Latuda and its Happy Side Effect

I want to share with you the success I’ve had with a new medication.  I know a lot of you are frustrated with your meds and their inability to treat multiple symptoms without uncomfortable or dangerous side effects.

Most of you with bipolar are aware that there are only two medications that are FDA-approved specifically for treatment of bipolar disorder:  Seroquel and Lithium.  And many of you may have tried those two meds, with little or no success.  I fall into that category, and for several years I have bounced around between various prescriptions, trying a combination of this and that, hoping for some success.  I was looking for a medication that I could take singularly, without having to take a separate pill for each of my symptoms.

I think I’ve probably tried just about everything on the market, or combinations of those meds.  The aforementioned Seroquel and Lithium, along with Abilify, Tegretol, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Cymbalta, Lexapro and Topomax all had their positive attributes.  Most of them treated one of more of my symptoms, but one alone was never enough.  I needed something for the depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and mania.  None of these seemed to be effective on its own, so I was always taking more than one pill at a time.

More frustrating than having to take several pills a day were the side effects.  I lost weight and gained weight, my hair fell out in clumps and my vision blurred.  I woke up several times during the night, or couldn’t wake myself in the morning without severe grogginess the rest of the day.  I had dry-mouth and night sweats, headaches and swollen hands and feet.  I had the shakes and increased  anxiety, short temper and extreme fatigue.  Some of the medications decreased my mania, but increased my depression.  The commercials for anti-depressants that said, “some people taking this medication may experience increased feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide……”?  Those disclaimers were meant for me.  It was incredibly frustrating.  I couldn’t believe scientists could put a man on the moon, but they couldn’t come up with a singular treatment for manic depression without the horrific side effects.

Eighteen months ago, I finally settled on a combination of ECT, Tegretol and Ativan.  The ECT treated my mania very effectively, and I continue still with those procedures because it is the only treatment I have found that stops my mania in its tracks.  The Tegretol made me fairly sleepy at night, but I still needed the Ativan to keep me asleep until morning.  However, after about a year of the Tegretol, I started experiencing chronic aches and pains every time I laid down.  Sleeping (if you can call it that) became very difficult.  I woke several times during the night with what the doctors initially thought was “restless leg syndrome”.  I saw a rheumatologist thinking it might be arthritis, and was then referred to a neurologist only to learn that he believed it was drug-induced lupus.  The only way he could be sure was for me to discontinue use of the Tegretol.  After taking nothing but the Ativan for about 6 weeks, I did start to feel better, but felt slightly depressed because I knew I couldn’t go back to the drug that seemed to work best for me.  I was then put on Abilify, which I found to be very effective at quickly treating depression.  Within a week, I felt my spirits lift a bit, but unfortunately I gained quite a bit of weight in a short amount of time and had constant muscle twitching in my hands.

That’s when a medication called “Latuda” was suggested.  Latuda is a fairly new drug with no generic that is being used “off-label” to treat bipolar disorder.  It’s actually a medication used to treat schizophrenia, but has shown significant benefits for bipolar patients.  My doctor told me that the FDA has not yet approved it for manic depression, but he thinks that might be right around the corner because of its success in treating the combination of depression and mania.

What side effects have I experienced from Latuda?  Well, it doesn’t make me groggy and the first couple of nights I took it I felt light nausea, but that went away quickly.  I have to take it with protein or it won’t work as effectively, but other than that I’ve noticed few negative side effects.  I have felt much less anxious, and I have not yet experienced that heavy weight of aggression, anger and anxiety that builds up and inevitably leads to a manic episode.  It is those symptoms that send me to ECT, and I’m hoping that if the Latuda remains truly effective, I might be able to limit or even eliminate ECT from my treatment plan.

More importantly is the positive side effect:  I feel happy.   Yeah, you heard me right.  HAPPY.  I’ve only been taking this medication for about two months, but so far I have felt better on it than on any other prescription or drug combination.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress while taking Latuda, but I wanted to throw the name out there in case any of you are as frustrated with your treatment plan as I have been.  Maybe ask your doctors about it?  It’s the first medication I’ve found to be truly effective in treating nearly all of my symptoms of bipolar disorder and just knowing that I may have found “the one” makes me feel better already.

123 thoughts on “Latuda and its Happy Side Effect

  1. I’m glad to hear you are experiencing some relief with Latuda.

    I am a fellow blogger with a mental illness and I’m currently working on a spiritual memoir entitled “Delight in Disorder: Meditations from a Bipolar Mind”. Currently, I’m working on “The Study” chapter where I reflect on books that have impacted my understanding of mental illness as well as list other works of art (books,movies,visual arts, music) worth exploring.

    I’d love for you to visit my site and share what you’ve found helpful. The post is here –

    Hope to see you around.

    • Thanks for your recent post. It got me thinking that I am taking so many pills, I can’t keep my mind on anything else. I recently started Latuda & taking it with breakfast and then going through tons of anxiety in the afternoon. I want to feel happy and a sense of well being as well. I am hoping this is just a hiccup before the dust settles with Latuda. I am trying hard to get off Seroquel with no real zest. I find Latuda makes me sleep only 2-3 hours a night. Am I off or is this just part of my manic cycle?

      • Hi! I tell this same thing to everyone: Latuda can make you feel a little nuts when you first start taking it! I always felt anxious and my heart would pound and I would have this horrible panicked feeling for the first 20-30 minutes after taking Latuda. I can’t take it in the morning, so instead I take it at night with a light snack and 2mg of Ativan. The Ativan helps me sleep, but it also works to have a calming effect and I don’t notice the anxiety initially caused by the Latuda when I take it in the daytime. I don’t think this is part of your manic cycle – I think you might want to ask your doctor for a sleep aid, and take it with the Latuda at night. Let me know if that works.

      • I take latuda for schizophrenia. I take mine with dinner and within 1-2 hours I fall asleep. It has helped me to be happy eleviated my depression but now I feel jumpy and I don’t know if latuda is the cause.

      • I feel a little bit “jumpy” for 20-30 minutes after I take it, so I’ve been taking it now with my sleep aid and that helps relieve the panicked feeling I experience. Or possibly you could take it before exercising? Then maybe you won’t notice the jumpiness?

  2. Your writing is flat out excellent in style, humor, content, and readability. I’m learning much from your work on this blog. One thing I’m learning is that I can have more respect for someone that I already highly respect and admire, because I have this “new window” open on that person into a room that I never new existed.

  3. I too love latuda. I still have to take it with other meds but it definitely changed my life for the better. Good for you for your perseverance in finding the right Med

  4. I’m very anxious to continue to learn how Latuda affects you. I’m on a daily cocktail of 6 meds. It took about 3 years of trial and error to get where I am today and I’m doing fine overall. But to go from a med cocktail down to just one pill a day sounds wonderful.

    • Well, I’m actually taking Latuda AND Ativan, because I still need the Ativan to help me sleep at night. And I do ECT (are you familiar with that?), so that helps, as well. But I used to take several pills a day and now I’m down to just the Latuda and Ativan. I find that I’m a tiny bit jittery right after taking it, but that goes away fairly quickly. It doesn’t make me sleepy like other meds used to, and I don’t wake up feeling groggy and thick-headed. Of course, I’ve only been on it a few months and in the past, my body has grown tired of certain meds and seems to build up a resistance to it and I have to switch to something new, but so far so good with the Latuda. Because it’s a pretty new drug, several doctors I’ve spoken to haven’t heard of it or haven’t prescribed it to their patients because they don’t have a lot of history to work with. However, I definitely think it’s worth inquiring about. Good luck! Please let me know if you try it – I’d love to hear how it’s working for someone else. Thanks for your reply!

      • Just wondering how you are still feeling taking the Latuda. My doctor has prescribed a cocktail of different meds that don’t seem to be working and Latuda was on of them. I was wondering if I just took the Latuda to see if it helps. I feel more depressed now than I did before I ever started taking the meds. I felt better when I wasn’t taking anything at all but I had terrible mood swings and anger fits.Just wanted to see how things have been since May for you as I may just start taking Latuda and Clonazepam alone to see if it works for me.

      • Hi, Heather –
        Funny you should ask! I just saw my psychiatrist about ten days ago and told him that I thought the Latuda was not working as well as it did in the beginning (February). He asked exactly what I noticed, and I told him that I was slightly shorter-tempered, and maybe a little more depressed. It worked so well when I first started taking it and I noticed such a positive difference in my demeanor, and I was concerned when I felt I wasn’t reacting to it as well six months later.

        It turns out I was on a fairly low dose (40mg) and he asked if I’d be willing to try 60mg, instead. I’ve been doing that for over a week, and I do definitely notice a positive improvement. I feel much like I did when I first started taking it – definitely less depression and I feel a little more tolerant of common annoyances. The only negative thing I notice is that about 30 minutes after taking it, I feel like my heartbeat speeds up a little and I feel a little panicky. Maybe that’s not the right word – I guess I feel a little bit jumpy for about half an hour after it kicks in, and then I calm down. So I’ve started taking it at night when I also take Ativan to sleep, and the Ativan seems to knock out the jumpy effects of the Latuda.

