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L-methylfolate & Depression: More Good News

Depression Medications

“I‘m ready to start an antidepressant. If only there was something that could give me a jump-start. Then I’d really be on my way!”

This past February I ran an article on the benefits of using L-methylfolate as an add-on to an antidepressant regimen. Here’s a link to that piece.

The conclusions of a brand-new study bring more good news.

What is L-methylfolate?

Tons of information in the original article, but here’s a quick refresher…

Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B9. Naturally occurring, it’s known as folate. Leafy vegetables are a primary source, along with fortified cereals and breads.

L-methylfolate (actually, L-methylfolate2) is a form of folate. And it’s the only form that crosses the blood-brain barrier.

A rich source of L-methylfolate is the medical food Deplin. It’s available by prescription only, and thought to be safe with very few side effects – if any.

And the Study?

For those who were receiving an inadequate response from their selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) – Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Viibryd, etc. – Deplin significantly improved the benefits of the med.

What’s really very cool is we’re talking dietary management here.

The report was given at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, which began this past weekend.


I was impressed by the potential benefits of adding L-methylfolate/Deplin to an antidepressant regimen when I wrote the article back in February. I’m even more impressed now.

Gotta’ keep you posted on fresh news. So take this up with your psychiatrist or physician!!!

Bill White Hi! I’m Bill White, founder and producer of Chipur. Are you looking for direction and motivation? The miles are irrelevant. Consider my Coaching | Mentoring services.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pamlabsusanw Susan Whelan

     Hi Bill, I work with Deplin. We are so glad to see people discussing the benefits of l-methylfolate. You’ve wrapped this up very succinctly, in a way that’s easy to understand. Thanks for passing on this important information to your readers!

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      You’re welcome, Susan. And thank you for your visit and comment. Everything I’ve read about Deplin indicates it’s the goods.

      • Ashley

        Hi there Chipur. You seem like a very kind counselor, thank you for sharing information about L-methylfolate with the public. This supplement has returned my soul to me after over a decade of treatment-resistant atypical depression. I would highly recommend reading Dr. Andrew Hall Cutler’s (PhD Chemistry, Princeton) book Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities. He states that 95% of depressed patients on whom he’s done relevant testing have mercury toxicity and mental illnesses can be cured through careful detox using his protocol. I recovered miraculously using his methods, but I hit a plateau after recovering about 70%. I realized that genetically my MTHFR gene was unable to convert folic acid and I needed this crucial element to properly detox. It looks like it was just the ticket.

      • http://chipur.com chipur

        Thank you for sharing your personal experience with L-methylfolate with us. And I appreciate the heads-up on Dr. Cutler’s work. Chipur readers, here’s a link to his amalgam illness website. Tons of interesting reading. http://www.noamalgam.com/. Glad you visited Chipur and participated, Ashley.

  • Cosimo

    I’m Mino from Italy.
    Deplin in not sold in Italy but I hope will be soon.

    Greetings from Italy

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Hi Mino! Thank you for your visit and comment. The article generated a response from a representative of the company that manufactures Deplin. I will write her and ask about availability in Italy.

      • http://chipur.com chipur

        Here’s the reply I received from Pamlab, the manufacturer of Deplin…

        Hi Bill, There is a company that may supply Deplin outside of the US. http://www.internationalpharmacy.com/en/home

        Pamlab does not have any plans to directly market Deplin outside the US in the near future.

        I hope this information helps. Susan

        Thank you, Susan!!!

  • http://chipur.com chipur

    Yet more helpful info regarding Deplin availability outside of the US from a Pamlab (manufacturer of Deplin) rep…

    Hi Bill, I’ve received some more info:

    Deplin will only be sold in the U.S. L-methylfolate is available in Europe (not always in the same doses or indications) and can be searched under the name Metafolin.

    U.S. patients living abroad can acquire our products through Brand Direct Health provided they use a U.S. shipping address and then have a friend/relative forward the products overseas. Several patients are doing that now.

    I hope this helps! Susan

    Sure does! Thanks, again, Susan!!!

  • Sterling

    Hi, Bill! Thanks for all your hardwork on this subject. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind.

