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New Treatment for Schizophrenia?

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130701080938.htm


    Also small scale trialled for autism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11459079
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Very interesting indeed — although not actually a new discovery, as I notice there are studies on the benefits of famotidine for schizophrenia that date back to the early 1990s.

    However, this info on famotidine is certainly new to me, and I am grateful that you posted it, because in addition to having ME/CFS, I also have significant emotional flatness (blunted affect) and anhedonia (anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure or reward from activities), and both of these conditions are part of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which famotidine apparently treats.

    The full set of negative symptoms of schizophrenia are: emotional flatness, anhedonia, poverty of speech, lack of desire to form relationships, and lack of motivation.

    This 1994 study found that famotidine 20 mg twice daily improves the negative (deficit) symptoms of schizophrenia. The study said that after two or three weeks on famotidine, all schizophrenia patients showed marked improvement in their motivation, and there was an improvement in their symptoms of social withdrawal, low social drive, and poverty of speech (the patients became more sociable, more verbal and more active on famotidine).

    So maybe famotidine will help my anhedonia and emotional flatness symptoms. I am definitely going to try it.

    There does seem to be a bit of a difference in dose between this 1994 study, and the new 2013 study by Prof. Jesper Ekelund that you cited, Natasa: the 2013 study used a very high dose of 200 mg of famotidine a day.

    Interestingly, this 1993 study on famotidine for schizophrenia (they also used 20 mg twice daily) says that other H2 receptor antagonist drugs that penetrate the blood-brain barrier better than famotidine should be tested for schizophrenia as well.

    Apparently the H2 receptor antagonist cimetidine (Tagamet) crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily than famotidine, so perhaps cimetidine might also work for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia? (But famotidine is 20 to 50 times more potent than cimetidine, so this may make up for the lower blood-brain barrier penetration of famotidine).

    Cimetidine is one of the drugs known to be beneficial for ME/CFS.

    Cimetidine is antiviral for both herpes simplex virus and herpes varicella zoster virus. Ref: here.

    Cimetidine treats interstitial cystitis, a common comorbid condition in ME/CFS.

    Cimetidine boosts immune function by reducing T-suppressor cells.

    Searching this forum, it seems people here take cimetidine for ME/CFS in doses ranging from 100 to 800 mg a day.

    For treating herpes zoster virus, the cimetidine dose is 200 mg three times daily, and 400 mg before bed. Ref: here.

    For interstitial cystitis, the cimetidine dose is 300 mg twice a day. Ref: here.

    For mononucleosis, Dr Jay Goldstein uses cimetidine 300 mg three times a day, for 5 days. Ref: here.

    Cimetidine can cause testicular damage, but vitamin B12 helps mitigate this damage. Ref: here.

    In Maija Haavisto's ME/CFS book "Reviving the Broken Marionette" (free abridged version here) she writes the following about cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac) for ME/CFS:
  3. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    What doses of cimetidine and ranitidine are used to treat ME/CFS symptoms?
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I could not find any official figures, but looking around on the Phoenix Rising forum, doses of 100 to 800 mg of cimetidine daily were mentioned by people.

    There is a thread on cimetidine for ME/CFS here.
    natasa778 and SOC like this.
  5. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    There is a slight concern imo in using h2 blockers on their own, as might trigger or increase IgE reactivity ...


    Researchers are speculating why - they initially thought it was to do with lowering gastric juices resulting in more IgE reactions as food proteins take longer to digest and stay in the stomach for longer, but if you read the paper the theory does not make much sense, because some proteins that are degraded very fast were still causing IgE. What I think happened there was the h1 – h2 receptor function/expression imbalance:

    Effect of histamine antagonists and agonists on IgE production in mice.
    Nakazawa T, Umegae Y. College of Medical Care and Technology, Gunma University, Japan.


    Here is another one http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6460705

    So best to take h1+h2 blockers combo, as a precaution, rather than h2 blockers on their own?
    jeffrez likes this.
  6. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Hip, your list of negative symptoms seems limited to emotions. I think that cognitive deficits are equally important. When you have known someone well before and after onset the loss of cognitive skills is almost as tragic as their misuse due to hallucinations and delusions. Anything which improves cognitive deficits would be of interest to people here fighting "brain fog".