        So those are the only two meds I’m taking now, and it seems to be a pretty good combination. Maybe you are ready for an increase in the Latuda? Maybe it’s something that can be taken alone? My psychiatrist told me that Latuda has just been approved for use as a bipolar medication, making it the only official bipolar med on the market other than Seroquel. So maybe that’s all you need? Clearly I’m no doctor and am in no position to prescribe anything to you, but this is my experience and maybe you can use it as reference the next time you speak with your doctor.

        I’m glad you looked me up – I hope this was at least a little bit helpful. Good luck – keep me posted!


      • Hi – How much Ativan are you taking? I really like the positive effects of Latuda, but the new feeling of impending implosion stinks! – Michelle

      • Hi Michelle –

        I take 2mg each night at the same time as I take the Latuda. The Ativan seems to kick in at about the same time I would expect to have that panicky feeling from the Latuda. The Ativan seems to cancel that out. However, if I have large amounts of caffeine any time after 3pm, I will also take a Melatonin (1mg) at bedtime to help offset the added of effects of caffeine mixed with Latuda. That just helps me fall asleep a little more quickly. I’ve tried just melatonin with the Latuda, but melatonin only has a sleepy effect – it doesn’t keep my heart from racing.

        Does this help?

  5. Just yesterday I started latuda for bipolar. Did u gained weight while taking latuda alone.? i am taking just latuda alone. like to take zoloft with it but researing whether it is a good combination..

    • I have not gained any weight. That was a concern for me prior to starting Latuda, but my doctor assured me that it is “weight neutral”, which means you should not gain weight as a result of taking it. However, that might change if it is taken with other medications. But so far, I haven’t had any problems with it.

  6. Thanks for all the info on Latuda, I have a friend with bipolar disorder and is taking Lithium which is working but she sometimes is still short-tempered at times. I have printed some of this information so that I can have her read it and possibly ask her psychiatrist about prescribing it for her. I first saw the commercial about this new drug on TV and thought maybe this new med. would help her as well.

  7. Does latuda make you drowzy and put you strait to sleep when you take it and if so do you feel growgy in the morning when you wake up from taking it. Im ready to start tonight for the first time as nothing else seems to work for me and hope latuda is the answer to my issues as it seems to be working for others.

    • Hi, Robert –
      I’ve now been taking Latuda for just over one year. I have not noticed any side effects since I first started. No drowsiness (I take it at night), no discomfort, no weight gain, nothing. And unlike when I was taking other meds, I do not wake up feeling groggy. I feel well rested and calm when I wake. When I first started taking Latuda, sometimes I felt my heart racing within five minutes of ingesting it, but that anxious feeling would go away after just a few minutes, and eventually it disappeared altogether and I no longer feel that, either. You do, however, need to be watchful for side effects that some people suffer, especially twitching or ticking of your muscles. Apparently, that can be dangerous. But again, I didn’t experience any of that. This is the longest I’ve been on any medication for my bipolar disorder, and I feel quite calm. I, too, have tried seemingly every other drug on the market with very little luck, so I am grateful that Latuda is working for me. I wish you luck. Please keep me posted!

  8. I too have been on several different mediactions for bipolar depression. I have been hospitalized as well and must say laTuda in combination with zoloft for my specific situation is working GREAT! I too can say after over a decade of severe depression, I am Happy! I experienced upset stomach as well and have to take it with food or my dr told me it will not be absorbed properly. I am glad my dr recommended this to me and it has been able to help other people as well. I wish I would have had this 10 years ago, would have cut out alot of crap. I truly have my dr to thank. Everybody notices a positive massive difference in me with everything. My personality is blossoming ,and I am much more outgoing and apparently funny. Glad I found this! And I am glad it has helped u and u can finally be happy:)

    • Hi, Brittany – How are you feeling? Are you still having success with the combination of Latuda and Zoloft? I’m still doing so well with the Latuda and I love hearing that others are having positive effects, as well, because it’s so new and it hasn’t gained a lot of popularity yet. I hope you’re continuing to do well!

      • Hi I was on latuda and stopped it because I felt a really strong feeling I could not breath when I reported it to my doctor he wants me to start it again with cymbolta 80/30 have you ever heard this before PLEASE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP BEFORE SUNDAY AFTER THE BREATH PROBLEM REALLY UPSET TO START AGAIN THANKS FOR PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE

      • Hi Patty –
        Because I’ve never personally met anyone else who is taking Latuda, I can only vouch for myself and my own experiences with it. But I’m happy to share with you the side effects I’ve had:
        I was told to take Latuda at night, at the same time I take Ativan, which I take to help me sleep. Ativan has also been helpful to relax me when I start to feel panicked. I took both drugs at night all the time, but one morning I realized I hadn’t taken the Latuda the night before so I decided to take it right away. It was about 8am and I’d never taken it in the morning before. Within 20 minutes of taking it, my heart started to race and I felt very agitated. I thought I was having a panic attack. I honestly thought I had too much caffeine that morning, and didn’t associate it with the Latuda. However, to calm myself down I took 1mg of my Ativan, and felt calmer pretty quickly. I took my dose of Latuda once more in the morning a couple of weeks later instead of at night because I had again forgotten to take it the night before, and I experienced the same shortness of breath and racing heart. I did not have the Ativan to calm myself down which only made me feel more anxious, but after about thirty minutes the panicked sensation slowly went away and I felt fine. And although I can’t prove the Latuda caused my heart to race, I now only ever take it at night in combination with the muscle relaxant and have not had any additional problems. My doctor had not heard from any other patients that they had suffered from the anxiety sensation, but Latuda is a fairly new drug and perhaps hasn’t been well-documented.

        That is my only negative experience. I don’t know what Cymbalta does – is it a muscle relaxant? If it is a calming agent, the combination might be better than taking the Latuda alone. But I don’t know anything about Cymbalta so I can’t really advise you safely. Maybe ask your doctor what Cymbalta does and if he/she thinks it might prevent the breathing problem. I wish I could be of more help, but I can only share with you my own experiences. I hope this helps a little bit, Patty. And I hope you have good luck with this. Please keep me up to date on your progress.

      • Hi Patti – I’m just checking in again because it’s been two months since your post and I’m wondering if you are feeling better? Are you back on the Latuda, or did your doctor switch you to something else? Are you still having breathing problems?

  9. Hi there. I just started Latuda yesterday. I’m thankful that I came across your blog being that you have shared so much about your own experiences with it. It’s good to hear that it’s been over year and you are still feeling well.

    Before, I was on Effexor and Welbutrin but I noticed that things got progressively worse. So much so that I had a breakdown and couldn’t stop crying for two days. My doc now has me on Latuda and Doxepin. Both of which I take at night with a meal..

    I will report back soon to share my own experiences.

    • Hi Crissy – I’m so glad that you have the opportunity to try something that hopefully you will find helpful. I continue to have success with Latuda, and I don’t really have any negative side effects. I’ve just started seeing commercials for Latuda on TV, which means it’s finally getting some recognition for being effective. Please keep me posted – I’d like to hear how you are progressing.

      • Thank you for your note about Latuda. I have been on Latuda with Viibryd (antidepressant) and it is working pretty well overall. While I am diagnosed with Bipolar 1, I typically cycle between agitation and depression (not really elated). I take Latuda at night and Viibryd during the day. So far it is working well…sure beats the Lithium and Depakote combination from years ago.

  10. It’s been almost 3 weeks since I began taking Latuda. Thus far, I feel more at ease and not nearly as anxious or depressed. I feel more even keeled than anything else.

    It took time to ween me off of the Effexor that I had been on for ten years. At the same time I’m being weened off of Effexor I started Latuda at 20 mg. At first if felt as though needles were prickling my entire body. I also felt extremely dizzy, light-headed, numb, nauseous, and had this overwhelming sense of fatigue. I also felt very paranoid. As though people were staring at me and following me. I know. Sounds crazy – no pun intended. 😉 These side effects were probably from the Effexor; not the Latuda.

    I still have my highs and lows. Most recently, I was on a manic high. So much so that I felt incredibly productive, high energy and could do anything. About 30 minutes later I felt just the opposite. I went from feeling as though I was on top of the world to why am I here?

    In regards to side effects – haven’t had any. No weight gain, no drowsiness, no twitching of muscles, etc. I do however have a tremendous problem with concentrating/focus. Since being off of work, I have created tasks for myself. My goal is to start and finish. Knowing that I have a very difficult time completing even the simplest of tasks. I can’t tell you how many tasks I have started but none of which has yet to be been completed.

    For now I am on 3 meds. Brintellix in the morning and Latuda 40mg and Doxepin in the evening.

