Deplin is a type of vitamin prescribed by a healthcare provider to increase folate levels in people with depression. It can also help reduce high homocysteine levels in people with schizophrenia. This vitamin has been shown to improve the effectiveness of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. It comes in tablet form and is taken once daily. Potential side effects may include nausea, gas, and a decreased appetite.
What Is Deplin?Deplin® is a prescription vitamin approved to manage low folate levels in people who have depression. It may also be used in people with schizophrenia who have hyperhomocysteinemia (high levels of homocysteine in the blood). Deplin is not an antidepressant or an antipsychotic. It is used in combination with antidepressant or antipsychotic medications, to make these medications more effective.
Deplin is classified as a "medical food." Medical foods are products that are used for the dietary management of medical conditions that have unique dietary needs. They should only be used under medical supervision.
How Does Deplin Work?Deplin contains L-methylfolate, the active form of folic acid. One of the roles of L-methylfolate is to help the body make certain neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, specifically serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. In general, antidepressants work by increasing the levels of one or more of these three neurotransmitters, which are thought to be low in people with depression.
A person who has depression and low folate levels may not be able to adequately respond to an antidepressant. This is because the antidepressant may not be able to sufficiently increase neurotransmitter levels when L-methylfolate levels are too low. Taking a vitamin that contains L-methylfolate, such as Deplin, may therefore improve the effectiveness of the antidepressant.
L-methylfolate also works to help the body break down homocysteine (an amino acid produced by the body). This can help reduce high homocysteine blood levels (known medically as hyperhomocysteinemia). Homocysteine levels have been shown to be elevated in people with schizophrenia. Reducing homocysteine levels may help minimize certain symptoms of schizophrenia.