    Separate comment: antiviral activity of cimetidine makes me think of another example of off-label use against recent-onset schizophrenia - minocycline. This could be due to antibiotic or antiviral activity, or neuroprotective effects, or immunomodulation via microglia. Unexpected activity of this sort might well carry clues about etiology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3121275/
  7. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I'd be hesitant to presume that just because something helps certain symptoms in schizophrenia it therefore would translate to helping those symptoms on their own, without schizophrenia. High dose glycine, for example, has been shown to help the negative sx of schizophrenia, too, but whether that would provide the same benefit to someone w/out schizophrenia is another question. Might even have the opposite effect.

    The point about higher doses crossing the BBB is interesting, but again, perhaps that would provide a negative effect in someone w/out schiz. Having said that, considering that so many allergy symptoms often accompany ME/CFS-type of syndromes, it would at least be an interesting experiment. But exercise caution!
    SOC likes this.
  8. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Thanks Natasa, that's very interesting, and good to know.

    I find H1 receptor antagonists (antihistamines) like cetirizine and loratadine are useful for reducing anxiety symptoms anyway, so there would be no problem in taking one of these with a H2 receptor antagonist like famotidine or cimetidine.
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think the both the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia are categorized separately from the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Here is a page that details all the categories of schizophrenia symptoms.
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think in this game, you are best off adopting an open-minded, "suck it and see", trial and error approach to testing supplements and pharmaceuticals. Many of the medications that I found helped my symptoms I only discovered though trial and error, by trying literally hundreds of supplements and drugs, and noting the ones that worked for me, and the ones that didn't. I have done this slowly, over many years.

    Very occasionally I have had very bad side effects (for example, the SSRI drugs I tried immediately precipitated severe suicidal ideation — a known and not uncommon side effect of SSRIs — but fortunately I understood the cause was from the drug, and took no more of the pills).

    Interestingly, the best antidepressant and anhedonia treatment I have found is very low dose amisulpride, an antipsychotic drug used (in higher doses) for schizophrenia.
  11. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    While listing possible antiviral and antibacterial actions of drugs used for treating schizophrenia above, I left out an important category, parasitic disease. Another pathogen often found in humans is toxoplasma gondii, causing toxoplasmosis.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis

    In addition to the antimalarial drugs you might expect (e.g. chloroquine, pyrimethamine), it is also treated with antibiotics: clindamycin, doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, spiramycin, sulfadiazine.

    Symptoms may well look like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia. Infection can have serious neurological consequences. It can even be a factor in ADHD or OCD. Since about 1/3 of the human race seems to have at least latent t. gondii infection, you might expect this to be one of the first things considered as a possible differential diagnosis.

    I am curious about just how many people with mysterious problems called psychological are ever tested for T. gondii antibodies. Anyone here been tested?

    Next question: how many studies on the effectiveness of antipsychotic medications have carefully ruled out latent toxoplasmosis? This is especially important as anyone who has read fair number of papers on psychopharmacology can tell you that a drug which shows a positive effect on 30% of psychiatric patients, for which most alternative treatments have poor prospects, is likely to be approved (eventually,) provided it doesn't kill anyone.
    SOC likes this.
  12. searcher

    searcher

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    Has anyone else experimented with high doses of famotodine? I have found thus far that it reduces my brain fog at 80mg a day. I plan to work myself up to 200mg a day to see if that makes a difference.
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I have ordered some famotidine, and will be trying it soon.
  14. uppercut1991

    uppercut1991

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    Hello, has anyone of you tried famotidine and can share his experience?
  15. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I bought some, and did some brief tests: I took 40 mg of famotidine twice a day for a couple of days. What I found was that I became extremely vague, and had mildly reduced awareness or conscious.

    This vagueness was different to the normal brain fog you get with ME/CFS. In brain fog, you are kind of aware and conscious at the center, but are lost in the "fog" of you own mind (ie, you are consciously aware, but short-term memory, memory recall, ability to understand things, and ability to make mental connections are slow and impaired, so your are conscious, but a bit lost in your own mental fog).

    However, with famotidine I found that my brain fog was not increased, but my central consciously awareness itself was blunted, and I just felt vague and dull mentally.

    Famotidine is known to confusion and disorientation as a rare side effect in some people, and so I think what I experienced with famotidine was just something akin to this known but rare side effect.

    I will try famotidine once more in the future, but if this side effect arises again, then I will have to discontinue it, as the vagueness and dullness of mind famotidine seems to produce in me just makes you sit around doing nothing and thinking about nothing all day.


    However, my single negative experience should not put other people off trying famotidine, because I think that this vagueness is just a rare side effect that occurred in me, but will probably not occur in most other people.

    So I would encourage others to try.

    You need to take famotidine for a few weeks for its benefits to manifest.

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