Depression Home > Deplin Uses

How Does It 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 blood levels of homocysteine (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.

Can Children Use Deplin?

This product is not recommended for use in children. It contains high doses of L-methylfolate, the active form of folic acid. These high doses may not be safe for children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of giving Deplin to your child.

Off-Label Uses for Deplin

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this vitamin for something other than the conditions listed in this article. This would be known as an "off-label" use. Some examples of off-label Deplin uses might include the treatment of the following conditions:
  • Low folic acid levels in people who do not have depression
  • Depression in people who do not have low folic acid levels
  • Depression in people who are not taking antidepressants.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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