  11. First, I really appreciate your writing style! It’s tough to find those who write clearly and intelligently on the subject and their experiences. I’m so happy Latuda seems to have been quite a lifesaver for you! I however am having quite a difficult time and can’t seem to find anything online that fits with what I’m experiencing! I’m also switching psychiatrists this next week, for the third time in 7 years, to hopefully find a better drug cocktail. My most recent combination was Depakote (1,500 mg), Lamictal (200 mg), and Klonopin as needed. Due to an unrelated health incident, I was taken off the Depakote within a week and had terrible withdrawal symptoms. My doc wanted to try me on Latuda but I was very wary as I had TERRIBLE akathisia on Saphris, a drug in the similar class. I started on 10 mg to see if my body could handle it and I felt totally fine so I went up to the normal trial dose of 20 mg five days ago. For the past three days I’ve totally crashed; and I don’t experience akathisia. I can’t fall asleep; once I do I am like a log until 1 or 2 and cannot awaken. Once I do manage to get up, my entire body hurts: muscles, bones and all. No headaches or nausea, some of the typical side effects noted about the drug. I’m totally out of it, listless, irritable, wanting to cry, and am just so achey. I’ve also been experiencing shortness of breathe and increased anxiety. My Lamictal was increased to 300 mg two weeks ago when I came off the Depakote but I’ve been on Lamictal for 7 years and have never had a bad reaction. All I can think is to attribute it to the Latuda I’ve introduced to my body. I can’t find anyone who’s experienced any adverse reactions like this! Has anyone shared a bad experience on Latuda with you?
    Oh, I’m Bipolar II with mixed states.
    Thank you🙂

    • Hi, Julia – So, I’ve been on all of those same drugs, except the Depakote because I heard it was very “hard core”. I developed a rash on my neck with Lamictal within the first few days of taking it, so my doctor had me stop because he said it could be a sign of a serious disease (maybe called Stevens-Johnson or something like that…..). Unfortunately, I was not on it long enough to experience any benefits, although I’ve heard it’s a very effective drug. I, too, am Bipolar II and I used to be “hyper manic” and would experience very fast swings between states. The Latuda has been really great for me. I actually have experienced total body aches as well, but I can’t be certain that it’s as a result of the Latuda. I ached almost any time I was horizontal. Sleeping was pretty tough and I would wake up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. My doctor prescribed Lyrica, which is generally used for fibromyalgia, and it worked very well for me. I don’t take it consistently because I noticed that the pain was constant at night only for the first few months, and now I don’t feel it nearly as often. I only take the Lyrica when it’s really bad. The other thing I noticed about Latuda is that within 20-30 minutes of taking it, I initially would feel kind of a rush. My heart would race and I would feel very panicked, but that sensation would go away within an hour or so and then I would feel calm again. I take Ativan at night for sleep, and I noticed that if I take the Latuda with the Ativan, I don’t get that panicky feeling. I have not had any akathisia, which I’ve heard is a big concern with Latuda. My doctor monitored that very carefully, and had me write down any twitching sensations I felt during the first couple months I was on the Latuda. I experienced nothing, which is comforting. I also have taken Saphris, but it made me extremely tired and I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. You’ve been on the Latuda for a month now? Have you noticed any changes? Is your system getting used to the drug or are you still having the negative side effects? I really hope it works for you. If it doesn’t, please don’t give up. I really believe that there is a good combination for everyone, but it takes a lot of experimenting with lots of different medications to get to that point. I know it’s frustrating, but body and brain chemistry is just so darned complicated and sadly, what works for one doesn’t always work for another. I wish it was that simple. I’m hoping that since it’s been a couple of weeks since you posted this (and I’m sorry for such a late reply!), that you’ve made it through the initial “getting used to it” period and perhaps you’re having better success. Will you please let me know how you’re doing?

    • I have also experienced trouble falling asleep on Latuda. I’ve been taking it for probably almost 2 weeks now and I was started on 20 mg. I’m currently a college engineering student and I couldn’t tell if I couldn’t sleep because it’s near midterms and there’s a lot of added stress or if it could be the Latuda. I’ve missed a significant number of classes this week because, as you said, once I do fall asleep I can’t wake up until way later than usual. I do have other “sleep” issues but it was never actually a falling asleep or staying asleep problem, it’s just unexplained extreme daytime sleepiness. I take 75 mg nuvigil (which my insurance does not cover) and 450 mg Wellbutrin XL in the morning which helps a little but in order to take these mess, I have to get out of bed which has always been a struggle but is getting much worse. Even supplemental Vyvanse (which I know I shouldn’t take without a prescription) hasn’t been working as well and I’m concerned that the Latuda is just making all of my physical problems worse. I’d love to hear what ended up happening with your Latuda. Maybe I iust need to be patient? I’ve heard great things about it but I need my sleep.

      • Hi, Carly –

        I’m sorry you are feeling so much stress. I also have “unexplained daytime sleepiness” – I was told by two different doctors that it could be depression, but the Latuda is supposed to really help with depression. Does the Wellbutrin XL make you sleepy? It does for a friend of mine. Can you take that at night instead? Maybe taking the Latuda and the Wellbutrin at the same time will have a sedating effect that might wear off before morning so you have less trouble getting out of bed. If that doesn’t work, I would definitely go back to your doctor. Engineering is very difficult, and you need to have all your faculties in working order to succeed at school. Maybe give it a couple of more weeks until your body has more time to adjust, and if you still have the sleepiness issues, definitely talk to your doctor. Good luck – keep me up to date with your progress, please!

  12. I have a question…hope you can answer. I am on Prozac and Lithium. My Dr. just added Latuda to the mix yesterday. He says to take with the other 2 meds, but I was under the impression it could be taken alone and be effective. I just don’t want to overmedicate because I have done that for many years and was hoping to cut back. What is your opinion on the mixture of these 3? I also am on Xanax for anxiety. Thanks!

    • Hello! I’m so sorry I’ve taken so long to answer your question. I hope you’re doing OK and that you’ve had some success? I, too, have felt at times like I’m taking too much medication (right now I’m just on Latuda for bipolar depression, and Ativan to help me relax and sleep, etc). At one time a few years ago, I was taking up to five medications a day and I felt like I was doing myself a serious injustice because I was so worried about long-term effects. But after speaking with many other bipolar sufferers, I realize that most of us are taking several medications at once and have done so for years without any serious negative effects.

      Yes, I’ve heard that Latuda can be effective when taken alone, so maybe with time you will be able to wean yourself from the other drugs. But I think for now it’s best to follow the advice of your doctor. Your system needs time to adapt, and maybe in a few weeks you can talk to your doctor about cutting back on the other two. I have, in the past, taken both Prozac and Lithium, but not at the same time. I took Prozac alone for several years before I realized it just wasn’t enough. And the Lithium for me was a short-lived experiment because I felt absolutely no benefit from that drug. Everyone is so different – I wish there was an easy solution for those of us with bi-polar disorder, but sadly there is not. It takes a lot of time and a lot of experimenting to find the right “cocktail” for our chemical makeup, and we have to keep reminding ourselves that eventually we will get it right. Please let me know if you’re doing well. There’s no way to see into the future and know that there will be no negative effects from taking several medications at once, but I’m trying so hard just to feel better NOW. I do worry about what is down the road for me in the future in terms of my medical health as a result of the steps I’m taking to improve my mental health. But I am mostly thankful that I’m doing well in the here and now. If I don’t do what makes me feel good right now, I won’t have a future.

      Good luck. Please let me know how you’re doing.

    • I was taking Latuda 60mg but had to have it reduced back to 40 mg due to the negative side effects. I would experience inner-restlessness, fidget (couldn’t sit still and I would twitch a lot). The inner restlessness made me want to crawl out of my skin. Just unbearable. Still have to take Xanax to calm me down after I take the 40 mg but since my dosage has been reduced the unbearable inner-restlessness is much more mild now. As far as the twitching goes…it’s more within my feet/toes then anything else. I have gained some weight but am not sure if that is due to the Latuda or the Brintillex.

      • Hi, Chrissy –

        I’ve never heard of Brintillex. I’ve heard that the Latuda is “weight-neutral”, which is one of the reasons I tried it because I gained so much weight on so many other drugs. But I never know if that is the truth, or just a claim by the drug company to get us to try it. I don’t think there’s a woman I know who would willingly take something that says “expect weight gain”!

        I’ve been told that the “twitching” can be dangerous and permanent, and that’s one of the side effects I was told to be wary of when I started Latuda. I think it’s called Akithisia (maybe that’s not the right word), and I was told to look out for mouth movements and uncontrolled twitching in my hands. I had a funny twitch on one of my lower eyelids which made me nervous because it started at about the same time I started the Latuda, but it turned out that I just needed glasses. I really am getting old!

        I take something similar to Xanax (I take Ativan) because I noticed that I got very nervous and restless feeling right after taking the Latuda, and it would last 20-30 minutes and then I could calm down on my own. But now I take the muscle-relaxant at the same time as the Latuda because I really hated that nervous feeling, even if I knew it would go away soon. Have you asked your doctor if you can take the Latuda at the same time as the Xanax? Maybe that would be helpful?

