Feels Better Moodwise after Dristan or Similar
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Q:  Feels Better Moodwise after Dristan or Similar

I have been dx'd for over ten years with BPII. I am stable most of the time now but I still struggle with ongoing depression. I have noticed something quite odd and wondered if you had any info or insight. Even pointing me to another source would be great.

So, here it is:  I have noticed that I seem to have some sort of histamine rxn. If I am feeling deeply depressed and I take a couple shots of dristan or similar thing I will feel notably better moodwise.

Is there some known reason for this? Is it a treatment form I should look into? Is anyone looking at this or am I the only patient who has had this experience?


Dear Mr. D-

Well, that is interesting. I have never heard of that. Nor have I heard it from my patients. Presuming that there is no alcohol in that "dristan or similar thing" -- as in some of those cold treatments there is a lot of it -- then it would seem you are responding positively to an antihistamine. Several of our medications have strong antihistamine effects, such as quetiapine (Seroquel), but this effect generally wears off after a few days (and the person is not so sleepy at that point).

There was also a recent article suggesting that the weight gain caused by atypical antipsychotics might actually be mediated by an antihistamine effect. Sorry, I don't have a reference. (I just went looking for it. This article just came out. It did not file the reference because the work is preliminary.)

Overall, I would still be suspicious that there is something in what you are taking, not the antihistamine, that is causing this benefit. But, who knows? I will certainly keep my ears open for others with your experience.

Dr. Phelps

Published April, 2007


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