psa: mental illness and weight loss/addiction medications mess with your hormones

Especially antipsychotics.

I’ve noticed more and more that antipsychotics are being recommended as “add-on therapy” by doctors and TV commercials for patients who are already an antidepressant and it isn’t covering all their symptoms.

The doctors and commercials won’t outright say it’s an antipsychotic, but in small print they’ll list what medication combinations are included in the pill, and a surprising amount are antipsychotics or SNRI (messes with norepinephrine), not simply SSRI (messes with serotonin and is a typical antidepressant).

As an example, a popular weight loss drug called Contrave is a combination of bupropion (which I take for my schizophrenia) and naltrexone (an opiate addiction medication).

My periods have always been SUPER regular to the point where you could set your calendar to my cycles, and when I live or work with someone who has an irregular period, they’ll convert to my cycle.

But when I was on antipsychotics, I bled more on some and less on others, and every single one of them had a big impact on my cycle to the point where even missing 1 pill would trigger a period, even if my regular cycle had just ended.

Before you assume it’s your gynecological health that’s causing the problem, consider your medications.

Understand the medications you’re taking. Brand name medications still need to list what they include in their pills, so look them up and compare them to antipsychotics lists such as those found on Wikipedia.

This is also a warning to people who are trying weight loss medication. You might be inadvertently taking a medication meant to treat schizophrenia, thinking it’s just helping you lose weight. If you’re already on antidepressants, it’ll mess with them.

BIG WARNING:

If you take cold/flu medication (Robitussin, Delsym, DM, DexAlone, Duract, etc.) while taking Abilify and Contrave or other weight loss medications, that particular drug combination will cause a “bad angel dust/PCP-like trip.”

Doctors didn’t warn me abut that and I spent 3 very long, horrific weeks in this state a few years ago.

It’s a very specific combination of medications, but with antipsychotics becoming more and more commonplace, it’s becoming a bigger risk. FYI the medications that interact to cause a “bad trip” are aripiprazole, bupropion, and dextromethorphan.