Advice on antidepressants

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by monicaz49, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    Hi all.
    I posted earlier how my doc insists i need an antidepressant and exercise for my cfs!
    i have fatigue, anxiety, muscle aches, chonic dizziness, balance probs, head pressure, orthostatic intolerance etc.

    Ive tried antidep years ago. paxil, wellbutrin and PROZAC. Ive never been the same since prozac....i went wacko.

    I do have a cfs diagnosis but this anxiety, adrenaline and derealization feeling is killing me.

    Im wondering if i should infact try a new antidepressant and PLEASE someone tell me they have been HELPED by one and which one for anxiety.

    Any recommendations?
    Oh..pleaseeeeeeeeee tell me a drug that doesnt have anxiety as a SIDE EFFECT.

  2. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    How did you go wacko on Prozac?

    Do you have a history of depression in your family?

    Have you ever suffered a head injury?

    If you know anything about manic-depression, do you think that's a possibility for you?

    Do your moods change, or do you pretty much remain constant. If your moods do change a lot, what are they like?

    Did you ever try any anticonvulsants (Lamictal, Depakote, etc)?

    I can't remember if I've asked these questions of you before or if it was someone else. Sorry if I'm being repetitive.

    Based on the description of the feelings you're experiencing, it doesn't seem to me like any antidepressant would be appropriate.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  3. ive been taking 1 x 50mg amitripyline tablet at 5 pm each night for years now.i just wouldnt sleep without it.

    it did make that severe pain in my buttock muscles ease alot.and thank goodness that it did.that buttock pain was the first thing i noticed when i became ill with the fibro/ME chronic fatigue syndrome, 12 years ago.

    i do still get bouts of depression,and ive put that down to my daily body pain.theres just no break in the pain is there.

    im scared to ask my doctor if i should try another medication instead of the amitripyline,as the amitripyline is keeping those severe migraine headaches and vomiting away.and it is making the buttock pain bearable at least.

    so id say that amitripyline has been a godsend to me,and its keeping me out of a wheel chair.

    i think the anxiety is part of the illness,so im not sure if we,ll ever get rid of that.(unless a cure is found)

    kind regards
  4. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    It seems to me (I may be wrong) that this doc thinks it is mainly depression you have and that it is the cause of your physical complaints.Why do I think this? He advices excersise (which improves depression) and AD's. To advice excersise besides gives me a hint that he doesn't know much about CFS. For that reason I would look for another doc.

    As for good AD's, Cymbalta is the only one that didn't play havoc with me ( I understand what you mean by havoc). I am sensitive to AD's and they don't really do much for my "depression", but I take this Cymbalta anyways. The only thing that made me depressed per se was having a doc who didn't understand my misery with this DD! (I have both CFS and FM) I found one finally that DO understand, and voila'- the moods lifted! I still feel the same physically, the neuropathy in my arms have improved though. I could probably say the anxiety is less prominent too.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  5. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Some people cannot tolerate antidepressant drugs. There is a DNA testing lab that actually can test you to see which drugs would be best,including antidepressants. It sounds weird, but I read about it recently.

    If you have anxiety, just take a little Xanax or Klonopin. As little as possible to get you by.

    Try biofeedback, self hypnosis, meditation, cognitive therapy, etc. They all help. Also, have yourself tested for food allergies.

    I went through a period of anxiety and am okay now. I don't know what the problem was for sure. Just too much stress maybe.

    Below is a article I found about genetic testing for drug therapy. As it is now, it is "trial and error" when taking medicines. This is very interesting...

    FDA Clears Genetic Test That Advances Personalized Medicine
    Test Helps Determine Safety of Drug Therapy

    Today, FDA cleared for marketing a new blood test that will help doctors make personalized drug treatment decisions for some patients. The Invader UGT1A1 Molecular Assay detects variations in a gene that affects how certain drugs are broken down and cleared by the body. Doctors can use this information to help determine the right drug dosage for individual patients, and minimize harmful drug reactions.

    “This test represents the power of DNA-based testing to provide individualized medical care,” said Daniel Schultz, MD, Director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “These technologies can significantly improve patient management and reduce the risk of ineffective or even harmful drug therapy by telling doctors how to individualize drug dosing."

    The Invader assay joins a growing list of genetic tests used by physicians to personalize treatment decisions, including the Roche AmpliChip, used to individualize dosage of antidepressants, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, and some chemotherapy drugs, and TRUGENE HIV-1 Genotyping Kit, used to detect variations in the genome of the human immunodeficiency virus that make the virus resistant to some anti-retroviral drugs.

    The Invader assay detects variations in a gene called UGT1A1 that produces the enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase. This enzyme is active in the metabolism of certain drugs, such as irinotecan, a drug used in colorectal cancer treatment. Variations in the UGT1A1 gene can influence a patient’s ability to break down irinotecan, which can lead to increased blood levels of the drug and a higher risk of side effects. For a patient with a particular UGT1A1 gene variation, a dose of irinotecan that is safe for another person might be too high for this patient, raising the risk of certain side effects. The Invader assay was studied in 66 patients who were receiving irinotecan therapy. The study showed that persons with one type of genetic variation have a five times greater risk of experiencing irinotecan toxicity.

