Paxil/Prozac, do they REALLY help????

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by MarieHerman, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. MarieHerman

    MarieHerman New Member

    I have had fibro for 3 years and pretty tired of the almost constant burning/pain. I've had about 3 docs, including my rheume, recommend Paxil or Prozac. I REALLY don't want to start those types of drugs unless I know there will be a SIGNIFICANT change in the pain. Comments from anyone with experience with either would be appreciated. Also, Kaiser has a pain management class that I will start in Oct. Has anyone attended this class? Thanks
    [This Message was Edited on 09/15/2003]
  2. twin2

    twin2 New Member

    I have CFS and was on Paxil for 1 1/2 months. I felt no change except I lost my love of food (and 10 lbs. - nothing to complain about).
    I hope it works better for you, if you try it.
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Go to our library and read Dr. Cheney's article on SSRI's and stimulants. He believes they exacerbate our problems.

    There are some here who do get relief from these drugs.

    It is best to make a knowledgeable decision before starting any new drug.

    Love, Mikie
  4. mje

    mje New Member

    I asked my rheumatologist about prozac after reading some articles. He did not think I needed it. Brought it up again and he gave me some the side effects
    and I said "wait and see". Then about 5 years ago my husband shattered his heel, and was unable to put any weight on the foot for 2 1/2 months. By the end of 6 weeks I was worn out. Talked it over with my primary Doc, and he said it would "smooth things over". We settled on 10 mg. per day Taken in the am. (the SSRI's can interfere with sleep)
    After about 3-4 wks., It took effect and definitely did
    as my Dr. said. My husband noticed quite a difference.
    Not necessarily less pain, but I could handle it better.
    Still taking the 10mg per day. Just another experience.
    Good luck, MJE
  5. keeponsmiling

    keeponsmiling New Member

    I don't have FM, but I do have CFIS, and Prozac/Paxil have helped quite a bit over the years. I first started taking Prozac around 15 years ago and have been on and off ever since. I'm currently back "on" for over a year now at a low dose of 10 mg a day.

    For me, I find that it helps with sleep, "smooths" out the rough edges, and enables me to deal with stress a lot better.

  6. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    Been on Celexa, and Paxil. Celexa helped. Going to ask my doc for it agian soon. When on Paxil, it didn't help at all. I also gained a few pounds.

    I too read about the effects these meds can have. I hope you read into it more too, before taking.
  7. 2aycocks

    2aycocks New Member

    I call Paxil my miracle drug. I have improved so much with it. I have Lupus and possible fibro, which both cause depression. I have had sever panic attacks for 15 years. Once I got the Paxil in my system and at the needed dose....not had a single panic attack since. You have no idea how wonderful it is to get in my car and drive somewhere without having panic attacks. I have had no side affects at all. I have tried Prozac adn it turned me inside out. I have tried other antidepressants, and none have ever worked so well and with so few side affects. I will take it forever!
  8. Tunes

    Tunes New Member

    Hi Marie,

    I'm going to check out Mikie's recommendation. Haven't gone to the library yet.

    However, in the past took Paxil, Effexor, Zoloft, and Prozac. After a wash out period (getting off the above kinds gradually) was suggested Amitriptyline (Elavil) which is a tricyclic anti-depressant. (Never did take that at first) I got fed up with all of these and went cold turkey off Prozac, 40 mg. per day, in the end. Not wise to do, bad thoughts when withdrawing, but I had had it. One needs a strong faith and belief to hang on to, in order to cold turkey off these. Again, not recommended to do.

    After having been diagnosed with Fibro, Primary Dtr. suggested Paxil or Prozac. I said: they don't help pain? He said: "no, but they help you cope with the pain" I said, "ok I see .. give me a happy pill and that'll make things all better, huh?" Didn't start it then.

    Later, a Rheumatologist wanted to try Amitriptyline, supposedly helps sleep. At that point, I said okay I'll give it a shot. After a week of that (low dose and was supposed to be worked up to a higher dose, which is the normal progression with anti-depressants) I was getting bad heart Palpitations, and said that does it. Didn't take any more of that.