        The twitching makes me worry about you – please make sure that you are documenting when it happens, how long it lasts, and what parts of you are twitching – do your toes on both feet twitch at the same time, etc? Then I would definitely report what you learn to your doctor so he can determine if it is a serious side-effect or just maybe nervousness. I think it’s so important to listen to your body and monitor anything at all that seems abnormal for you.

        Good luck – please keep me up to date on your progress!

  13. My husband is currently taking Depakote and Lithium for his bipolar disorder. The side affects are so harsh that he has gained over 53 lbs in 5 months.. and he is losing all of his hair. His doctor is going to have him start backing off on the depakote and slowly incorporate 40 mg of latuda with the lithium… I am feeling kind of nervous about this change because id hate to see him go into a manic episode again.. I really hope that latuda will be a positive transition for him and make it so he is not a zombie anymore.

    • Hi, Brittany – I’ve heard that Depakote can cause weight gain, but a lot of people think that the positive side effects outweigh the possibility of gaining weight. I have been on Latuda for more than 16 months now, and haven’t had a manic episode since I started taking it. I don’t know if that is typical of everyone, but I’ve continued to feel very good while taking it. Also, Latuda is supposed to be “weight neutral” so hopefully your husband will have that benefit, as well. I’ve started seeing commercials for Latuda on TV, which is encouraging to me because it means the word is getting out about its successes. When I first started taking it last year, I had never heard of it. I hope your husband starts feeling better soon. Hang in there – the loving support of family members is so important in recovery and “sanity maintenance” with bi-polar patients (in my experience) and he is lucky to have someone who is concerned for his well-being. Good luck, and keep me posted!

  14. I, too, have had a pretty good experience with Latuda. I take the 3 L’s: Lithium, Lamictil, Latuda. However, I am not as excited about it. There are some definite draw backs. I like the “up” in my mood, but I have developed insomnia and my personality is different. I am more intense than my usual self. If people have questions, I would be happy to write more. This blog does seem like a drug company website. I love the new feeling of not being depressed. But, I know this is a new drug and the data is very limited —only 6 week followup. It’s concering and worth taking into consideration.

    • Hi, Lucy –

      I’m so sorry this seems like a “drug company” website! I promise I am in NO WAY affiliated with any pharmaceutical or drug companies in any way! (I would hope that a drug company blog would be a little better written……) I have been on so many drugs in the past twenty years that I thought I could help by sharing some of my experiences, hoping to learn if I’m the only one having successes or failures with particular drugs. And my blog certainly is not just about the medications I’ve been taking. In fact, only a 1/2 dozen or so of my nearly 90 posts have been drug-related! I’m just so happy to have found something that works for me, that I wanted to pass the word along since it’s fairly new to the market. I hope you’ll maybe read a few of my other posts so you can feel assured that I’m not writing on behalf of any company or anyone but myself and anybody I think my crazy input might help.

      In regards to Latuda, I do not think it’s a miracle drug. But it has helped me more than any of the others. I mentioned to another reader that I’d had bad luck with Lamictal, developing a scary allergy pretty quickly. And I took Lithium alone for years. The Latuda, I noticed, did give me insomnia initially because when I first take it, I feel a little bit of a buzz. So I started taking it with Lorazapam/Ativan because that combination helps me relax and sleep. Insomnia was actually a huge problem for me for years, and I started self-medicating just to get some rest, which turned out to be a bad idea. One thing I’ve also done is cut out all caffeine after lunchtime, because I’ve noticed that it has a stronger effect on my sleep as I get older. Have you ever taken an anti-anxiety mixed with these other medications? I have an 11-year old daughter who takes an anti-depressant, but she also takes something for anxiety because we noticed that after starting the anti-depressant, she was also a little more intense, definitely taking things a little more seriously and having a bit of a shorter temper. She takes Lexapro every morning, a very small dose, and we noticed a big difference in her intensity. Maybe ask your doctor what would be making you feel intense?

      I have been told that Latuda is for “bipolar depression”, which means I don’t have any clinical data as to whether or not it actually helps with mania or not. But I’ve been on it for over a year and I definitely am less depressed (although it doesn’t do anything for what I call “situational depression” which I have simply as a result of some of the rotten things going on in my life currently). But I wake up feeling pretty happy and ready for the day. Yes, Latuda is a very new drug and there is very little data that I can find that supports long-term use. But it’s working for me, for now, and the point of these few entries regarding my meds is to provide readers with some background on my experience, just in case they have reached desperation mode with what they’re on now and want to try something new.

      I hope you find success with your medications, Lucy. I realize it’s hard to find the right combination to take, and that the time of day and the dosage and the combinations are really tough to mess with until you are able to get the right one.

      If any one else has questions that perhaps Lucy could answer based on her experience, her email address is listed in the post above and it sounds like she’s welcoming input and questions. Lucy, thanks again for replying. I hope you find the combination that is just right for you. I’m not sure that what I’m doing is “just right” for me, but it certainly is an improvement on my former self. Good luck, and I really hope to hear from you again to update me on your progress.

    • I’m so glad to hear it, Sherry. Keep up the good work! And remember, if Latuda ends up not working for you in the long run, there are other options out there. As long as you’re taking medication under the care of a doctor, you are on the right track. But I do hope Latuda continues to be a success. I’m still doing very well on it, also, and it’s been nearly 18 months. Thank you for reading!

  15. Hi there…I just picked up my latuda from the pharmacy. I’ve been reading as much I can about it. I am a little nervous about it. I have been on so many medications…some were okay for awhile then they would stop working. I’ve been on a cocktail of many meds for 2 years now cymbalta, trileptal, seroquel, and then there’s the other meds for high blood pressure, water pill, thyroid and last but not least suboxone and well that’s for being an addict…I have a lot of pain from RA and lupus and I was put on pain meds but because of my past and present addiction I couldn’t just take one. So I decided yup get help and was put on suboxone (which I plan to come off in the future) now regarding my mental meds it’s been such a battle..I’m so tired of the ups and downs being angry and the anxiety. So my doc said let’s try latuda..I tried abilify and I had a bad reaction…I wanted to kill myself and I tried. I’m nervous and scared. I have also lost 54lbs and I’m afraid with these antipsychotics I will gain weight and I’m doing so well to lose it. From what I’ve read from your experience that you are happy with latuda I just hope I can get the same benefits any comments or suggestions are welcome. I plan on taking it tomorrow after a high protein breakfast…..just very nervous..I also know I want know anything till I try it.
    Thank you very much

    • Hi, Kristin –

      First of all, I apologize for my delayed reply. I usually get back to people pretty quickly, but I somehow missed your comments and I am sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.

      I’m curious to know how you are doing with the Latuda, as it looks like you may have been on it now for a month? I do not have any experience with trileptal or suboxone, but I have taken Seroquel (it made me gain weight and I felt very anxious while on it). I am still on Latuda and continue to have success, although I do not feel it does as great a job as it did after the first few months of taking it. Perhaps my body has gotten too used to it, or perhaps it loses some degree of effectiveness after taking it for so long (I experienced that with Lithium), but it does still work and I feel pretty good.

      I have been assured that Latuda is “weight neutral”, which means it does not have the side effect of making you gain weight. Hopefully that has been your experience so far. The only problem I’ve really had with it is that if I take it in the morning, I feel a little anxious (nervous, racing heart) for about half an hour after taking it, even if I take it with food. So instead, I take it at night with my Ativan, which I take to help me sleep. That seems to cancel out the nervousness I feel when taking it alone. I typically don’t eat when I take the Latuda, but I have heard that it can be beneficial to take it with protein.

      In regards to your pain meds, have you ever tried Lyrica? My doctor thought I had fibromyalgia because for quite a while I had all-over body aches whenever I was lying down, and it really helped to relive the aching. I no longer take it (my aches and pains turned out to be as a result of severe depression…..), but it worked while I needed it.

      I did not do well on Abilify, either. Again, it helped me gain weight, and I too am trying hard to stay where I am on the scale.

      Will you please reply with how you are doing, if you are still taking the Latuda? I’d like to know how you are feeling. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Clearly, I’m no expert, but I’ve found it helpful to discuss the Latuda with other people taking it because it’s such a new drug that I feel not very many others have experience with it yet.

      I hope you’re feeling well, and I hope to hear back from you soon.

  16. I’ve been taking Latuda since Nov. 2012 for mania. Dosage bumped up from 40 mg to 60 mg in January 2013. I’ve been doing great since then. No hypomania. I make sure that I have food before I take it because of the 350 calorie requirement. The only drawback for me is that if I take it right after dinner, I’m so sleepy and tired that I need to conk out by 9-9:30. So I take the Latuda with a snack around 9-9:30.

