At Crazymeds we make psychiatric and neurological conditions (AKA brain cooties) our bitches with evidence-based medicine and a healthy dose of gallows humor. We try to explain more about psychiatric and neurological medications than the WebMD family1 and any other site that offers “FDA-approved” information. Instead of what they give you – reformatted for a more advertising-rich experience2, but otherwise word-for-word copies of the same medication guides and prescribing information / package inserts (PI) that often are supposed to come with your meds.3Crazymeds is where you can learn what’s good, what’s bad, what’s interesting, and what’s plain weird and funny about the medications used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, migraines, anxiety, neuropathic pain, or whatever brain cooties you might have. We give you details other sites don’t, information that is really helpful for you to work with your doctor(s) to find the right treatment options. Things like:

  • How likely a med will work to treat what you have.
  • When will it start to work.
  • What its pros and cons are.
  • How long side effects stick around
  • and what, if anything, can be done about them.

You Can Find What You’re Looking For!

If you know the name of the medication(s) you’re looking for, you’ll probably want our list of drugs by names and class/category. There’s also our much larger list of all the meds we know about to treat various conditions, including all the brand/trade names we can find for every med in every country in which each is available. We also have the drugs sorted into broad categories with lots of overlapping memberships:

Antidepressants, like Celexa and Effexor, for the treatment of depression (duh), anxiety, and other conditions.
Mood Stabilizers, such as Lamictal and Seroquel, for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), also known as anticonvulsants, which are used to treat one or more of epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. Depakote and Stavzor even have FDA approval to treat all three.
Antipsychotics, such as Invega and Abilify, to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Anxiolytics – in English: drugs to treat anxiety and the alphabet soup of anxiety spectrum disorders like GAD, PTSD and OCD. These are mostly SSRIs like Lexapro, as well as benzodiazepines and a few specifically non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic drugs like BuSpar.
Benzodiazepines like Valium (diazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam), which are used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, sleep disorders and more.
Medications for Headaches and Neuropathic Pain, which are primarily AEDs like Topamax and Neurontin, and some antidepressants, like Cymbalta.
“Headache” usually, but does not always mean “migraine.” Like every condition discussed on this site, officially or unofficially, headaches are a spectrum disorder.
Neuropathic pain is a catch-all term for specific conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia (sometimes misdiagnosed as migraines) to chronic idiopathic pain.
Medications for Adult ADD/ADHD. Mostly stimulants like Adderall, but also non-stimulant medications like Strattera.
Medications for Sleep Disorders include stimulants, benzodiazepines, and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics like Ambien.
Stimulants, such as Adderall and Provigil (modafinil), to treat the above-mentioned Adult ADD/ADHD4, sleep disorders like narcolepsy, as well as other conditions.

The {Whatever Your Co-Pay Is} Dollar Questions

Too many of us are overwhelmed by our lives in general, and not just our medical conditions. We often get nothing more than 15-minute appointments with overworked doctors or nurse-practitioners, so we need all the help we can get. We need to talk to our prescribers about the best medication5 to treat our conditions, and not the most profitable and/or cheapest ones6. OK, in reality “best” usually translates to “least bad,” but you get the idea. We need answers to questions that we probably don’t get a chance to ask, such as:

Which antidepressant won’t give me a libido-ectomy?

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is not only the least likely cause that sort of problem, it can even help if your libido isn’t all that you think it’s supposed to be in the first place. But you don’t want to take it if anxiety is part of the problem. SSRIs in general, and Paxil in particular, are what you want to avoid if you’ve had problems in that area, but are the best meds to treat the depression & anxiety combination. SNRIs like Pristiq and Cymbalta can be just as bad for men, and almost as bad for women when it comes to killing libido, but really great when it comes to making depression go away. And for some women they can also help with their sexual response.

Aren’t there a bunch of meds that make you eat everything in sight?

Yes. Zyprexa (olanzapine), Seroquel (quetiapine), and Remeron (mirtazapine) are the worst. With Remeron you’ll want to eat anything that looks, smells, or sounds like the name for a doughnut.

There are some that make you forget what … what was … ?

You’re already taking Topamax (topiramate), aren’t you?

Yeah, that’s the one. Hey! How did you know I was taking Topamax?

Because sometimes I forget why I take Topamax.

What will make The Crazy stop right the hell now so I don’t hurt myself or anyone else?

