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How does Saphris work?
ria65 posted:
I've been on AD meds for many years and I'm now also taking Saphris in addition to Paxil. How exactly does this mood stabilizer work? I understand how AD meds inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, but how does Saphris work? I'm curious because the packaging says it's intended for bi-polar or schitzophrenia symptoms, but it works great on my depression. Don't worry about getting too technical because I'm well informed on the chemical and biological points of depression. Thanks!
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Ria,

I'm afraid your post here, as it's posted as a tip, may be missed by others.

I encourage you to start a new discussion on the exchange (click on the little Discussion link beneath the Post Your Own heading above).

In the meantime, you can read information on Saphris by clicking here .

And you may want to post about it on our Bipolar Disorder Exchange , as the members there may be able to help you understand how this mood stabilizer works.
Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
Saphris (asenapine) is FDA approved to treat acute mania from bipolar disorder or the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is a drug that is placed under the tongue and not swallowed directly. You ask how it works.... By blocking one type of dopamine receptor it stops the above disorders. It blocks a serotonin receptor which is counter intuitive but this blocking may help increase other chemicals that help depression (dopamine, norepinephrine... in other parts of the brain. It is also my understanding that it shares chemical properties with a well known antidepressant called remeron/mirtazapine.
Many of these meds for schizophrenia have been used for treating depression and some have been FDA approved recently (abilify and seroquel XR)
brook2009 replied to Thomas L Schwartz, MD's response:
I'm prescribed Saphris to boost medication Paxeva for depression and anxiety. I didn't start taking it yet. Next week I'm supposed to take drug test for new job in the hospital. I wanted to know if this drug shows on drug test, and do I have to disclose that I'm taking this drug if I decide to start taking, it and be judge by my new employer (it is used to treat bipolar and schiz. which I'm not). Should I hold off and start taking it after my drug test? I don't even know if this drug will benefit me.
Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to brook2009's response:
Hi Brook,

I'm afraid your post here, on this older discussion, may be missed.

I encourage you to start a new discussion with your questions. To do that, hold your cursor over the orange Post Now button on the upper right and choose 'Discussion' from the drop down menu which appears.

And please be patient for a response; Dr. Schwartz looks in here once or twice a week and answers as many posts as he can.

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