    • Please keep me posted with your progress, as I know very few people who take Latuda and I like to be able to compare my experiences with that of others on the drug. I also currently take 60mg, but I am envious that it makes you tired because it makes me a bit jumpy for a few minutes immediately after taking it.

  17. Hi there. Thanks for all amazing info. I’ve been on Latuda for about 4 weeks and the only side effect I noticed is BLURRED VISION. It’s really concerning as I have problems seeing street signs when driving… Did anybody had (or has) this side effect? If so, will it go awy.



    • Hi, Iza – I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of blurred vision with Latuda. I used to wear this patch behind my ear before each ECT treatment to keep me from getting nauseous. It’s called Scopalamine, and it made my vision VERY blurry to the point that I wasn’t allowed to drive and couldn’t see the TV because I couldn’t see well. But I’ve never heard of it with Latuda. I’d like to think it will eventually go away, but you’ve been on it four weeks and my guess is if it was going to go away, it would have done so by now. Did you ask your doctor? Are you blurry all the time, or just certain parts of the day? Near and far-sighted blurriness? I’m not sure eyesight is something you want to mess with, depending on the severity of the blurriness, because that can lead to other problems like headaches. Let me know what your doctor says. I do hope it goes away on its own.

  18. I hate latuda. The headaches, the puking, akathesia, nausea, and aggression are what I’m experiencing. I’m so happy it worked for you. I’m back to the drawing board.

    • Hi, Alaina – I’m sorry to hear you hate Latuda. My 11-year old daughter was on it for a few weeks, and she also hated it, so now she’s taking something different. She also suffered from headaches and nausea while on it. She has ADHD (in addition to being bipolar) and is prone to unusual movements with her hands and mouth (different from akathesia), so the doctors were worried she might be more susceptible to real akathesia so they took her off the medication. I don’t have actual aggression while on Latuda, but I do feel panicked and nervous right after taking it. It sounds like you are suffering every side effect that Latuda has – that stinks. Have you tried Seroquel? I did fine on that, but I gained weight (which happens for some people but not all). I also took Abilify for a while. Please let me know if you find something that works for you. I’m sorry the Latuda wasn’t the right match for you, but there are so many great meds out there – it may take time, but I’m certain your doctors will find one that works well with your system. Good luck!

  19. Hi! I’m a 34 year old woman with bipolar 2.. I ve been taking latuda for about 3 weeks at 20 mg.. But I’m weaning off effexor and I’m down to 37.5 mg.. I love latuda, but my p doc thinks the effexor is getting in the way with the full bennifits of latuda. Thoughts? I’m officially exhausted every time I go down to a lower dosage of effexor, that’s when a dose of handy adderall comes in, it gets me up but my mind still feels exhausted.. Has anyone experienced this coming off effexor and going on latuda? Thanks and cheers..xoxo

    • Hi Sara – I’ve not had any experience with Latuda being taken at the same time as Effexor. It’s been a week since you posted this comment – are you now officially off Effexor? Any changes? Do you take the Adderall every day? I’ve had a lot of people tell me that Latuda can cause extreme drowsiness and exhaustion, but I have kind of the opposite effect. It makes my heart race when I first take it, and then that goes away. Maybe this is just all happening because you’re weaning off one medication and moving up to full strength on another? Maybe it will go away after another couple of weeks? Please let me know how you are doing now.

  20. This is my first night taking Latuda and at first I became sleepy but couldnt sleep til kids in bed.. I lay down kind of awake now after taking Tylenol pm and my legs hurt so bad like I need to move them… Has anyone felt this cuz I jusy want to make sure that I’m not just imagining this.. I will b calling doctor tomorrow

    • Hi – I have heard people tell me Latuda makes them really sleepy, but I’ve also heard it gives them a quick surge of energy right after taking it. So some people take it at night, and some in the morning. I haven’t heard anyone tell me that it makes their legs hurt. However, I took another medication for two years and after about a year, my legs would hurt but only at night when I was lying down. My doctor gave me Lyrica for the pain, but said he doubted the pain was from the medication, although when I switched to something else the pain went away. Definitely talk to your doctor, because everyone has different side effects. Has anyone else out there heard of this?

      • Well, I took it for almosy a week its not for me!! First night it was like my legs were restless so they put me on blood pressure meds. It helped a lot. But I started brcoming irritated, like the worst ever been I was so amxious getting upset as in, if I wanted it done or needed to find something I had to do it right then amd there no questions or nothing in my way or I’d get very mad. Also, I was severely depressed. It may work on others but it didnt for me so I am back on Geodon 180mg.. It seemed to do better than latuda. He was going to put me on abilify but I knew latuda worked and didnt want to go down this route again
        Thanks though!!

      • Hi again – I’m really glad that you responded because it’s important for readers to learn from testimonials like yours that not all drugs are going to be effective for all people. I’m sorry Latuda didn’t work for you, but I’m hopeful that the Geodon will be a better choice. I’ve heard of the “restless leg” issues from other people taking Latuda, and I have personally experienced some irritability and anxiety, but that goes away within 30 minutes of taking it so for me it’s not a big issues. But I can see how prolonged feelings of irritation can be very aggravating. My daughter has just started taking Geodon, so I’m glad to know that you find it effective, as perhaps it will work for her, as well. Good luck with the switch in meds, and thank you very much for getting back to me with your experience.

  21. I have been on Latuda for BiPolar depression for several months now, and it is a God sent, I feel normal again for the first time in years, but I wanted to mention that I also get very panicky within about 30-45 mins of taking it at night, maybe right about the time it kicks in, my heart races and I have a small panic attack, only my doctor HATES benzos and doesn’t believe the rush of panic is caused by the Latuda kicking in… I plan on looking into switching doctors because I’m becoming afraid of taking it because I know what it’ll do when it kicks in, even though after the panic runs it’s course I’m fine, it’s still scares the crap out of me! I’m just so glad you mentioned the same thing happening to you🙂

    • Hi Vanessa – I’m so glad you shared your experience here. If the Latuda is working but causing that panicked feeling that I also get, but your doctor is opposed to a muscle relaxant or benzo, maybe he could think of something non-narcotic that might also have calming effects to help when you first take the Latuda? I think I mentioned in my post that I take my Latuda at night and always have to take it with 1mg of Ativan because that seems to take away that racing-heart feeling. I’ve taken the Latuda in the morning without the Ativan, and I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest for about half an hour, and then it goes away. But I HATE that feeling, which is why I always try to take it at night. I’ve also heard that taking it with food can help a little – have you tried that? Ultimately, you need to find a bipolar med that works for you – it sounds like Latuda is doing that – but your doctor should be supportive in helping you avoid some of the side effects. Is there a medical reason he doesn’t want to give you benzos? Please let me know how you’re doing, and if you end up changing doctors or talking your current doctor into changing his mind. I’d like to know if you’re still having success with the Latuda.

      • She actually just started me on a very low dose of Neurontin, which doesn’t seem to do anything at all, I am in the process of finding another doctor, I don’t want to become afraid of taking it to the point of actually stopping the med that’s working so well. Thanks for listening!

  22. I have recently been prescribed 40mg Latuda for my bipolar 1. Can I ask why everyone seems to take this at night and not with breakfast? If it makes people jittery and we need to take it with 350 cals it seems like morning is a good choice. I haven’t worked up the courage to take it yet and it’s been sitting on my counter for the past 4 days.

    • Hi, Natalie –

      I used to take it in the morning, but even on a full stomach I still got a very jittery and panicked feeling for about 1/2 hour after taking it. It was such an unsettling feeling, and I felt like each morning I got off to a bad start as a result. So I take it at night with my Ativan, which I use to help me sleep. The Ativan seems to counteract the jitters and I don’t feel them at night. I can’t take the Ativan in the morning with a dose of Latuda because I would fall asleep standing up. Not everyone experiences the racing heart with Latuda, and it obviously doesn’t work the same for each person. But I definitely had to experiment with a good time of day to take it, and that just happens to be at night for me. But the one thing I can say for sure is that it’s not doing you any good just sitting on the counter….. 🙂

    • I have been on Latuda (20mg) for 9 months now, I have Bipolar 2, it works great for me. I can only take it at night, it make me so tired, I have to wait until I am ready for bed to take it or I will fall asleep on the couch.
      Love your blog, it’s been very informative🙂 All the best to everyone.

  23. Latuda took away all my interest that I had in using my computer. Obviously not for the person who wrote this article but for me I went from long hours of use of the computer to little to none. I layed around in an easy chair all day taking clonopin I received from a family doctor to ease the akathisia from the forced injections of prolixin in the psychward. I must confess that I am antimedicine and Geodone made me feel like I was bound to a demon a real demon. You should know that the Bible condemns the use of medicine in Galatians as one of the works of the flesh in the original Greek as PHARMAKEIA which means pharmacy and is translated Witchcraft in the English Bibles like King James. Those practicing the works of the flesh the Bible says will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Revelation also condemns the use of medicine as Sorcery and the original Greek is PHARMAKEIA.

