Effexor users: Pair drug with folate supplement for better results



According to recent research, those who have major depressive disorder could benefit from combining their medications, like Effexor or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), with a folate supplement to improve results.

According to recent research, those who have major depressive disorder could benefit from combining their medications, like Effexor or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), with a folate supplement to improve results.

The research
In a December 2012 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, a researcher at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry looked at treatment-resistant patients - individuals with major depressive disorders whose symptoms did not improve during eight weeks of SSRI treatment. In a controlled study, the researcher found that at both three and six months into the study, those who took the L-methylfolate supplement had significantly improved symptoms in comparison to those who had only had an SSRI and a placebo.

A similar study - funded by pharmaceutical company Pamlab and published in the journal of Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience in 2011 - and many others in recent years have found similar results and concluded that folic acid supplements are important to use in combination with SSRIs like Effexor for those who have major depressive disorder that is not responding to SSRI treatment alone. The use of folate supplements has also caught the attention of prominent psychiatrists. In a recent Fox News article, well-known psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow recommended taking Deplin, a new folate derivative, for individuals who are not seeing results with their SSRI alone. Both the 2012 study and Dr. Ablow pointed out that people with a certain genetic formation do not properly convert folate to L-methylfolate and often just need a boost.

What is folate?
Folate - the shortened version of Levomefolic acid or l-methylfolate - is a B vitamin that is present naturally in foods like egg yolks, leafy vegetables and sunflower seeds, and other foods like bread, pasta and cereal are fortified with folic acid. It can also be bought as a dietary supplement. Folate is important for the body because it works on the cellular level to reproduce DNA. Women typically take folate supplements during pregnancy to keep their babies healthy, but most U.S. citizens do not have to worry about folate deficiency because the USDA has required that it be supplemented in many of the foods we eat.

Patients who have major depressive disorder and are not sure whether or not Effexor is fully efficacious for them can try taking a folate supplement after talking with their doctors. Canadian Online Pharmacy sells both Effexor and Deplin at less expensive rates than if purchased from one's local pharmacy.