Been suggested by psychologist to change

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Cinlou, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    First of all I go to a Pain Management doctor that has really helped me with my FMS and DDD, by Rx meds, Trigger Point Injections, and epidurals for cervical spine and lumber.

    I currently take, Trazadone 50mgs, Elavil 25 mgs, Flexeril 10mgs,and Mobic. The main reason for sleep, in hopes it would help with pain. I do seem to sleep okay, I do get to sleep with this, am begining to remember dreams, which for a long time I did not. (It was very sedating, not so much anymore)

    My psychologist thinks I may need to be on one of the newer AD's for depression and anxiety...she thinks I should go to psychiatrist and get off the trazadone and elavil and take something else.

    I have made an appointment with the psychiatrist, but I am really at a point that I do not know what to do. I thought I would see what he has to say.

    I do have childhood issues of abuse.....alot of very sad things happened im my life, first husband died left me with an father died, I cared for him while holding down a job and raising two children, new husband with alchohol going through a divorce...mother having brain cancer....trying to spend time with her....

    Yes, I am depressed, tell me who would not be??? But, I am so afraid to go off of everything to try something new.
    I am not 100% free of pain, and I doubt I ever will. But, I do have good days..

    I am so afraid that I won't be able to get to sleep if I stop these...
    Has anyone out there had a similar situation?? What would you do??? Please anything..


  2. onedaymagpie

    onedaymagpie New Member

    Hi Cindy:

    Here is my thought. See the psychiatrist and ask him some probing questions, like if he recommends the change, why? What will it do? How can you expect it to be different? What should your expectations be? How long until you will know if it is working/when can you expect to see any results? What are the downsides or risks?

    If it then sounds reasonable, give it a try. Maybe even wait until after the holidays, when things tend to be less hectic (although it sounds like you have a lot you are taking care of). Don't worry if it doesn't work or doesn't work as well, because you can always switch back to what you are taking now.

    Just try to take it a step at a time.

    I hope it all works out for you.

    Take care, Mags
  3. ABLUV

    ABLUV New Member

    I'd like to know exactly why the doc wants to switch you. Are you having complications with present meds? Why not increase elavil to 30 or 35mg instead of switching everything? (I take 35mg elavil for pain and sleep; it's been working for 10yrs - I will not switch unless I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO!!! If it's fixed don't break it, ya know?)

    Anxiety level could be increased because of divorce and mom in poor health (that sounds perfectly normal to me). My pain does break through the elavil when stress is increased. Perhaps calcium with magnesium would help (I take half a tablet when my nerves feel frazzled, twice a week - you can get them from Walmart). Or drink an herb tea with calming effects. You can look up drug and vitamin/herb interactions on the net to ensure the product you chose won't conflict with meds.

    That's my suggestion before switching all your meds.

    I wish you all the best,

  4. Goldyfm

    Goldyfm New Member

    I'm new to this, having been diagnosed just a year and a half now, after searching for 10 years for my mystery ailment. I do have FM and have been evaluated by 2 rheumatologists. Both prescribed my antidepressant meds for apin and sleep enhancement properties. I was on an antidepressant from a psychiatrist before my diagnosis, but was given for the side effect that sometimes helps with IBS.

    I have been to numerous doctors since my diagnosis for sleep studies and neuro consults. They have on occasion tried to change my antidepressant but each time I ran their advise by my Rheumatologist who actually has more experience with FM.

    I was lucky in that I found a doctor here that listened and did not look at you like you just got released from the funny farm. I trust his advisement on my treatment and anytime I feel that one of the other doctors may be overstepping their boundaries a little, I call him and discuss it.

    I have had them change my meds and yes it did affect my sleep somewhat, but it was minor considering the benefits of the new meds. Any time any meds commonly used for psychiatric purposes are used for any reason (such as those with FM or sleep problems) they should be managed by the treating physician. There are a lot of meds you can not just stop, you have to slowly wean off and gradually add the others. I know I have had several strengths of a med until I was managed on the best dosage for me.

    I would speak with my treating physician and voice all your concerns and maybe have him contact your other doctor to discuss the best med for you.
  5. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Sorry, I'm pretty tired so I didn't read through all of the other posts so I'm sorry if I repeat.

    I would agree with changing the Elavil. It causes carb cravings and weight gain for almost all the women on it.