    • Well, Sam, the beauty of this forum is that everyone is entitled to an opinion and an opportunity to voice that opinion. I’m sorry that medication has not worked for you, and I completely respect your religious beliefs pertaining to medicine.

      Medication has saved my life, and allowed me to contribute to this world in a positive way. If and when I actually make it to the Pearly Gates of Heaven, I hope God will admit me based on my contributions and goodness toward others, and for the love for him I hold in my heart. If I am denied access to Heaven because I took medication, at least I will have lived a long and healthy life. If not for medications, I would have been away from this earth long ago.

      Thank you very much for your input.

  24. My doctor gave me a 40 mg sample months ago but I was to scared to take it after all of the side effects it may cause. I had a heart attack six months ago and I also take medication for that. My mental health meds consist of:
    Lactimal 100 mg
    Weening off Wellbutrin so taking 150 mg now
    Weening off Viibryd- just started a few months ago but it wasn’t doing anything. Seems to be as hard as Effexor to get off as that took me almost a year to stop ( I took for 8 years)
    Trying Focalin XR 20 mg for ADD. Nothing so far has worked. Too many side effects.
    Ativan 2.5 mg as the doctor will not write anymore scripts for this. I still get anxiety and is worse with Focalin XR He prescribed Vistaril last week but I have only taken at night because it knocks me out.
    And last- I take 50 mg trazodone at night.

    Last night I was feeling desperate for something to finally work and i took one 40 mg of Latuda. I got extremely hot and jittery. I felt really panicked and scared. A bit of the impending doom feeling I hate. I told my husband I was wrong for taking it and he thinks I read too much on the internet! I laid awake for what seemed like hours. Not tossing and turning but just still but my brain seemed wide awake. I felt so hot. I swore I would not take again but today I am still feeling desperate to feel better. I have lived with depression and addiction since I was 17. I have had extreme day time sleepiness for most my life. Even ADD meds do not take it away. I will have 10 years clean next month but I still get panic attacks when mixing so many medications together.
    Should i push through and give it a chance? What is the withdrawal like with Latuda? What is common dosage for depression?

  25. I have finally found a great medicine for bipolar,Latuda.and like the person before me I have been through the whole gamet of meds that always stop working although I have never allowed myself to have Ect.I have spent 25 +years on them and have had too many hospital stays supposedly rearranging my meds. Also suicidal ideations. Finally after all of that my Dr put me on Latuda. I have never been better although I have found that coming off a certain me gave me horrible nightmares. All and all I have never been happier in my life. My depression has subsided and I have no mania I am just plain happier. I hope that people who read this talk to their Dr and find out if it will help them.

  26. I have bipollar major depression disorder anxiety ptsd. I’m only 22 but ive been in mental hospitals for being suicidal and what not since i was 13. Im currently just on zoloft. Was on just about everything you name it. I just got my latuda in the mail today. I saw the comercials and i looked it up and heard great things mostly. So I’m trying it today. I really have high hopes on this because the past year ive been sorta agoraphobic unless i drink. Im not going to drink with this so don’t worry. I have been so depressed i hope this works and helps me feel better so i dont want to drink and have a life again.

    • Hi Travis – how are you doing now that you’ve started the Latuda? It’s been a couple of weeks so I’m hoping it has started to work for you? You are correct to not drink while on it – that would just mess with you, I think. Also, have you thought of taking some kind of anxiety meds with it, since I don’t know how well Latuda helps with anxiety?

    • I take it and have never been happier clear and alive. But i am not a doctor so i hesitate to recommend it but if anyone is bipolar it’s worth talking to your doctor about. Thanks Jan

      • I agree. I am not a doctor either, I just have had such success with this medication that I wanted to share since it’s relatively new and not a lot of people have tried it yet. I’m so glad that it’s working for you, as well.

  27. Hi, just read your post as I was trying to rate 3 meds in terms of increased anxiety: abilify, latuda, and saphris. I am a long in the tooth bipolar, have been thru all the older drugs trying to kick out some of my depression. My doc wants me to go on abilify again; seems to have lost the perspective that last time it was 10 mos. no improvement, so I think I will see if he will go for atuda instead. Wow – some of those remarks about feeling calm and happy – I’ve had one or two glimpses of that… would like to again someday if its not to late for me…

    • Of course it’s not too late for you! I tried dozens of medications before I found the one that is right for me. It’s unfortunate that most of the time we cannot know immediately what works and what doesn’t: trial and error, I guess. I have tried both Ability and Saphris, but have had more success with the Latuda. Please let me know how it works (or doesn’t work) for you.

  28. So glad to have found this post and see that you’ve kept up-to-date with comments since the OP! My daughter has bipolar 1 that she manages well with diet, exercise and sleep. However, she became manic again about six months ago and has been taking Geodon. She’s getting married in three days and the mania has returned; she can’t sleep, and the Geodon seems ineffective. Today, her doctor recommended she try Latuda, which is why I’m googling other peoples’ experiences. We’re waiting on a call-back from the doctor regarding whether or not she can be on birth control while on Latuda – her wedding is Saturday and this is an important question! Just wondering if you had any experience with that…

    Thanks, again, for this insightful post.

    • Hi, Beth –

      First of all, congratulations and best wishes to your daughter on what will definitely be a very happy occasion!

      I’m not sure how quickly your daughter will see results on Latuda. It may take several days before she feels differently. Another thing to keep in mind is that Latuda has been approved for the treatment of bipolar depression. It is not necessarily intended to help with mania, although I’ve encountered several people for whom it has been helpful for both the ups and down of being bipolar. If she doesn’t find the Latuda helpful with her mania, her doctor might be able to prescribe something for the mania that she can take in addition to the Latuda.

      My daughter also is bipolar, but she is not yet a teenager so medications work differently with her. She has tried Latuda and Geodon, with no success. She and I both took Lithium, which left us feeling “flat”. Right now, she takes Trileptal for mood control, while I’m still getting great benefit from the Latuda.

      Lastly, I cannot offer any advice regarding Latuda and its effect on birth control. I think the recent Latuda commercials on TV say something like, “As with all new medication, consult your doctor if you are nursing, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant”, but I’m not sure about birth control. Because Latuda is still such a new drug, there may not be much information on that subject. So perhaps as a precaution, use a backup……

      Again, I hope your daughter has a wonderful wedding day, and the support of a future husband who understands the nature of her illness and who will love and care for her as she deserves.


  29. Thanks for inspirational story about latuda. 2 things I worry about. My sleep is out of whack and my hair seems to be falling out. Not bad but annoying ! I hope this stops🙂

    • Are you losing your hair because of Latuda? I haven’t heard of that before….. you can go to your dermatologist and she can examine your hair follicles and help determine the cause (often done with a blood test). My daughter lost a lot of hair with Lithium, and I lost a ton while using Topomax. But I haven’t heard of Latuda as a culprit for hair loss. I also have irregular sleep, so my doctor gave me 2mg of Ativan (Lorazepam) to help me sleep. It’s not a sleep medication, but it works to make me feel calm so I can sleep a little better.

  30. Hello,
    I’m completely new to these websites. It’s oddly calming to me to read other people’s experiences with drugs that I am on as well. I just started latuda a couple days ago. My doctor thinks I’m bi-polar, after about 3 minutes of me explaining my symptoms. I’m not even sure, but I’m positive I have depression and anxiety, especially after I had my daughter 4 years ago. I’m on 20mg, of latuda, I already skipped a couple days of taking because I was having second thoughts. It just seems like a powerful drug and I don’t want to mess my brain up. I’ve also been taking citalopram for four years. I struggle with being a normal person. I have 3 kids but I can barely keep up on anything. It all feels like a giant mountain to climb. I currently have like 15 loads of laundry on my mudroom floor and I’m a stay at home mom. I have no excuse. I’m tired all the time and overweight. I’m also a christian and believe in God’s healing power. I’m pretty lost right now. I feel like my hormones are completely out of balance. One minute I’m hopeless, the next minute I’m so irritable I can not handle anything. My kids deserve a better mom than this. And I know I’m a shifty wife. Well anyway, just felt like telling a portion of my story, to hear myself tell it. I also skipped the latuda a couple times because I wanted to have some drinks. I wondering how bad it is to socially drink on latuda??

    • Thanks for your comments. I’ve been on Latuda now for three years, and it’s still working very well for me. I feel like a different person. Calm, happy, even. I also have three kids and five years ago, I was completely overwhelmed. I was reading your post and thinking, “she sounds just like me!”. I also believe in God and healing power, but I also believe that we all have to do a lot of the work ourselves, with His guidance. I found out in some pretty tough situations that I have to take care of myself. Only I can be responsible for my own mental health, and so I can’t emphasize enough that if you find a medication that works, stick with it. And if you don’t have a therapist or a great friend you can talk to, find one. I always thought it was ridiculous to pay money to a person just so he or she could listen to me talk, but I’ve found a great therapist who specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and it has really helped me to talk with her and find ways to cope with stress and anxiety. I also questioned my ability to be a good mom and wife, but it turns out that my family loves me enough to realize that I need help, and they are extremely supportive. They just want us to be happy, and I work really hard to make sure that they know I’m doing my best, even if my best is sometimes sub-par.