    First (and if this is stated in your report, I do apologize forthe redundancy), can Deplin replace an anti-depressant? I have been taking Celexa for close to 6 years, and while it does work for me, I have the side-effects of weight gain which in turn contributes to high cholesterol (and I am 32). I would love to replace it with something that doesn’t cause weight gain.
    If not, and even though the Celexa works for me, would you suggest taking it with my current anti-depressant?
    Would you suggest I print out your report and this page to take to my psychiatrist?

    Thank you for your time!

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Hi Sterling! I really appreciate your visit to chipur – and your comment. Let’s start with your first question. Theoretically, Deplin could certainly replace traditional antidepressant therapy. Would it be as efficacious? Hard to tell. But then again, it’s hard to tell if an antidepressant will work. My sense is Deplin works especially well as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy. And this combo is particularly helpful early-on in treatment, and with treatment resistant cases. I empathize with your weight gain/cholesterol situation; however, I don’t believe Deplin alone would be the answer. By the way, when weight gain is a concern, Celexa is a good choice. Okay, how ’bout this idea? I would for sure recommend that you mention Deplin to your psychiatrist. Sure – print the article and take it along. See what she/he says – and how ’bout letting us know? Again, thank you for participating…

  • JT in DC

    I would like to add that exactly last year (June 2010), the 40 mg of Lexapro (my only med at the tiem) was starting to lose its effectiveness on my severe depression/chronic fatigue syndrome. My “exercise intolerance” was starting to creep back in, with the flu-like symptoms and aches and pains after workouts. Deplin did work for a few weeks with my Lexapro regimen. When I mean “work” it put off the physical symptoms of my depression for about 3 weeks, but it did not alter my mood, nor did it last.

    Fast forward 1 year later to today, and I’m on 60 mg of Lexpro, 300 mg of Pristiq, 15 mg of Deplin, Vitamin D supplements and the best Fish Oil supplements (1.5 grams of EPA fish oil)

    Needless to say, my mood is ok. The negative thoughts flare up from time to time, but I still cannot exercise. The aches and the flu-like symptoms are mild (they could be much worse with no medicine or if I decided to work out like I used to). In short, Deplin may work for some people but it wasn’t potent enough for me. I’m still taking it, because I want to fight with all it takes my constant battle with depression. Waiting for Viibryd to come out and hopefully be the silver bullet for me so that I can get on with my life again.

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Hi John! Sure appreciate your visit and comment. I can’t provide a quality response this evening – juggling about ten balls. But you can be sure I’ll comment in kind in the morning. Again, thank you…

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      John: This is incredibly detailed information, and I appreciate your sharing with us. The journey of those enduring the mood and anxiety disorders is absolutely amazing. You’ve worked hard to be as mood-comfortable as you are at this time. The exercise piece sounds like yet another challenge. You’ve motivated me to write an article on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – will appear tonight or tomorrow. Ah, Viibryd. Well, we now know it’s available. Did a brief update piece about an hour ago. So get in touch with your pharmacy for availability – and contact your doc. Thank you for your visit and comment!

  • Guest

    Is there any way to get this in Canada without having to travel to the US, seeing a doctor there, getting a prescription, etc.?  I have tried so many antidepressants that I’ve lost count, and none are very effective.  My doctor suggested this, but am finding it virtually impossible to obtain, have been trying for months…

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Boy, that’s a toughie. Seems to me a rep of the company that manufactures Deplin commented here some time ago that distribution was limited to the U.S. Here’s a link to their website. Perhaps you could contact someone and inquire http://www.deplin.com/


  • http://www.facebook.com/karla.scholl.1 Karla Scholl

    Generic Deplin is available in the US. I’ve been taking Deplin for the last couple of yrs along w Prozac and Wellbutrin, but I honestly have never felt any improvement from it. But my dr wants me to always take it due to a metabolic disorder I have (MTHFR). I’ve actually been taking a Deplin holiday the last month or so, but haven’t noticed any change for the worse. As usual, some things work for some folks, but not others. I’m generally one of the ones that things don’t work for (unfortunately).