    The Trazodone won't work at all like the antidepressant that it is because all it does is put people to sleep. (My doc explained it to me this way) I take 125mg each night and sleep like a baby for 8 or 9 hours.

    So I wouldn't want to change the Trazodone....what you're taking for sleep shouldn't interfere with another anti-depressant.

    Elavil is another nasty medication that needs time to be weaned off of. I would be concerned if the doc just wanted you to switch one with the other.

    As far as changing to a new medication for anxiety and depression....what do you think? Are you having anxiety attacks? Are your meds working with the depression?

    Are you sensitive to new medications?

    After going through this with my daughter over most of the last year, I'm going to vote that if things are working for you, now might not be the time to change things.

    Or if it all feels like too much to handle (and you really have a lot on your plate) now might be just the right time to make a change.

    You have a choice in this too....don't forget that!!


    Nancy B
  6. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I am so sorry you are going through this. I had a similar situation when I was not sick and was ready to tear my hair out.

    My guess would be to give the psychiatrist a chance to see what he can do. If he knows your situation he might know of a better 'mix' of meds for you.

    And if that does not work, heck: you can go back to the old ones.

    Please keep the faith while all of this is going on. I know
    how disheartening it can all seem. I will keep you in my prayers. I never knew you had all of these troubles.

  7. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    Thanks so much everyone......I just skimed across the replies.....I am off to I will check back this evening....thanks again (got to get in the shower)
  8. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Dear Cindy,

    I'm so sorry to hear about all of the incredibly stressful, tragic events that you have endured in your life. You are an amazing survivor. (((((((BIG HUGS))))))

    Got a question here: I don't understand why a PSYCHOLOGIST is suggesting a med change and not a PSYCHIATRIST?

    I have bipolar II also, have seen plenty of psychologists in my time, and not once have they ever urged me to see a pyschiatrist in order to change meds. NEVER. I have seen psychologists when I have been through rough times and I hadn't found the right drug cocktail yet. My experience has always been that the psychiatrist is the one that helps you decide what meds are best for you, NOT the psychologist.

    I could understand if you weren't taking your meds properly or if you had a radical mood shift that your psychologist wanted to ensure you saw a psychiatrist, but to get into specific meds and tell you which ones to keep taking and which ones to get off of, that IS NOT the role of a psychologist in my experience. Anyway, just my opinion. I see a reg flag here and feel I would be remiss if I didn't say something. It seems like she should be focusing more on helping you with your stress and not the meds. Both are equally important.

    At any rate, everyone has their own belief system about meds, how they want to approach taking them, and when they want to consider switching to another one.

    My personal approach is that if a med is working for me, I don't want to switch to a newer one just because it is new. To me, switching meds isn't like changing flavors of yogurt. You have to deal with possible withdrawal effects of the old med, and deal with potential side effects of the new med.

    As stated, obviously all meds have side effects, and for me, it's a challenge to find a med that has tolerable side effects, so switching to another med is pretty challenging. Plus, I'd rather someone else be the "lab rat" and try the new med so docs can see how people tolerate it. However, if I'm miserable and the only option is a newer med, I will most likely try it.

    That said, it sounds like you have had improvement with your current med cocktail. Just because the meds you take have been on the market for awhile, it doesn't mean that they are substandard to the newer ones available. I don't believe that newer is always better, although it can be for some people. I've done great with Lamictal but terrible with other newer drugs. It all depends on how our bodies react to the meds because we are all so individualized in our reactions to drugs.

    The bottom line is that you should ultimately decide if the improvement you've seen in your sleep is enough for you, or if you want to try different meds to see if you can tweak that even more, in addition to tolerating a new med's side effects. Fun choice isn't it? ;-) *However, if you are happy with the meds you are taking, don't let the psychologist force you into making an appt. with your psychiatrist if you don't want to! Remember: it's your choice and your body!

    Hope this helps. Best of luck. Please keep us posted!

    Warm hugs,

    [This Message was Edited on 11/03/2006]
  9. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

  10. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    also, i take vacatil for ad. i really can lose weight on this one.

    it is taken in the morning. i only take 5 mg.s cause that is all my body w/allow me.
    i've done the trazadone, you name it been on it. expect for zoloft.

    but weight gains and made my anxiety worse for me.

    everything is trial by error. klonopin at night, i can not move w/o it hardly in the morning.

  11. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    I hope all is well. Warm hugs, Erika

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