Welcome to Crazymeds, 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 psychiatric and/or neurological condition you might have. The information on this site is to help you work with your doctor(s) to find the right treatment options. Too many of us 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 medication1 to treat our conditions, and not the most profitable ones, or the cheapest ones2.
OK, in reality “best” usually translates to “least bad.” 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 disorder3.
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, 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, 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” - which is doctorese for, “it may or may not be psychological in origin, but the pain is obviously real even if we don’t have a clue as to what’s causing it.”
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 adult ADD/ADHD, sleep disorders like narcolepsy, and other conditions.
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 brain4. 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.
Should You Be Taking Meds in the First Place? Crazymeds’ “Am I That Messed Up?” quiz.
Tips on How to Take Psychiatric/Neurological Drugs There’s more than “Don’t operate heavy machinery.”
Tips on How to Stop Taking Psychiatric/Neurological Drugs You don’t want to wind up crazier than you were to begin with.
Mixing Your Med Cocktail with Actual Cocktails You’re No Fun Anymore.
Common Side Effects No matter which one(s) you take, they will mess with your dreams. Other stuff will probably happen as well.
Meds with Fewer Side Effects than Most If you look at the PI sheets, even the placebo has side effects.
Dealing with Side Effects What you can do about common and most complained-about side effects.
The Differences Between Brand Name and Generic Medications Brand isn’t necessarily better, just different.
Pharmacology Basics An overview of how meds work for various brain cooties, and how most psychiatric and neurological conditions work to make our lives miserable.
Crazymeds’ Guide to Psychiatric Evaluations - A look at how the FDA & drug companies determine how effective medications are, and how doctors determine how crazy you are.
Meds & Supplements Do you need to take any? Are there any you shouldn’t take?
For real, CrazyMeds is one of the most helpful plain-english information sites regarding psychiatric / neurological drugs and what exactly they DO to your brain. If you’ve ever felt like a human lab experiment just being handed one prescription after another, CrazyMeds can help you understand what effects the drugs have and how they work. The site also discusses realistic side-effects such as the ever-present “head zaps” of SSRIs and others that doctors keep saying we make up for attention.
Also it’s fun to read if you’re a writer and just want to learn about drugs with long names and what they do.