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#349495 - 06/03/11 01:07 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: BobKay]
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Jessica Alba plays a horny drug rep in "Little Fokkers". That is all.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#349500 - 06/03/11 07:19 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: tomtuttle]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
I may have to see that one.

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#351481 - 07/06/11 10:57 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: davidsch]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
So there's a new antidepressant out, which is always kind of exciting. The antidepressant pipeline has been kind of dry for the last decade.

However, my initial impression after a bit of research is that, as is often the case, this new medicine will be an expensive way to get approximately the same effect that you can get with currently available generic medications.

The brand name of the new medication is ViiBRYD. Aren't the cutesy double lower case "i"s about enough to make you barf? The scientific/generic name is vilazodone, which at once made me think of trazodone (Desyrel) and nefazodone (Serzone), antidepessants from the 1980s. Indeed, vilazodone is a piperazine-class compound, just like trazodone, nefazodone, and a whole host of other medications.

The drug rep proposed that ViiBRYD works like a combination of Lexapro and Abilify, because it inhibits serotonin intake, like Lexapro and the other SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and is a partial agonist of the serotonin 1-A receptor (like Abilify). Thus, a patient can avoid the currently in vogue regimen of adding an atypical antipsychotic (Abilify, Seroquel) to his antidepressant, getting similar effects in one pill instead of two. Fewer copays, etc.

Wow! Sounds good! Those are some powerful meds you're emulating, alright! Sign me up and let me hand out these samples to all of my depressed patients!

Wait. What the drug rep didn't mention is that Abilify is actually much more than just a serotonin 1-A partial agonist. Its activity there doesn't even account for the majority of its therapeutic effect, which is from its effect on dopamine, where it is also a partial agonist. All in all, Abilify is active in almost a dozen ways - I call it my Swiss Army knife: good for almost anything.

A more accurate analogy would be to say that ViiBRYD is like a combination of Lexapro (or your SSRI of choice) and buspirone (BuSpar). Buspirone is a 1980s era molecule which had modest success treating generalized anxiety before going generic in 2001. About all it does chemically is through that serotonin 1-A receptor, so it was billed as having virtually no side effects. Of course, many patients also said it had virtually no good effects, either, but often they had seen the big guns of benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, etc) and, by that point, addressing their anxiety with buspirone was like addressing a bear with a slingshot. Now, for benzodiazepine-naive patients, buspirone was pretty decent. But I digress.

Anyway, on the $4 list at WalMart, Target, and several other pharmacies, one can find not only buspirone but several decent SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa). I like citalopram due to its good overall tolerability. It was the precursor to Lexapro, anyway, with the same active ingredient; Forest Pharmaceuticals just played some isomer games to create Lexapro. So citalopram + buspirone = SSRI effect plus serotonin 1-A effect for $8. I don't have cost info for ViiBRYD, but most branded antidepressants are ~$200 a month. Even with insurance, you'll probably have a tier 3 copay, if it is even covered in the first place.

So I don't think I'll be writing a lot of ViiBRYD. But it was nice of them to remind me of some of the pharmacologic principles at work so that I could save my patients, and the health care system, some money.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#351484 - 07/06/11 11:11 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: medic8r]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3117
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Trazedone can cause Viagraitis. Careful.

I'm not a big "done" fan myself. Thanks for the heads-up, so I will know what NOT to demand!
_________________________
I never wanted to run in an election, but I always thought it'd be cool to die in office.

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#351485 - 07/06/11 11:20 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: BobKay]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Yeah, the risk of priapism with trazodone is about 1:7,000. No such luck with busiprone or the SSRIs, though.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#351486 - 07/06/11 11:24 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: BobKay]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4010
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
J.P., whenever I hear or read anything about antidepressants, I always think of the word "tricyclic", for obvious reasons, but mainly because I just think it's a neat word.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#351487 - 07/06/11 11:30 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: BobKay]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5802
Loc: Some random location
Now I'm depressed.


I'm just glad I don't have to take any of them. But I was taking lisinopryl for years, then I started to caugh. Not real bad, but just enough to be worrisome. I discovered it was a side effect of lisinopryl when taken over several years. My doctor switched me to Avapro which was going to cost me $60 a month co-pay. My doctor also gave me some info on (I forget the name) program that allows me to pay just $20 instead of $60 as long as I'm not receiving any government assistance money in any other programs.

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#351496 - 07/06/11 12:06 PM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Powertothepeople
J.P., whenever I hear or read anything about antidepressants, I always think of the word "tricyclic", for obvious reasons, but mainly because I just think it's a neat word.

Right on. Interestingly, the conventional wisdom is that the tricyclic antidepressants of the 1960s and 1970s are just as effective, or maybe even slightly more effective, than the newer generation SSRIs and SNRIs. The main reasons that the newer generation supplanted them are (1) better overall tolerability and (2) next to zero chance of lethality in overdose.

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
... program that allows me to pay just $20 instead of $60 as long as I'm not receiving any government assistance money in any other programs.

My guess is that it's a program set up directly by the manufacturer of the medication. Lots of companies have them. They'll give you a break on the copay since they still get your $20 plus whatever your health insurance company paid them. Later, if you like the med and choose to stay on it, you pay the full copay, and then things are really looking good for the company. Like the corner drug dealer, the first one's free, or in this case, heavily discounted. wink
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#351499 - 07/06/11 12:26 PM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: medic8r]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5802
Loc: Some random location
Originally Posted By: medic8r
Like the corner drug dealer, the first one's free, or in this case, heavily discounted. wink


This option lasts until Dec 31, then I was told I can re-apply to have it renewed and it will be renewed as long as I don't have any other kind of government benefits.

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#351524 - 07/07/11 08:41 AM Re: J.P.'s office [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3117
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Originally Posted By: Powertothepeople
J.P., whenever I hear or read anything about antidepressants, I always think of the word "tricyclic", for obvious reasons, but mainly because I just think it's a neat word.


Woody Allen is jealous of dermatologists, because they get to say beautiful-sounding words, like hairy leukoplakia.
_________________________
I never wanted to run in an election, but I always thought it'd be cool to die in office.

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