suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Does buprenorphine treat depression? Is my depression from Suboxone? Will Suboxone treat bipolar? Will naltrexone or Vivitrol make me depressed?
Dhalia31
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suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Dhalia31 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:51 pm

Hey everyone,

Does anyone feel that their suboxone acts like a mood stabilizer? I have bipolar disorder and ever since starting suboxone my family and I have noticed how incredibly stable my mood is.

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If you want to read about my theory behind this, continue reading. Otherwise, I would be very interested to hear if anyone has had the same/similar experience. Thanks!
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So continue reading if you want to hear about my grand theory......................


It could be a result of not using drugs anymore but I don't think that's it. I never used opiates for long periods of time, it was actually marijuana which I used most and which was my big problem drug. I used marijuana to slow my mind down so that I could hold on to one thought at a time, like a train track. So during my pre-suboxone days I was struggling with bipolar and self-medicating with marijuana. I don't believe the marijuana was the cause of my bipolar symptoms. I have also used marijuana while on suboxone without exacerbation of my mental illness. The amazing thing is that since being on suboxone marijuana doesn't have that attraction it once did nor does it have the same intense effect. I have bought it a few times since being on suboxone (i've been on subs for 2 years) and when I am done with my stash I never worry or have the urge to go get more and it lasts me for much longer. I AM NOT ENCOURAGING THE USE OF MARIJUANA.(Marijuana can be a HUGE problem drug). I am simply describing the use of it. Even when friends smoke I can take it or leave it. It's like I do not have the urge to self-medicate with it anymore, it doesn't have that grip on me anymore.

I believe this is due to suboxone. Again, this isn't a post about marijuana. It's a post about how my bipolar symptoms have dissapeared to the point that I do not have the urge to self-medicate anymore.

It's incredible. It could be an age thing... who knows, I was 27 when I started suboxone and I hear that mental illness gets better as one ages... And also interest in marijuana decreases with age. When I felt my bipolar symptoms going wack was when I was lowering my dose to 2mg, that is when for a month I started feeling that energy, sleeplessness, "wake up and bolt out of bed, can't wait to get the day started" feeling. So because I felt things getting out of hand I went to a shrink last year who put me on lithium for the first time in my life which worked like a miracle. But then I increased my sub to 4mg and didn't feel like I needed the Lithium which I was right. I used to have outburst, and inability to control my emotions. When I would plan for things down a few months down the road I would ask myself, "what will my mood be then? I hope it will be ok".

It's incredible. I recently started tapering unsucessfuly but when I got down to like 1mg (I take 4mg) I started feeling intensley and it felt almost like it does when I am manicy. It's like the cap to the bottle was removed.

I still get depressive episodes and I had one which was pretty bad, I slept 10hrs a day, felt like I had zero energy and like I was 80 years old and had to try hard to move my legs forward. But that is still nothing compared to the severe severe depression of my pre-suboxone days.

I think that suboxone might be working as a mood-stabilizer because it lessens the intensity of your emotions. The problem with bipolar disorder is that your emotions are too intense. With suboxone it levels those feelings out.

And actually when I decreased me suboxone during my taper I purposefuly went back on lithium since I thought it would make the taper easier. Well it did but it also made me feel extremely flat which I did not feel while on suboxone and lithium (I only took lithium during that period last year when I went down to 2mg). So then I stopped the lithium and once again due to the lower suboxone (I got down to 1mg before going back to 4mg) I felt emotions. I even felt music viscerally, in my body, like I had smoked some marijuana. When I smoked marijauana while on a stable dose of suboxone (4mg) I curiously enough didn't feel the music like I used to in my pre-sub days.

Can anyone relate? I have hears a few people mention this so I thought I would bring up the connection between suboxone and bipolar again. Again, my mentioning of the marijauana in no casual light. I am not advocating it.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:07 am

Hi Dahlia,

I hope that more research is done in this area. Many people probably feel that it is not worth getting addicted to treat depression, but those people aren't the ones suffering. I think that the flip side of harm reduction is quality of life. When folks are suicidal or severely depressed I think its worth thinking outside the box. It's the stigma of addiction that drives patients and doctors away. If we could all work on lowering the stigma, more avenues of treating severe depression and bipolar disorder may become available to everyone.

I read this opinion article: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/03/19 ... d-agonist/

I think that the comments section is more important than one person's opinion. There are so many who are suffering!

I'm happy that you've found that bupe works for you, Dahlia. I only hope that you can maintain your supply of bupe. I think your hypothesis has real merit.

