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Thread: D-phenylalanine (DPA) and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) for opiate withdrawal

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    D-phenylalanine (DPA) and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) for opiate withdrawal 
    #1
    These aren't commonly referred to as opiate potentiators, and for those who would maybe like to investigate, it seems they theoretically should significantly prolong the high. However, I am in a different situation....

    I have an amount of chronic anxiety (which is being treated with gabapentin and a benzo). I usually only can tolerate half a cup of coffee and that's enough stimulation for me.
    I have been taking oxycodone for pain and am getting ready to kick and am looking into this (either DPA or DLPA) as maybe being something to help.

    I've read anecdotal reports (I can cite if you want, but a quick google will show you) of this helping methadone users and some 'normal joes' with chronic pain and 'mood lift' and keeping an 'elevated mood'. Here is some info for people not familiar with DPA and DLPA:
    "D and DL--Phenylalanine (but not L-Phenylalanine) inhibit several enzymes which are responsible for the destruction of the body's pain-killing hormones, including Carboxypeptidase A and "enkephalinase" en-zymes. With these enzymes inhibited, the brain's own naturally-produced endorphins enjoy a longer life span, and are thus able to exert their powerful pain-relieving actions for long periods of time."

    Now, here are my main questions:

    1. L-Phenylalanine (LPA) is converted into L-tyrosine. L-tyrosine in turn is converted into L-DOPA, which is further converted into dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline) all stimulatory neurotransmitters which, I obviously don't want being in withdrawal and also as an anxious person. However, does the presence of LPA in dLpa actually contribute to a psychological response?
    2. "Also, as DL-phenylalanine inhibits endorphin degradation, this leads to an inhibition of GABA release in the ventral tegmental neurons (in the midbrain), which results in greater dopamine release. This can explain the analgesic effects following ingestion." Dopamine, and correct me if I'm wrong, is stimulatory in nature. However, for someone in withdrawal, the 'feel good chemical' may be helpful it seems...?
    3. As referenced above, I think an inihibition of GABA is again, not the best for someone with anxiety/withdrawal. Would anyone privy to pharmacological/neurobiology care to comment?

    Thanks.

    MODS: Feel free to move this to ADD...
    Last edited by infraredz; 20-02-2013 at 20:06.
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    #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by infraredz View Post
    These aren't commonly referred to as opiate potentiators, and for those who would maybe like to investigate, it seems they theoretically should significantly prolong the high.
    I thought that the conclusion in your thread on that topic was that it was highly unlikely, that inhibiting enkephalinase doesn't potentiate opiate drugs, and that the most credible study on the topic said that DL-phenylalanine wasn't actually even found to inhibit enkephalinase?

    Quote Originally Posted by infraredz View Post
    Here is some info for people not familiar with DPA and DLPA:
    "D and DL--Phenylalanine (but not L-Phenylalanine) inhibit several enzymes which are responsible for the destruction of the body's pain-killing hormones, including Carboxypeptidase A and "enkephalinase" en-zymes. With these enzymes inhibited, the brain's own naturally-produced endorphins enjoy a longer life span, and are thus able to exert their powerful pain-relieving actions for long periods of time."
    Where is this from? The studies I looked at either said that both L-Phen and D-Phen inhibited Carboxypeptidase A/enkephalinase, or that neither L-Phen or D-Phen did.

    I have taken L-Phen in opioid withdrawal, and I do still recommend it to some people depending on their situation, but I didn't like it personally (I can elaborate if you want). DL-Phen is just a mixture of half D-Phen and half L-Pen, so the L-Phen would definitely still exert effects.

    Not sure about decreasing GABA in the midbrain, or the implications of that - do you have a reliable source for that? (A Wikipedia article with no citations is not a reliable source). Things that increase dopamine are known to help with opioid withdrawal. I wouldn't simply say dopamine is "stimulating". Opioids increase dopamine. Dopamine has many functions, including being important for mood, the brain's reward mechanism, motivation, sexual gratification, sleep, attention/focus, memory, and so on.

    I haven't actually tried D-Phen or DL-Phen, but why not give it a shot? It seems like one of those things where you can only find out by trying it.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Swimmingdancer View Post
    I thought that the conclusion in your thread on that topic was that it was highly unlikely, that inhibiting enkephalinase doesn't potentiate opiate drugs, and that the most credible study on the topic said that DL-phenylalanine wasn't actually even found to inhibit enkephalinase?
    Not sure which thread you're referring to, but anyways I'm not able to access journals (and am open to suggestions and advice on how since there are so many different journal sites). Do you mind citing that study stating it wasn't effective at blocking enkephalinase?

    Where is this from? The studies I looked at either said that both L-Phen and D-Phen inhibited Carboxypeptidase A/enkephalinase, or that neither L-Phen or D-Phen did.
    It's from a cheapy type health site: http://www.becomehappy.com/dlpa.htm. However, I have seen that general statement on a significant amount of websites...

    I have taken L-Phen in opioid withdrawal, and I do still recommend it to some people depending on their situation, but I didn't like it personally (I can elaborate if you want). DL-Phen is just a mixture of half D-Phen and half L-Pen, so the L-Phen would definitely still exert effects.
    Please do elaborate on this! What was your experience during withdrawal? What types of people do you recommend it to?

    Not sure about decreasing GABA in the midbrain, or the implications of that - do you have a reliable source for that? (A Wikipedia article with no citations is not a reliable source). Things that increase dopamine are known to help with opioid withdrawal. I wouldn't simply say dopamine is "stimulating". Opioids increase dopamine. Dopamine has many functions, including being important for mood, the brain's reward mechanism, motivation, sexual gratification, sleep, attention/focus, memory, and so on.
    That was just curious as I haven't really seen that dopamine has any regulation of GABA. I know it was uncited and it's probably not true, but again, there are a few people here with journal access and/or extensive pharmacological and neurobiology knowledge.

    Regardless, I'm heading to the store to pick some up.

    Mods: Is this an ADD topic? Just curious...

    Thanks again!
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    #4
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    I'd be happy to move this to ADD if you don't get quality responses here, but I think we should try it out here in OD first.
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    There was a similar thread in ADD recently but for it's use as a potentiator. In regards to enkephalinase inhibition they were fairly sceptical:

    Quote Originally Posted by sekio View Post
    Phenylalanine is an amino acid, the "unnatural" form has been speculated to be an enkephalinase inhibitor, but IMO it is probably not active worth a damn at all in humans. If it is active, it's incredibly weak and has poor central bioavailibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by polymath View Post
    All journal articles I can find about this subject are from the 1980s, and the only one of them that looked believable, claimed that D-phenylalanine wasn't actually found to inhibit enkephalinase even in vitro:

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstr...pdf?sequence=1

    All the articles that claim enkephalinase inhibition by D-Phe are from journals related to acupuncture and other 'alternative' medicine... Looks like a pseudo-scientific myth to me.

    EDIT
    oh. haha! Didn't realise that was also your thread. silly toucan. If you want it in ADD why not just bump your old thread
    Last edited by Toucan; 21-02-2013 at 07:06.
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