    “With the growing interest in individualizing drug therapy, FDA's approval of this assay provides physicians and patients with important information on the proper dosage of drugs metabolized and cleared from the body by the UGT1A1 pathway,” said Lawrence Lesko, PhD, Director of FDA’s Office of Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Information on the UGT1A1 genotype can be an integral part of drug labels and will guide health professionals on how to dose medications such as irinotecan.”

    The Invader assay is intended to aid a physician in making individualized patient treatment decisions. It is not a substitute for a physician’s judgment and clinical experience. Other important factors that may affect dosing should be considered, such as the patient's liver function (measured in part by the level of bilirubin, a breakdown product of hemoglobin), age, kidney function, and co-administered drugs.

    The Invader UGT1A1 Molecular Assay is manufactured by Third Wave Technologies, Inc., in Madison, Wisconsin.


    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  6. swedeboy

    swedeboy Member

    I am on Desipramine 100mg daily. It's a tricyclic anti-depressant. I hope it's not frying my brain like Dr. Cheney apparently say's ssri's do?

    Here's what I recently found in the CFIDS chronicle:

    It's in the Fall 2006 CFIDS Chronicle, Page 4, Titled "Antidepressants Show Long-term Benefits Reducing CFS Symptoms"

    Here's a passage from it:
    " The results, published in 'Human Psychopharmacology:
    Clinical and experimental (18 September, 2006), suggest that
    CFS patients taking anti-depressant medication recover from
    the effects of the illness at an increased rate over time

    compared to untreated patient sample. Thase taking the
    anti-depressants, particularly the SSRIs, showed
    significantly lower total symptom scores. These improvements
    included a reduction in the levels of fatigue recorded by

    patients, as well as higher sleep quality. What's more, the
    positive effects of anti-depressant therapy remained viable
    at the three-year follow-up point. The researchers recommend
    additional investigation to corroborate their results."[This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  7. jessica0123

    jessica0123 New Member

    I have been on Cymbolta and for me it has been a life saver! It has taken 80% of my pain away. My knees donot ache,wrists,ankles, it is a drug that works both with depression and pain. Please talk to your DR about this. Take an antidepressant, get balanced out then down the road talk to your DR about taking a smaller dose. You may only need that to keep you even all the time. Good luck
    Jessica in VA
  8. California31

    California31 New Member

    I had a difficult...extreme reaction to Prozac....and have not had much success with antidepressants (Zoloft for a year with heavy duty side effects for 2 months.)
    Sometimes a drug can help short curcuit I tried numerous ones without much success. Kolonopin...can help with's all individual. I put up with zoloft side effects because I was in a particularly difficult situation....but like pvlady indicated in her post here...that there are other things to try...
    It's truly a personal quest to find what helps bring balance. Good luck to you...I'm glad you found this site.
  9. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    thank you SOOO much for your input everyone! I appreciate it.
    Regarding how i reacted to prozac..well here ya go.

    I went to the docs for a routine appt. At the end of the appt she asked how everything was and i said fine. Then i added...well i have a slight like adrenaline/anxiety feeling..but its not that bad.
    I didnt even have a chance to finish my sentence and she prescribed me PROZAC! I was naive, very naive and biggie..cant hurt to try. I wasnt depressed but she said it would fix my ok.

    I was actually HAPPY and excited prior to taking it. I was even joking with people saying...HEY IM GONNA START TAKING PROZAC. I was very positive. I didnt even need it.
    So i take it and was absolutely fine for a week....then on my 7th day or so...HOLY SHIZNIT BATMAN!
    I was having WORSE anxiety, panic, getting woken up in my sleep with a jolt of some weird something, jerks in my body, shakiness, muscles totally tense...and on the worst day it hit me.....i tweeked! I had to hand my 8 month old to my mother and go outside in the cold and sit by myself. I was scared, felt like i was on something extremely mind altering, i was SO uncomfortable in my own skin i wanted to rip it off me...i felt like i had NO control over my body and mind. I COULD SEE HOW PEOPLE (EVEN THOSE NEVER SUICIDAL OR VERY DEPRESSED) COULD COMMIT SUICIDE ON THAT DRUG.
    Prozac especially is crazy powerful. For the right person maybe its great..but for the wrong body..its hell.
    THAT is when i started going down hill . That seems like my trigger of when i sloooooowly arrived to where i am today with a total change in my body.

    Since then i have gone through diagnoses of Depression, CFS, Lyme and now dysautonomia. No longer able to work, socialize, function. Maybe its a coincidence in timing..but I feel prozac played a big role in ruining my life. Its mind altering and when you mess w/ the mind the body pays.
  10. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member


    Why does your doc have you on anti-depressants? I have had them to help with sleep. If you are feeling depressed that's one thing, but to be on them for no other reason sounds wrong. What kind of doc is giving you these?