Amy
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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Jiva » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:13 am

My Bi-Polar disorder is under control with Suboxone as well. It also has gotten rid of my depression. I'm actually in the best mental state that I can ever remember. I've been on numerous mental health medications since I was 12 years old and tried to commit suicide for the first time. Nothing ever worked for the depression except opiates. I spent years of heroin use trying to get normal, not high. When I started Suboxone I was on Seroquel, Lemictal, Zoloft, Klonipin, and Trileptal. Within 90 days of being on Suboxone I was able to talk my doctor into weaning me off the mental health medications and I've been great. So it didn't surprise me to see that a new formulation of Buprenorphine is most likely going to come out in 2016.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Michelle F. » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:20 am

Hi All, I have no doubt in my mind that suboxone works to treat depression. I was experiencing mild bouts of depression associated with menopause. Thats when I started taking more and more tramadol. Once I started suboxone, all of that was gone! Also, the pain in my knees from osteoarthritis lessened. Suboxone has been a miracle drug for me!

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by raudy1975 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:55 am

Subs have also helped by depression 110%. however, I still need my SSRI in conjunction with subs. I have taken an SSRI separately and I have taken Subs separately and i will have to say that neither one ALONE helped my depression . But the combination of the two seems to do the trick.

That is another reason why I plan on staying on a low dose of subs forever. I feel like together with my SSRI, I am a normal functioning person.

I have to say the subs give me energy and a positive outlook on life. I am so happy that I have found the med mix that works for me.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Michelle F. » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:51 pm

Raudy1975, I am so happy when I hear people say that they have a med regimen that works in treating their depression! It can take such a long time for them to work and work right! What a relief! It really upsets me when people don't have any joy in their lives. That is no way to live! Very happy for you!

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by mel78 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:19 am

Hi

I was using marijuana and alcohol to self medicate for 20 yrs, along with other stuff.
I stopped the dope nearly 2 yrs ago now and he alcoholic in me took over in a really bad way. I have stopped drinking for nearly 9 months now and in jan this year I saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed bipolar. I am on lamotragine for it but that didn't really do much, even after upping the dose. Abusing opiates and benzos was the only way I knew how to be normal. To cut a long story short, I got too addicted and dangerously using street bought meds that I sought help from an AOD place. I was put on sub 1 week ago and although am not quite stabilised for addiction yet I do already feel like my moods are normal now. I was usually functioning way too high every day until I took my illegal cocktail after work to slow my racing thoughts and iritic behaviour and moods.
Sub has levelled me out. It feels strange to be 'normal' but I definitely like the predictability of my moods now. Im not behaving like im on speed anymore (I hte speed) and I put it all down to suboxone. People have noticed already how different my behaviour is and in a good way.
So, I agree its the sub helping my bipolar for sure. I think my doc even said it has that effect as well but font quote me on that.
Good luck with it all

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by TeeJay » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:58 pm

I have bipolar type 1, and I'm not really sure I've experienced any mood stabilising effects from Suboxone. But I also take lithium, low dose zyprexa and an anti-depressant. I will concur that all opiates, in my experience, detach one from their emotions to some degree. On smack, methadone, and even Suboxone, I don't get the same buzz from listening to music. So in that aspect opiates I suppose are similar to lithium and the anti-psychotics.

In my experience though I'm still prone to experience depression while on Suboxone. And depression is the predominant symptom of my bipolar these days. I had a brief manic spell when I was on interferon, but other than that it's been nearly 10 years since I experienced a full blown mania.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:21 am

Exactly, TJ, suboxone will not help stabilize everyone, only some. If you had felt aided by bupe you would not have had to get off of it during spells of depression. Just like not every type of typical anti-depressant works for people, bupe won't work for some people.

In the comment section of the article I posted above, many of the people who said that bupe helps their depression said that they had been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. It's those cases that require some outside-the-box thinking.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by crossfinger » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:23 pm

I really relate to a lot of what's been written in this thread. I truly believe that some of us suffer from problems with our endogenous opioid peptides. I'd be interested to see if RLS or IBS are correlated with depression (treatment-resistant especially) or anxiety, for example.

I was an emotional cripple even before I ever got addicted to anything; in fact, it's what led to my addiction -- I was never much of a risk taker by nature, but when you feel happiness for the first time (and that is almost literal, almost not an exaggeratio: feeling anything except miserable was a once-a-month thing for me if I was lucky, before pills came along), well, you tend to want to come back to it!

Of course, illegal opioids led to all sorts of problems worse than the ones they solved. Suboxone has been a godsend for me. As Amy alludes to above, my depression was treatment-resistant: I tried literally every depression drug and therapy that was available to me (excepting MAOIs, because life without cheese is no kind of life...). Even amphetamine, benzos, and intensive multiple-times-weekly therapy didn't really change my basic situation, although it was the closest I got to being able to live a life -- before Suboxone.

