Cheney VS Teitelbaum SSRI's

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Wolverine, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Hi all. This is just something I find interesting.

    Dr Cheney is obviously quite anti SSRI, but Dr J.Teitelbaum, writer of fatigued to fantastic highly reccommends them for ppl with CFS / fibro, and says they have multiple benefits for us even with no depression.

    Who to listen to? 'tis hard with differing opinions from two prominent figures in the cfs community.

    I guess in the end it comes down to what you want to try, and most of all what helps you in the end.

    What are your thoughts on this? Take care. ~Chris.
  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi,Chris ~ Boy, it's hard enough to know what to do when you have one opinion but two opposing ones makes it twice as hard.

    This is so typical of doctors. Depending on who you're seeing, your treatment protocal can vary.

    For me, an SRI did help me feel more balanced. I wasn't depressed but I felt no joy. With the SRI I had joyful times again. And yet going off it was a nightmare, especially since the doc I was seeing at the time had no clue how quitting would affect me and his nurse put me off for almost a month before I could get in to see him about the terrible withdrawal symptoms I was having. Obviously I'm no longer going there but it really did do damage. I'm much more easily stressed and anxious now than before taking - and quitting - the SRI.

    So. I guess it's an individual decision but if I had it to do again, I'd side with Cheney and avoid withdrawal altogether - unless I was going to take them forever and that's not a good idea. I don't think....... ???

    Marta, the one in the middle
  3. Kay31

    Kay31 Member

    As I mentioned here before, I saw Dr. Charles Lapp in North Carolina a few years back. He and
    Cheney worked together researching CFS for many years.
    Dr. Lapp IS a believer in SSRIs.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/23/2006]
  4. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    That is interesting. You might check around on what other CFS researchers think of SSRIs: David Bell, Anthony Komaroff, Nicolson, Peter Rowe at Johns Hopkins University, etc...

    There is also a lack of concensus on trying long-term antibiotics for CFS, too. Some, like Teitlebaum tend to advocate it, while other researchers (i.e. Dr. Majid Ali, who wrote THE CANARY AND CHRONIC FATIGUE think that antibiotics increase oxidative stress and damage).

    I think it does come down to the individual, though. I've been asking myself some of the same questions about Klonopin, a benzodiazepine that I and many others are taking for sleep. We certainly don't all react to drugs in the same way.

  5. Wolverine

    Wolverine Member

    Marta: Ah ok thats interesting that it helped you that much.. and i guess its good in a way. Yeah ive heard people have been much slower to become anxious etc when taking them which is a good thing. Obviously withdrawals are awful for these, the probable main drawback. As for taking them forever / very long term, i cant really say whether its good / safe or what. I guess the best way to find that out would be to talk to a few people who have been on them for 10-20yrs plus, that could give an indication.

    kay31: Ah right i see.. cool that you got to see him. And interesting that Lapp is pro SSRI aswell. I only know about Cheneys anti ssri because of people talking about it on this board alot. Also interesting that those 2 worked together but have differing opinions on that.

    Ken: yeah i shall have a look about and see what the other cfs drs think about it too. That would be good to see kind of how many are for or against, or kind of neutral etc. Hmm yeah.. i personally dont think long term anti biotics is good for anyone.. mainly because of the resistance your body builds up to them. Also i took minomycin for 2 years almost solid for acne, and im sure that MAJORLY contributed to my livers now very poor ability to detox drugs etc. As for Klonopin, apparently thats not too bad long term etc. But for me, i couldnt tolerate it at ALL. when i took just the smallest bit of a tablet, after a few hours i was on the bed and it was like i was almost paralyzed, i couldnt move my limbs and my breathing was laboured and i felt it hard to control it even! So very not good for me that one. I can take valium with not many probs suprisingly though! Yeap right about us all reacting to drugs differently for sure.

    Thanks all & hope ur well. ~Chris.
  6. littleleafhopper

    littleleafhopper New Member

    The ssri's were a disaster for me. I tried two at small doses and they were some of the worst reactions I've had the entire 30 years I've been battling this puppy.