Zyprexa (olanzapine), maybe Depakote (divalproex sodium). Maybe both if you’re so manic you think you’re Jesus and have already written a 200-page book outlining your plan for the New Millennium.

Don’t those make you fat?

Does that matter if you kill yourself next week? Once you calm the hell down you and your doctor can figure out the best long-term solution.

Is there an AED that will make the brain cancer seizures go away, and maybe, you know, if it’s not too hard, make the brain cancer go away too?

Keppra (levetiracetam)

Really? I was just kidding about the brain cancer.

Really. Keppra can help chemo kill cancer. These meds are a lot better for you than most people think.

What We’re All About

You, Our Target Demographic

Crazymeds is the site for the obsessed and depressed, the manic and the panicked, the schizophrenic and epileptic, the migraineurs and bipolar, those with GAD, SAD, OCD, PTSD, in pain or have an otherwise non-standard brain7. If you have any specific questions about a drug that wasn’t answered on its page, couldn’t find the drug you’re interested in, or want some help in figuring out which medication is the right one for you, then visit Crazy Talk: Our forum for the mentally interesting. We aren’t doctors or anything, and we don’t diagnose, but we have more experience than we ever wanted when it comes to brain cooties and the crazy meds used to treat them. We’re all about helping each other know what the drugs can and cannot do, what they are likely to do for us and to us, and work with our doctors to make the best, or least bad, choice in medication(s) as quickly as possible.

If you’re unsure if you should be taking drugs to treat your condition(s) in the first place, see our all-purpose are you messed-up enough to need medication test.

Do the Math

If you do need to take medication the math is really simple: which sucks less? Taking an imperfect medication that controls the symptoms of a condition that puts your life somewhere in the spectrum of “barely tolerable” to “dear God please kill me now;” or trying to get through life with that same condition which will keep getting worse the longer you go without treating it. A lot of these meds suck donkey dong, but you know what? When you’re mentally ill, and/or have some neurological problem like epilepsy or migraines, and you’re not taking any medications, or not taking the right medications, it sucks syphilitic donkey dong while a red-hot poker is being jammed up your ass.

You don’t think it’s that bad? That’s because you’re reading this site, which is on the Internet. Which means you have access to the resources needed to read it. Have you ever been homeless and crazy? I have. Twice. Have you ever been in a locked ward of a psychiatric hospital? I have. Before Medicare Part D-for-Defraud existed, which was also when all the meds I took were available only as brand, I ran up so much credit card debt paying for them I had to sell my house. But I was lucky, because:

I had a house to sell. Most of the mentally interesting don’t.
I also had credit cards, as do many of my fellow bipolar types do. And we often run them to the limit. At least I didn’t buy anything stupid.8
I sold my house in 2004, so I got out of the real estate pyramid scheme before it all came crashing down on everybody.
And my experiences are nothing compared with the lives of people I saw around me. I’m a fucking poseur when it comes to the syphilitic donkey dong and red-hot poker meeting each other in my stomach. I may no longer be able to hold down a job, a relationship, or be moderately functional for wildly variable lengths of time, but I don’t live in a constant state of fear inside of a cardboard box9.
So, if you really need meds and aren’t taking them, or taking them sporadically, or if you’re taking completely inappropriate medications, then you had better get ready. Falling into the abyss happens faster than you can imagine.

And it’s no picnic if you’re taking neurological / psychiatric medications when you shouldn’t be taking any at all.

No Meds May or May Not be Good Meds

Things like mental illness, crippling neuropathy, epilepsy, and frequent, blinding migraines can’t be dealt with by gentle hugs, prayer and pretty angels, or the fad diet of the week with a basket full of overpriced supplements. Like a lot of aspects of life where you have to make a decision between two options, your only choice is to figure out which one is going to suck less.

We recognize that there are legitimate, and highly successful ways to treat serious neurological and psychiatric conditions that don’t involve medication. Lifestyle changes can do wonders for preventing migraines. Talk therapy is one of the best ways to handle depression, PTSD, and other conditions. Specific types of prescription iron supplements are all some people need for restless leg syndrome (RLS). These and other non-medication, but still non-placebo treatments, are all a lot of people need. If you think they might work for you, that’s great. Crazymeds is by and for people whose conditions respond only, or primarily to prescription medications.

Invisible Illnesses Revealed!