I didn't expect anything from bupe except help with cravings and withdrawal, but now, now that I'm on buprenorphine for addiction, I feel normal... not high, not euphoric; I can still be sad or stressed; but I can feel. Even better, I can want -- I can have the energy and the desire to learn and do!

To someone who has been depressed for his whole life, that alone is a miracle!

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:06 am

Crossfinger, I'm so relieved for you that suboxone therapy is working! After reading the post above I just had a big smile on my face that I wanted to share! :D :D :D

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by crossfinger » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:06 pm

Aw shucks, thanks for carin'! :) It's because of you (and the rest of the Suboxforum gang) that I was able to finally take the plunge, and have been able to navigate all the various difficulties one can encounter. I feel truly blessed for finding this medication and this forum!

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Karma711 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:35 pm

:? For me subs have helped with my depression (sometimes) but not my mania. I suffer from bipolar 1 with psychotic features and I still experience really high manic episodes. Also my anger is awful as well. And I still experience episodes quite intensely especially if I miss a dose of my subs. I’m also very irritable when I haven’t taken it. I also get depressed or if I’m in depression before I take it , literally not too long after i take my sub I’m in a hypomanic state which i love to be in as long as I’m not irritated. I’m also on medication for my bipolar but we are still playing with what works best. I’m also medicating with medical marijuana for sleep and to help me eat and with my anxiety and panic attacks. While transitioning some medication to medication. And I’m still on a very low dose of suboxone like 2mg a day but it helps me so I’m staying on a low dose. I just have to take my Seroquel when I get too manic. But everyone is different and different medication works for some and some not. This is just my experience.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Girl » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:10 am

My doctor said suboxone can not be mixed with seroquel!!!!! Its a definite dont do she said. I was on epivil and seroquel prior to my opiot addiction.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by TeeJay » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:04 am

I haven't heard of it being contraindicated with seroquel. Methadone and seroquel however has been linked with heart arrhythmias so that's definitely a no-no.

I've been on seroquel and suboxone in the past and had no issues. Maybe your doctor is being cautious about the sedating effect of seroquel with the opioid leading to potential overdose?

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:55 am

I have a feeling it's the potential of overdose that her doctor was concerned about.

I am interning in a methadone clinic, TJ, and I do all sorts of things around the clinic besides counseling. I recently created a quiz for the rest of the staff on methadone and drug interactions. I found some things that surprised me. For example, the herbal antidepressive St. John's Wort, when taken with methadone, decreases the blood serum levels of methadone by 50%!! Apparently, Cipro and Azithromycin, 2 common antibiotics, can also cause heart attacks/failure when combined with methadone. And omeprazole, a common heartburn medication, can cause a rise in the concentration of methadone in one's body.

I'm really glad to hear from you! I hope you're doing well!

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by WorkingMan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:52 pm

Dhalia31 wrote: Does anyone feel that their suboxone acts like a mood stabilizer?
Yes - with a Capital "Y". It's one of the first things I noticed about Suboxone treatment. More later.

The Working Man

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by TeeJay » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:19 am

I'm curious as to whether it's held its mood stabilising effect over the years.

Opioids are great at making themselves appear as the answer to all our problems.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:12 am

I have to say, Teejay, that you bring bias with you in that question and statement. I know that buprenorphine did not ultimately stabilize your symptoms. But, for example, Raudy, has stated that buprenorphine, in combination with his SSRIs, has given him relief from his treatment-resistant depression for years. I know that depression is only one component of Bipolar Disorder, but as usual, it just depends on the person as to whether buprenorphine will help with mental health symptoms.

I don't think it's necessarily fair to imply that anyone is just turning to opioids in general rather than this specific drug, not as an answer to all of their problems, but treat specific problems.

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Re: suboxone stabilizing bipolar disorder?

Post by bunsonbyrner » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:41 am

Just chiming in as another bipolar type II person who has noticed a significant improvement in mood/quality of life since inducting on Zubsolv, my insurance covered brand of Suboxone. I am one of those though, who takes a pill to feel better and often that has led me to trouble in taking more Zubsolv than prescribed. My wife stepped in as gatekeeper about 6-7 months ago and in that time, I have not once gone over my daily allowance and I’m feeling great. I’m also on 40mg fluoxetine (Prozac) but on the whole, it seems like I take a Zubsolv and an hour later, no matter how I was feeling before, I feel like myself. I’m alert, I’m present and in the moment and life is good.

Just my two cents.

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