    I was on Trazadone & I am not depressed. They were giving me side effects & my pain doc took me off them & put me on a valium type drug to help my muscle spasms & my RLS.

    Good luck.

    love Dawn
  11. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    Thx Dawn :)
    Ya, ive had many docs that tell me "You have soo many different symptoms" that means there isnt anything specifically wrong with you. You know, fatigue is often a sign of depression?"
    LOL....ya doc but isnt being a lil depressed necessary for a diagnosis!? LOL
    Im scared to try anything else.
    Now i use a tranquelizer like xanax.
    I take a .25 of xanax, cut in in quarters and then still pick a little off of the 1/4pill and take that. LOL
  12. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Make sure you're taking enough calcium and magnesium, which are natural tranquilizers.

    Amino acid l-theanine helps the brain produce GABA, which is calming but not sedating.

    I also take amino acid 5-htp, it helps with mood and helps the brain produce serotonin, without the negative side effects of prescription anti-depressants.

    I stay away from the prescription AD's, as they scare me. I tried two at different times and each time reacted badly.

    It does sound like you need a different doctor, or at least need to educate the one you have, as well as yourself. Look up an article in this website's library called "CFS as heart failure secondary to mitochondrial malfunction" - it's very good, has a lot of information and I think any doctor treating CFIDS should read it.

  13. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    you asked about manic depression. I have also been told i should think about bipolarII.

    Here are my mental issues. My mood is usually on the low side....but im very ill so thats a give in.
    Yes, sometimes my moods change from gloomy to perky....buts it totally based on my well being. If im tired, weak, head very peeved off cause i cant think straight, im scared, im angry about being sick. But im constantly scanning my body all day to see how im doing...when i notice my symptoms lighten outlook follows...and im pleasant and positive.

    However, I never have mega energy or excitability or a drastic change at all. I never have a lot of energy or alot of happiness.
    I do however get irritable for no reason.
    If you just look at my psychological issues its easy to say...oh you def have a psychological problem. But, if you look at all my physical, cognitive and neurological'll see there is a bigger picture.

    I wish this was all depression. lol. Better than cfs w/ no cause, no cure...blah blah blah.

    My anxiety can be due to Dysautonomia. I have the heart murmur and the symptoms of dysautonomia are identical to cfs. However, my diagnosis is cfs. Some of my symptoms dont fit though. Heat intolerance, inability to sweat, chronic anxiety, chronic dizziness.
  14. DorothyVivian

    DorothyVivian New Member

    so it is difficult to discern how to treat these 'normal' responses to continual pain and fatigue.

    Early in the course of my experience with CFIDS and FM, I was prescribed several antidepressants. Except for very slight and temporary improvements, I found the trade-offs as far as side effects, to make it not worth taking them. I had an especially disturbing response to Prozac, even at a very small dosage--it made me hyperalert and anxious.

    I find that my levels of anxiety and depression closely align with the levels of pain and fatigue I am experiencing at any given time. So, for me, I find it is not worth while to take antidepressants. When muscle pain and fatigue are low, my spirits and mood generally is high and peaceful.

    I've found that the very lowest dosage of 'Lyrica' reduces anxiety along with reducing muscle pain.

    In adddition, I believe we each need to remember we are unique in the way that each individual responds to medication. We need to take this individuality into consideration whenever we are prescribed any medication. And, it is also important for most of us to try out any new medication at the lowest possible effective dosage and to--GRADUALLY--increase it as is determined by our responses to it, and along with recommendations by our doctors. Psychotropic medications are powerful and should not to be taken without great care.

    I always remember I am my own "case manager"...that no one knows me, and my physical and psychological makeup as well as I do. At the same time, I need the help of a health care professional who possesses the most current information and experience I can find to help me make the wisest choices I can make.

    These disease syndromes we have (FM and CFIDS) are extremely complex and enormously frightening--so, in my view, it is to be expected for us to have serious emotional difficulties in finding the best treatments possible for each of us. As my doctor of 40+ years said to me last Monday, "This 'stuff' (FM & CFIDS) is really scarey!" I replied, "And I'm really grateful you've been such great support throughout the last 23 years with me and your other patients!" (Much of the time, he was the only person--professional or layperson--who did not minimize or dismiss my symptoms or struggles!)

    I wish you the best of good fortune, Monica, in finding the most effective treatment for yourselves! I wish this success for every person reading and posting here!

    With love, Dorothy
    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  15. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    Even though some people swear by them, my experience is that they do nothing for me. Over the years I've been the guinea pig for a lot of different kinds of antidepressants.
    Such as serzone, prozac, zoloft, wellbutrin, and a few others. Some seem to help at first, but later caused more damage than good. I think I was kind of starting to go wacko on a couple of them...

    Everyone is different and some people can't live without them, but my advice is to be very very careful.... The state of California had a class action law suit a few years ago on Paxil.... You can google that one... But do what's best for you!
  16. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

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