Once upon a time these conditions were totally invisible and everyone thought we were making it up as an excuse to avoid whatever we had to do. Now they are visible, more-or-less, thanks to the MRI and scans like CT, SPECT and PET, and various flavors of EEG. Eventually there will be accurate and affordable genetic tests, although that could do as much harm as good. There are also measurable differences in the brains of people who have various conditions vs. those who have none. They are the most obvious in those with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. We’re almost at the point of being able to identify with really good certainty that someone has bipolar or schizophrenia (but usually cannot distinguish between them) based upon the physical characteristics of their brain while they’re still alive. Although there will always be people10 who think we’re faking it, or that we can simply “get over it.” If it were as simple as spraying WD-40 up our noses, wrapping our heads in duct tape instead of tinfoil, and walking it off, don’t they think we’d try that11?

To resurrect my old analogy, these are physical conditions like a broken leg. The above tests are like x-rays, although currently they are extremely expensive aren’t always worth the cost. Regardless, you get your diagnosis and your meds are your cast and crutches. If your leg is totally hosed, your meds are like a cane and the pins they need to implant, both of which you’ll probably need to have for a very long time, if not permanently. And just as you need to explain the cane you need to help you walk and the pins when you go through metal detectors or get an MRI, so too must you explain your condition and meds at certain times in your life.

We deal with the cerebral equivalent of broken legs: physical conditions, not purely psychological ones12, that are treated with physical methods: drugs, surgery, or, as much as this sounds like a quack “cure,” electromagnetism.

1 WebMD owns eMedicineHealth, RxList, Medscape, MedicineNet, and
2 Like I should give them shit about ad-rich environments.

3 If you didn’t get that information with your meds, we have it. You can also get it from the drug’s official website – which we link to – the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s collection of medication guides at , and their direct-from-the-FDA package inserts (AKA “FDA-approved information”) at . All on one page without any ads.
At least, while they get a most of their content about individual drugs from the PIs and medication guides, also gets and presents info from other sources. Eventually they put up stuff we’ve had since 2004, like trade names and availability outside of the US, and popular off-label uses. Like most sites they had drug ratings long before I did. They also have the best drug-whatever interaction checker since AIDSmeds took theirs off the air, and generally the best pill identifier I’ve seen. And they go overboard with a lot of their HONcode requirements like I do. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, go there.

4 Note how I’ve emphasized the word ADULT. Crazymeds deals with adults. Other than listing a medication’s pediatric approvals, warnings about not prescribing a med to kids, and reminding some people how lucky they are to not have children with specific forms of neurological or psychiatric disorders, we don’t deal with children. We especially do not deal with kids on the Crazy Talk forum. Parents: you’ll need to go elsewhere. I don’t have the emotional stamina to help you.

5 Or legitimate non-drug therapies such as the vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

6 Although sometimes the latest and most profitable drug is the one you need, and it can be a fight with the insurance company to pay for it. And sometimes something old a cheap will work best for you, and not the new and shiny med your doctor suggests because the pharm rep just left a cabinet full of samples.

7 Or anything else treated with the medications covered on this site, e.g. plumbing problems like IBS, ED, PE, and incontinence. If you don’t know what the first three stand for it would be TMI in any event. So JFGI if you really must know.

8 Unless you consider meds with slim-to-none odds of working stupid. But Mouse was quickly running out of options, and slim-to-none was better than giving up. About twenty years before that, and soon before I was diagnosed as bipolar, I bought fifty acres of undeveloped land in Australia. Take it from me, that sort of thing won’t save a shaky marriage.

9 OK, I would be living in constant fear of winding up in a cardboard condo if I weren’t living in a house I own outright, thanks to cashing out of the real estate pyramid early. But it means I’m stuck in my fucked-up, ramshackle, glorified Unabomber shack until I have the cash to buy a new place to live. Which isn’t going to happen unless I win the lotto. Which I don’t play.

10 All too often they’re family members or employers.

11 Please don’t try that. The combination of WD-40 and duct tape can fix a lot of things, but not brain cooties.

12 Some things, like PTSD, are in a gray area. You aren’t born with PTSD – in spite of what some scam artists say – but some people are much more prone to it than others. And repeated psychological trauma causes physical changes to the brain. Borderline personality disorder is another. We just don’t discuss personality disorders as a primary condition on the forum for numerous reasons.