      Finally, get a second opinion. Your doctor didn’t spend enough time with you to make a proper diagnosis. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s not. But you owe it to yourself to get more answers. Your anxiety and depression might just be as a result of having three busy children and trying to maintain a household. In any case, don’t skip doses of medication. It takes a while to even out in your system, and you need to take it every day to see if it’s effective. I’m not sure how alcohol affects Latuda, but it’s something to ask your doctor.

      Good luck, and please keep me posted on your progress.

  31. Hi, I have taken several medications for Bi-polar 1, Depression, Anxiety, and ADD. Personally I think Bi-polar 1 is all I am, the depression, anxiety and ADD are part of that. Anyways I let me post what I have taken in my time. Risperdal, Paxil, Lithium, Xanax, Geodon, Limictal,Thorizine,
    Buspar, Effexor, Zoloft, Depecote (can’t spell sorry) and Abilify (10mg). I think thats it could of missed a few but you get the picture. Currently I am on Latuda (60mg), Paxil (60mg), BuSpar (40mg) and Strattera (20mg). I have been taking Paxil for years it helps me like 30 percent for depression and anxiety. The BuSpar does nothing I don’t think so I am probably going to come off this as well as the Strattera. Latuda has helped me with depression and anxiety alot I would say 80 percent. I do feel really hot all the time though when I am not but this could be eather from the Strattera or Buspar. I started the Latuda, Strattera, and BuSpar at the same time so I don’t know what is causing the overheating issue. I had problems with paranoia thinking people were tallking about me all the time, depression where I didn’t want to leave the house, I couldn’t be in large crowds, I also have a mild case of OCD. BUT this all went away with the Latuda. I think right now by far next to Abilify. But Latuda is better then Abilify because it has no weight gain issues. I have only been taking it for a month so it could even get better with time. I am thinking about slowly trying to get off Paxil, and Strattera because I think the Latuda is the med helping me not the others, so why take them you know. Ok this post is getting long there is more I want to say maybe next post but for now please try Latuda. Stay away from Geodon! Worst med I have ever tried. Also stay away from Benzo’s if you can because you will end up taking more and more well I don’t know if you will I know I did and got totally out of control with it. Coming off a Benzo is a nightmare trust me. No more addicting meds for me. OK bye for now! I will follow this thread weekly.

    • It sounds like you’ve tried just about all the drugs I have been on at one time or the other. It’s a lot of experimenting to get to a medication that really helps you. I’ve never heard of feeling hot while on Latuda, but everyone’s metabolisms are different and your body just might process it faster, making you feel hot. I also took Ability, but I gained so much weight that it made me depressed. And I certainly don’t need more depression!

  32. I have only been on letuda for a couple of weeks but it has helped me mind wize and I am feeling happier then I have been in years .But the weight gain is more then I can handle because of it .I’m gong to try 10mgs and if I’m still gaining weight I’m going off it. I am not happy with the weight problem. Not sure what to do.

    • Hi! Latuda is actually one of the only “weight-neutral” medications out there that is approved to treat bi-polar depression. You should NOT be gaining weight on Latuda. Are you taking any other medications that could be doing this? Please don’t decrease your dosage without consulting your doctor. You are actually the first person to tell me that there has been weight gain with Latuda, so I’m wondering if it could possibly be caused by another factor? The Happiness is GOOD!!!! Maybe you’re eating more because you feel HAPPY? Is that a possibility? But it shouldn’t be caused by Latuda.

  33. I was just recently told I was bipolar and they added this on top my lexapro. I am on day 3 of the Latuda and was curious to how will I know when it kicks in. How will I know a difference. I did from the lexapro after a few weeks but not sure about this

    • Hi, Cody –
      I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me so long to respond.

      I felt the benefits of Latuda after about a week. I’ve had some people tell me it takes a few days longer or a few days less, depending on the person. Now that it’s been six weeks since you posted this, are you feeling any better? The Lexapro should be helping your anxiety, and the Latuda should be helping your depression. I’ve heard of several people taking this combination with excellent results. How are you feeling?

  34. Your story lifts my spirits because I’ve been severely depressed since I was 12 (now 21) and never cared enough to figure out exactly what was wrong with me, but today I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and I was so sad to hear that cause I’ve always f feared I’d be just like my mom. She also is bipolar. But I was practiced latuda abd I pray that I will finally feel the feeling of happiness again

    • Hello, Brieanna –

      You don’t have to fear that you’ll be just like your mom. A lot has happened in the medical world in the last twenty years, and we have medications available to us that our parents did not. How are you feeling with the Latuda? It’s important to remember that Latuda is approved to treat the depression that results from bipolar disorder, but not the mania. How are you doing with both? Are you taking something for the mania? Latuda should definitely make you feel happiness. Has it had that effect on you? You spent nearly half your life feeling depressed, but now you have a chance to feel better. I also suggest finding a good therapist who practices DBT (dialectical behavior therapy). The combination of good therapy and effective medications has been a lifesaver for me. Literally.

  35. wondering how the Latuda worked out for you as i see this post is a bit old. am goint to speak with my treatment team about. currently taking Viibryd & Buspar

    • I apologize for taking a month to respond to your post. Yes, the Latuda continues to work very well for me. Although everyone is different, I’ve heard many more positive stories about Latuda than negative. I’m unfamiliar with Vibryd, but I think Buspar treats anxiety? Is that correct? If that is the case, you maybe aren’t taking anything yet to deal with depression. Latuda is intended to treat depression associated with bipolar disorder. I definitely advise speaking with your treatment team about it.

    • How is busperone?? Just started 10mg but not feeling a difference…still have alor of anxiety. also on Zoloft and latuda for bipolar. ..maybe should up the dosage?

  36. It doesn’t appear that you’re still active on this blog, but perhaps you’ll get a notification…

    Are you still on Latuda? If so, does it still make you happy? Do you recall how quickly you started feeling happy after you began taking it?

    I’m only on day 3. I know that these kinds of medications typically take 3-4 weeks to kick in but weird- I’m happy. Just wondering if it’s a placebo affect and what kind of outcome I can possibly expect.

    Bipolar with mostly mixed episodes and depression.

    • Hi, Jessika –
      I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I do still get everyone’s comments so I’m glad you wrote something.

      Yes, I’m still on Latuda. Yes, I still feel pretty good. Of course, there are always situational depressions that I encounter, but those moments have nothing to do with the medication. I don’t remember particulars from when I first started Latuda because it’s now been a couple of years, but I do think I noticed a difference by then end of the first week. I was told by my doctor I would notice improvement “right away” but because I’m always skeptical, I think I didn’t allow myself to feel good for the first week. But it definitely worked. I increased my dosage over the course of the next few weeks and am now on 60mg per day. I found out that I metabolize Latuda very slowly, so it stays in my body longer than with other people.

      I’m so glad to hear you are feeling happy so soon. Everyone is different, and you must be one of the lucky ones to have it kick in so quickly. I would like to think this is NOT the placebo effect, but actually that you’ve found a medication that works for you.

      Latuda is intended to treat the depression, not the mania. However, I haven’t had a major manic episode since taking Latuda. Just little bumps in the road, really.

      I hope this works for you, Jessika. I’ve been very pleased with it, especially after having taken so many different medications that didn’t work for me. Latuda did not work for my pre-teen daughter, and I was sad that she didn’t get the same positive results that I did. Just shows that it’s not for everyone, but I’m glad you’re having some success.

      Let me know please in a few weeks if you’re still doing well.

  37. I’m bi-polar and schizophrenic. I use to be on alot of diffirent medications…Alot of high does ones at that. Now It’s just Lunesta,colonepin,busprone HCL, Hydroxzyine HCL and lamectal. They gave me a bottle of latuda 20 MG.. To helps with my down days…They days where I sleep 23 hours a day..or the days that i’m so annoyed I can’t talk to anyone with out chewing of there head, the days where I’m sad but can’t put my finger on why…This bottle of medication is sitting infront of me.. I’ve had it there for a week now..I’m scared to take it. I’m scared it will change me. Or i’ll take it and it will make me feel aweful and I won’t be able to make that feeling go away. I’ve heard greats things, but i’ve also heard really aweful things. I’ve been on drugs that change you…litum…serquil…haladol…and so on ( I can’t spell to save my life). I didn’t like that feeling. Like my heads under water, that feeling like i’m here but i’m just out of reach.. or like a zombie.. I think I might take it tonight…keep taking some notes…then repost. I was wondering about some things…

    1.) How does it make you feel compaired to your normal self. I don’t mean your mood I mean use as a person. Please explain in detail and give some examples..