    My doctor wants me to try Klonipin, because of lack of sleep, but I'm just plain scared to. I keep putting it off.

    As for who to listen to I guess unfortunately that it's just trial and error. But I always, always, cut dosages of anything drugs or vitamins way down the first time I take them. That works most of the time for me. So I don't get blown-away by a severe reaction.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What rings true with me is that so many of our symptoms, racing brain, insomnia, anxiety/panic attacks, tinnitus, muscle spasms, sensory overload, etc., seem to be the result of a slight state of seizure in our brains. The Klonopin, which Cheney recommends, stops or greatly reduces these symptoms. That would seem to be evidence of the slight seizure state. If that is true, the Klonopin should stop the premature death of our neurons from overfiring, as Cheney claims.

    All SSRI's and SNRI's warn patients to tell their docs if they have seizures. Most of us don't have seizures but if Cheney is right, we have seizure acitivy in our brains. These AD's can increase the seizure acitivty.

    I think all drugs have their place and each one of us has to decide, after research and due diligence, what is right for us. Each drug also has side effects and risks which should be taken into consideration.

    What has concerned me is that too many docs, who are not qualified to prescribe these AD's and who do not follow up when their patients first start them, hand them out like candy for every conceivable symptom under the sun. These, like Klonopin, are heavy-hitter meds which require a lot of care before prescribing.

    Love, Mikie
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Effexor or other antidepressants for decades. But then, I was depressed before I got CFS.

    For those who want to sample Chris' music, go to:

    [web site address removed]

  9. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    Taking my AD has literally changed my life, so I guess I'm one of the lucky percentage that they actually help.

    It might not last forever, but without it, I don't know if I could have gone on much longer.

    Thanks for the information.

    Sue in Ontario
  10. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I take 4mg. of Klonopin a day and right this minute I am heading in the kitchen to take number 3.

    I am an advocate of the med because I have been helped oh so much by it.

  11. bct

    bct Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris. Before I came down with CFS/CFIDS/ME I was able to take Prozac -- an SSRI. Post CFS I have been unable to tolerate any of the many SSRI's I have tried.

    I subscribe to Cheney's theory as applying to me.

    You might read a book by Glenmullen, "Prozac Backlash".
    Possibly a subject search on this board....


    Yep, I just tried it myself: Search content for "prozac backlash" and you'll get what you want.[This Message was Edited on 08/26/2006]
  12. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    I'm one to listen to my body more than a doctor's opinion.

    A prime example.....although Cheney claims Klonopin saves our brains, helps with overfiring of neurons, etc...your body obviously did not respond well.

    Same goes for SSRI's.

    Unfortunately, I'm left with trial and error on all medications, supplements, etc.

    I also always keep in mind the "not felt" long term negative effects medication may have......the pay-off has to outweigh the consequences...[IMO]

  13. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    ...and my advice to anyone with FM/CFIDS would be to avoid SSRIs if at all possible.

    Paxil helped me for many years with anxiety and depression. I can't say it is "all bad" because of the many years that it helped me.

    But since developing FM/CFIDS I can no longer tolerate it and am being forced to taper off of it and the withdrawal is hell on earth. After 14 years, who knows how I will be in the long term? A doctor tried to put me on Effexor a couple of months ago and that just about killed me. The up side is it made me realize just how negatively the Paxil has begun to effect me, and how I need to be off of it.

    I would have said that I was staying on Paxil for the rest of my life until this happened. The problem with that is it will not always work for you, and may, as in my case, begin to actually backfire on you.

    I would say avoid them if at ALL possible.
  14. dgreen

    dgreen New Member


    Sorry to hear that. Have you considered trying something like St. John's Wort? It generally has little to no side effects in non-CFS'ers...not sure what it would be like for someone with CFS/FM.


    "I would have said that I was staying on Paxil for the rest of my life until this happened. The problem with that is it will not always work for you, and may, as in my case, begin to actually backfire on you."

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