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Thanks for your comment, Karla. Good information for all of us. Yeah, go figure – in the emotional/mental health arena the efficacy of pharm interventions is always a crap-shoot. Chipur readers: if you’d like to learn more about MTHFR, here’s a link: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTHFR

      • http://www.facebook.com/karla.scholl.1 Karla Scholl

        Thanks for sharing the link. My 20 yr old daughter also has MTHFR and she is mildly autistic, bipolar and developmentally disabled (4-7yrs old cognitively). I have major depressive disorder, fibromyallgia and terrible chronic fatigue. Supposedly all of these are linked to this genetic disorder. I only wish there was something that could fix us!!

      • http://chipur.com chipur

        You’re welcome, Karla. Knowledge is power for all of us! Here’s hoping the both of you one day find that “fix.” Bill

  • Patricia Miller

    Just wanted to tell you thanks for the great heads up about Deplin. I went to my prescribing doctor after trying the non-prescription version of L-methylfolate for a couple of weeks and seeing some improvement. Neither he nor the pharmacist had heard of Deplin, but the doc was quite willing to prescribe it to see if I saw greater benefit from the prescription version. I’ve been taking the prescription version for a week, and I do see greater benefit. The non-prescription version was costing me about $20 per month and with my insurance benefits it will cost $79 per month since Deplin is basically a prescription vitamin. Well worth it to me to see the world in full color once again.

    • http://chipur.com chipur

      Excellent news, Patricia. Glad L-methylfolate/Deplin has worked well for you. This is a great comment for Chipur readers to read and consider. Nothing like real-world experience. And sharing such is what Chipur is all about. Thank You!

    • Noelle Ann

      I was wondering has anyone had issues with the authorized generic of Deplin? Mfg Brekinridge?

      • Patricia Miller

        I’ve been using the authorized generic for over nine months now and have seen no decrease in effectiveness. It works equally well for me. I still find the 15 mg is the most effective dose for me on a daily basis.

      • Noelle Ann

        Thanks so much for your reply.. I cant seem to find anyone who has has this issue, maybe it was my AD thats was failing.

      • Patricia Miller

        Well, I suspect you know the literature and research well as a person managing her depression; many people need to modify their medication regimen over time. I’ve made several medication shifts in order to find the “sweet spot” and have worked closely with my prescriber and my counselor. The reason I list both is that there is absolutely a need in my body/brain for medication, and I realize that. I also know now that I have environmental issues I need to address because they can impact my mood and ability to respond in a dramatic fashion. I also know now that there are some Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, along with other strategies, that I can employ, that can significantly increase my comfort in times of distress. A visit with your doc and your counselor might both be really helpful.

      • http://chipur.com/ Chipur

        Appreciate the team-play, Patricia…

      • http://chipur.com/ Chipur

        Hi Noelle Ann. Thanks for stopping-by and contributing. Sorry you’re having probs.

        Did a little bit of digging. First came by this from October 2012 pertaining to the joint venture between Pamlab (Deplin patent owner) and Breckenridge – “This partnership will finally ensure that patients who want generics of Pamlab’s medical foods will be able to obtain products that are exactly the same as the brand. Breckenridge’s authorized generics will be manufactured in the same facility and with the same ingredients and quantities as Pamlab’s brand products. Other safeguards for product quality and therapeutic verification of generics for medical foods have recently proven to be inadequate.” So I don’t know – seems like they’ve intended to take care of biz properly.

        Perhaps there would be something to glean from this article, “L-Methylfolate, Methylfolate, 5-MTHF, L-5-MTHF. What is the Difference!?” http://mthfr.net/l-methylfolate-methylfolate-5-mthf/2012/04/05/. I’ll tell ya’ ahead of time it’s intense; however, you might finding something that provides some clarity.

        Thanks again for your visit, Noelle Ann. Please update us as you progress…

      • Noelle Ann

        Thanks so much! I read all of those articles.. Someone on the mthfr website said it may not be L-isomer could be L and D? I dont know how that would be possible since they are supposed to be exactly the same. But I did bump my AD up by 10mg and am feeling much better so it could very well be that. Was just hoping it was something with the generic deplin bc I dont like increasing my AD. And have had a lot of success with Deplin, been taking it for over a year and had a very successful 2014. Thanks again for researching! That was so nice of you

      • http://chipur.com/ Chipur

        You’re more than welcome, Noelle Ann. And I think it was darned nice of you to share with us. Ty…