Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Using Drugs to Improve Fluency

I received the following blog comment:
im from the uk and looking at doing experiential treatment with Saphris and Lyrica.
Any idea what doses to start with?

Saphris is the commercial name for asenapine and Lyrica is the commercial name for pregabalin.

First, even if I knew the answer it would be inappropriate to provide such advice by internet. Dosages depend upon body-mass and the individual's specific brain neurochemistry.

That said, anyone desiring to use existing prescription drugs off-label to improve fluency should, in the ideal, consult with a clinical psychopharmacologist. This may be an M.D. or a psychiatrist with advanced training in this specialty. The medical professional will also be knowledgable as to what blood or other tests you may need to monitor the effects of any of the drugs you may be taking.

Before using any combination of drugs, it is important to look for adverse drug interactions. A pharmacist may also be helpful in this regard.

Start with a single drug and build up to the recommended dose. Then do the same for the other drug taken alone. Observe the effects of the drugs when taken individually. Next, take the drugs simultaneously and vary their dosages. Hopefully, you may find some combination of drugs/dosages that work for you in the sense of improving fluency while having minimal or no adverse side effects. On the other hand you might find that the negative effects of the drugs are cumulative.

During this period, keep a journal recording the effects of the drugs on fluency as well as any side effects. Remember that while taking these drugs you may also have naturally occurring variations in your neurochemistry so you must withdraw and restart dosages periodically in order to decide if it is the drugs that are improving your fluency. Also, if you are a highly suggestible individual, the effects you observe may be placebo-based. But if this were the case, these effects should be short-lived.

If you are currently partaking in a drug trial keep to the protocol and DO NOT take any additional drugs. Otherwise, you might compromise the integrity of the trial.

Lastly, we would appreciate if you would report any results, negative or positive, to this blog site.


Anonymous said...

why something like pregabalin instead of a general anxiety drug liked citalopram? what would be the pros and cons with respect to (i) anxiety treatment and (ii) affect on stuttering?

Anonymous said...

Citalopram is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and would not affect the dopamine imbalance that causes stuttering.

Anonymous said...

perhaps, but a medication like citalopram would lower the overall anxiety level, and that clearly could have beneficial results with respect to fluency.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Thanks