Friday, July 13, 2012

First Foray With Periactin

Yesterday I was prescribed an antihistamine which is not uncommon for me due to allergies.

However, this is a magical antihistamine, used to ward off nightmares due to PTSD and give me more of an appetite.

The name of the antihistamine is Periactin (cyproheptadine), and for years the doctors have been trying to get me to take it. Finally, after no sleep for several days, lots of agitation, and impending doom breathing down my neck, I consented. The other reason I consented was due to the fact that it increases appetite.

Let me explain.

Unlike the rest of the world, I am currently looking for more ways to incorporate more calories into my diet since my appetite is diminished. While I was inpatient I was required to eat everything on my plate and about halfway through I felt this need to just stop. I would have this sense of overwhelming nausea and a strong desire to get up and leave since I felt to sick.

So finally I am trying the Periactin and last night was my first dose. No, I have not noticed immediate results but I think this is a med that has to build up in your system.

From a nightmare stand point it was BETTER but did not make them go away.

Today I wanted to talk more about the appetite stand point. I remember being deep into the eating disorder, being on tube feedings, and buying appetite repressors. This is how an eating disorder messes with your head. You are already not eating, so you do the only logical thing: you make sure you never want to eat again.

Now that weight loss is not my goal and I only wish to build a stronger body, and since my metabolism is high, I need the calories. Eating was necessary and even enjoyable at times, but it was often a struggle since I honestly had been lacking any appetite.

Enter Periactin.

For most I'm sure the increased appetite is an unwelcome side effect. For me, however, it has made meals and snacks so much easier. I was afraid to try it for fear of eating all the food in my apartment and in my neighbor's, but the effect is not nearly that dramatic. It actually just makes it so I can listen to my body and feed it accordingly. This in the eating disorder recovery circles call this "intuitive eating" and while this petrifies me right now I am all for it. I am happy to try new things since all the old stuff I used to do was not working.

I do not get tired with this or really any med, except for narcotic pain meds, so I do not notice drowsiness as a side effect. I do, however, notice I am much speedier than usual, which is odd since hyperactivity is seen more as a side effect in children (I am 25 so this doesn't apply here). I do notice dry mouth, so I am drinking a whole lot of water. Other than that, I am happy with the results I am getting so far.


  1. I'm so glad the Periactin is helping you! We've tried it with Raya before but remember that part about hyperactivity? Yeah, it also causes insomnia and restlessness in children. We spent a week watching Cake Boss on Netflix until 2 am. :) We'll definitely try it again when her eating skills are a little bit better. I hope it continues to work for you!

  2. You are a very brave lady, Nicole. The increased appetite side effect would definitely scare me senseless.
    My psych wants to give me meds for my almost nightly nightmares but for some reason I think they have a reason and are useful in therapy.