    2.)Does it make you cramp up and get really sick?? If so when does this occure?

    3.) When is the best time to take this drug?

    4.) Name all the side effects you have exprerinced.

    5.) How long does it take for you to feel the way you did before after you start taking the drug…?

    Thank you soo much for all your help…

    • I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you. I hope my answers might still be helpful:
      1) I feel a little more flat than my “normal” self when I take Latuda, but you have to remember that my “normal” self is manic or depressed. The reason I take medication at all is because my “normal” self is not really normal. If any of us was happy with our normal behaviors, our normal selves, none of us would be staring at a bottle of medication and wondering if we should take it or not. I do not feel dull or drugged. I just feel less manic, less depressed, and more how I felt before I started exhibiting signs of bipolar. Keep in mind that MANY people with bipolar like the rush of a manic episode, and that’s why they don’t take medication.
      2) I feel no cramping or sickness while on Latuda.
      3) I take it at night, but not everyone does. I get a little rush of energy when I first take it that makes me feel a bit panicked for about 20 minutes. But I take it at night with a sleep aid so that helps calm me down, and then I sleep.
      4) See my answer to #3. I get a shot of nervousness for the first 20-30 minutes after I take it, but that’s it.
      5) This is not an “as needed” medication. This is something you have to take every day. After a few days, you might feel better. But it’s not something you take every so often, when you start to feel depressed or manic. You take it every day, maybe for the rest of your life if it works for you. It works for me, so I’ve taken it now for several years.

  38. Can anybody help me, my daughter who’s 21 has got early psycosis and has been on olanzapine for 8 weeks and just started Latuda 40mg four days ago. She’s up and down always thinks the police are after her and people are undercover. Please could somebody give me advice, as I need positive feedback. This will work

  39. Hello

    I am interested in starting latuda and taking it alone. I was wondering if you are bipolar 1 or 2 . I am bipolar 1 and wondering if this will make a difference. .? Than you

  40. I thought I had finally found the one! But after about 6 weeks I started experiencing such horrible restless leg syndrome I literally thought I was going to crawl out of my skin. Anyone else experience this side effect?

  41. Hi I hope you’re able to see this I’m I don’t ever type on these forums but thank all for always posting such useful information. I am extremely maniac I’m only twenty one and don’t break hundred pounds can’t gain weight no matter what I do but I am scary now no matter what size I have been violent towards my loved ones with no control and just need something I know is going to help me and those surrounding me I am female and i am extremely extremely manic when o was younger I was put on depelokte but I was young and stopped taking it because I didn’t “need” it and years went on I became an adult and o couldn’t be in public I have an intense anger that I cannot control and it come out of no wear okay whatever of course I could go on detail for detail but now I have been given a seven day sample of latuda 20 mg and I’m on the fifth day I can’t tell if this is working it’s like almost there and I am still experiencing depression enough to where I can feel it there just creeping up but my insides won’t let me get angry like I usually would and then they gave me 40mg latuda for after I finish the first sample my question is do you think I am still feeling some of my mania and things because it’s not the right medication or I just need a higher dose

    • Hi, Aeon – As with most medications, I believe you need to give it more time to see if it is working effectively for you. 20mg is a pretty low dose, and I was up to 60mg at one time before I felt that it was working. Then I was lowered back down to 40mg for a while. You have to start slowly and keep track of your emotions. Do you have a diary that you can write in each day to keep a list of your daily emotions? Look at that list after a week and see if you notice improvement, and definitely go up to 40mg when recommended. When I first started Latuda, I just felt a little subdued at first, which for me was definitely an improvement in my chaotic behavior. My mind calmed down, but it does take a little time. Please let me know how you’re feeling once you’ve increased your dose. I truly hope you’re feeling better soon.

  42. Alas, my journey with Latuda ended today. It seemed to be working fine for me, however I developed a rash and my doctor took me off it. Back to the drawing board!

  43. [EDIT]
    I guess you’re busy… It appears you haven’t been here for a while. I hope it’s not because you’re depressed again on new meds. ? Regardless I will post here and maybe you can reply.

    I was wondering now what your psych switched you to when you developed the rash? ( I know that some anti-psychotics can cause a rash that is actually fatal so that is Likely why you were taken off it. )

    Anyway, have you had any success with a new med(s) now?

    I’m a little concerned about weight gain. Latuda is apparently weight-neutral. But all anti-psychotics have the potential to do that. Some more than others I guess. I was always slim and I am now 50lbs overweight. Once when I tried Risperidone I actually gained 20 lbs in 6 weeks. Wooof. Never came off.

    Now I’m on Lamictal, Lithium, and Modafinil. As long as the lithium levels stay in check I don’t have any mania (recently I did though, low lithium lowered my common sense, when manic I become Party Girl ..and so I drank way too much which in turn lowered the lithium even more. Boom. alcohol poisoning and totally unconscious in a wheelchair and covered in vomit. I will never drink again. I have scarred my memories of my 50th bday and first trip to Vegas. ….. Oops sorry, I digress)
    So the mania is somewhat in check. Lingers on the edge but I usually can shove it back enough to only let some annoying traits poke through.

    But, I have not been HAPPY for 15 years. I’m just blaugh. And life is passing by.

    I spoke to another psych recently and he suggested Latuda. But some of the side effects I am reading (not here) are terrifying! Im going to see my regular psych tomorrow and ask him.

    I hope you are doing well.

    • Hi Tracy! I’m sorry for the late reply. I’ve been terrible about updating this blog, and desperately need to get back to posting. I’m so glad you found me.

      Yes, the Latuda is still working really well for me. I am only taking that, along with Ativan at night to help with sleep. The Ativan also helps with the only noticeable side-effect I get with the Latuda, which is some nervous anxiety I feel for about 20-30 minutes after I take it. No, Latuda hasn’t made me gain weight – the extra few pounds (ok, 15….) I’ve always carried around are due to chocolate, not Latuda! Is it possible your recent weight gains are due in part to the meds, but also in part to depression? I’m a comfort eater, and even though many depressed people lose the desire to eat, that has never been a problem for me.

      Also, I don’t drink. At all. I’m so worried about having too much of anything in my system, and I think it’s so smart that you don’t drink anymore, either.

      Back to Latuda: many people I’ve met take Latuda and nothing else. They’ve told me it has the overall effect of managing depression, mania, anxiety, etc. I always think it’s a good idea to try one thing at a time, then add onto it based what symptoms the initial medication doesn’t cover. Maybe it’s possible that something like Latuda would handle everything for you and you wouldn’t need to be on 3 things?

      Lastly, my daughter just started taking an antidepressant called Rexulti. I’d never heard of it before. Although the doctor says she’s not bipolar (findings from a genetic test), she exhibits strong anxiety, depression and signs of a serious mood disorder. After trying nearly everything on the market, he finally took her off the Lamictal and put her on this new Rexulti. She takes it with an anti-anxiety med and some vitamin supplements and she is a totally different kid. No short-temper, no unexplained fits of crying or mania, no reactionary behavior. And she’s happy, which is best of all. Maybe you could research that drug?

      I mentioned genetic testing. Your prescribing psychiatrist might be able to help you get this done for free. We used Genomind – a quick cheek swab and we had results in two weeks. The doctor used the results to see what medications were being metabolized too quickly or slowly, what enzymes she was missing from her chemical make-up, etc. we learned that she would get little benefit from lithium, that ADHD meds are very effective with her, but that she metabolized her anti-anxiety meds so quickly that they were out of her system before they could be of use. He used that info to adjust the amount of meds she was taking, and it made a big difference.

      I was on Lamictal several years ago when I developed a rash. It was on my neck so my doctor said to stop immediately. We don’t know if it was related to possible “Stevens-Johnson Syndrome” but I didn’t stay I the Lamictal long enough to find out.

      I was also on Lithium for several years. It made me feel flat. My daughter took Risperidone for a year, and in the first 6 months she gained 24 pounds, and she was only 11 at the time. I’ve never heard of monofidil.

      I wish you luck, and hope you will keep me posted on how you’re doing Tracy. I hope this was helpful.

  44. Thank you for this information! I just recently started Latuda. Love that I’m not depressed anymore. It actually feels strange now NOT to be depressed. But the anxiety thing at bedtime is definitely there! I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack and want to crawl out of my skin. So I’ll definitely have to ask about Ativan.

    • I can relate to the night time anxiety. Sometimes I throw up at night it gets so bad. Latuda has kept me really calm and mellow though. It does its job.

  45. This post was 3 years ago. I’m looking for an update. Are you still having ECT treatments and if so, how often? Still taking latuda and if so what dose?

    • Hi Jennifer – nope, I’m no longer doing ECT. I had 48 ECT sessions over about 18 months, and that was probably more than enough. I did them twice a week for a while, then once a week for several months, then towards the end I was going once every couple of weeks. Yes, I’m still taking Latuda and, yes, it’s still working very well for me. I’m at 60mg every night.

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