is an opioid. Another common formulation known as Lomotil has diphenoxylate as the active ingredient, which is also an opioid used to stop diarrhea. One annoyingly persistent side effect of opioid usage, which all those on pain management can attest to, is constipation, which is the desired effect with these medications.

How loperamide affects the body

All opiates cause constipation by binding to opioid receptors throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This binding causes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to become tense. The increased muscle tension causes the normal progressive movement of food waste to stop—thus, causing the infamous, unrelenting, opiate-induced constipation. Though loperamide and diphenoxylate exert a powerful effect on the gastrointestinal tract, they have no effect on the brain. Ultimately, this means no euphoric high, which is why it is still available over-the-counter. Typical opiates are fat-soluble enough to cross the blood-brain barrier (also known as the BBB), and bind to opiate receptors in the brain.

From controlled substance to over-the-counter wonder

When loperamide was first introduced to the public, it was actually classified as a Schedule V substance, meaning it required a prescription to use. The reason officials classified this drug as a Schedule V substance was because the typical opiate withdrawal symptoms were present following abrupt cessation of long-term therapy. Loperamide’s status as a controlled substance was eventually removed and its standing was downgraded to nothing more than an over-the-counter medicine. Recent studies have, however, put forth evidence that it is possible to create an environment for the molecules to move across the BBB. “Drug-containing nanoparticles were coated with polysorbate 80 and injected intravenously into mice,” A prolonged, as well as significant analgesic effect occurred upon injection of the coated loperamide.

Loperamide as a comfort medicine in opiate withdrawal

Loperamide may also work as an aid in detoxification. Several medical journals, as well as countless unofficial accounts report significantly diminished withdrawal symptoms upon dosing with loperamide; however, there is a lot controversy on this subject. At the very least, loperamide will aid in reducing the gut-retching diarrhea that comes with most opiate detoxifications. Loperamide works for some people, and doesn’t work for others. As always, one should always seek the professional advice of a doctor before starting any sort of therapy or withdrawal treatment.

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