    They do, after a long while of taking it in my former experience, tend to take away any appetite and therefore weight loss. They do, give one in my experience, an I don't care about anything attitude, toward even things which can be important. The aforementioned bunch, especially paxil and prozac were both worked up to 40 mg. per day. Along with the I don't care about things attitude, comes the varied bad side effects. And they are numerous. For me, it has been everlasting eye pain.

    What happens with this Fibro is, we can all end up depressed due to the many things we face. It's one great big merry-go-round or here we go round the mulberry bush.

    Currently, after not having been on any anti-depressants since 1998, this docter in a new location we moved to, suggested Paxil CR (new and improved version, and has me on 12.5 low dose). I'm familiar with the routine, and I reluctantly take it, but had been crying a lot and really down. Now, rather than originally, I know I'm depressed. But I also do not want to get run up any anti-depresant flag pole again.

    Just my thoughts and some of my experience. We are all different, and these anti-depressants may be helpful for others. If so, good for them. I would also suggest going to a library and looking all up in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) the reasons one should be prescribed this medication, the bad side effects, etc. It is a real eye opener. I wonder if the Physcian's consult the book?

    Take & God Bless,
  9. Valentina

    Valentina New Member

    I think Paxil is an EVIL drug, and I am NOT exaggerating. There is an enormous class action lawsuit being filed against the manufacturers of the drug, and there have been at least 2 chilling documentaries done on Paxil. Not only can there be dangerous side effects from taking the drug, but it is addictive and can be almost impossible to get off of. I just realized that I'm not allowed to post a URL, so I will simply say that if you go to the first website that comes up when you go to google and type in "quit paxil" (not in quotation marks) you will find one of the best resources for info on Paxil and be able to read real life stories of people who have tried to get off the drug. The withdrawal symptoms are said to be comparable to kicking off heroin. No kidding!

    I was on 40 mg of Paxil a day for more than a year (for FMS), and I gained 50 pounds. My sex drive disappeared completely, and I felt utterly "numb" emotionally. I tapered off Paxil very slowly, and even then I had major withdrawal symptoms - it was horrible. I was one of the lucky ones and I didn't have "constant electric shocks in my brain" as one of my withdrawal symptoms. If I had known anything about the drug before taking it, I wouldn't have even considered it! The doctor I was seeing didn't tell me anything except "don't ever miss a dose". I was too sick at the time to do the type of research I normally would have done before taking that type of drug (I had never taken an anti-depressant before).

    Please make a very informed decision before taking Paxil - or you might really regret it later. I would ask your doctor about other possibilities because Paxil is notorious for being one of the most addictive and nasty anti-depressants out there. Of course your doctor probably won't tell you this - just like the manufacturer of the drug discounts all the experiences of the people whose lives have been ruined by this drug.

    I have never taken Prozac, but I would also research that drug thoroughly before taking it.

    Knowledge truly is power.....

    [This Message was Edited on 09/16/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/17/2003]
  10. Suekoo

    Suekoo New Member

    My doc said he had read that Paxil helps fibro patients - something with the seritonin (sp?) levels. I am only on a low dose of 12.5 mgs per day. I think it has helped me a lot. I guess as with everything else, people react differently.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/16/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/16/2003]
  11. RatLuver

    RatLuver New Member

    Prozac helped greatly reduce my fibro pain and fatigue for four years, but I've had to stop taking it due to a restless, antsy feeling that started this year.

    Elavil helped me too but caused much weight gain so I stopped it too.
    Doctors don't bother to tell us the possible or likely negative side effects, they just want to write us an RX, and get us out the door - assembly line medicine. I now read the PDR info before taking any new meds.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And we are all different. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. We need to carefully check into any new drug and make our decisions with our docs.

    It has always concerned me that docs do not take enough time explaining side effects and other info with their patients when prescribing. In many cases, docs who are not qualified are prescribing powerful antidepressants for their patients without realizing themselves the potential for problems. The info docs get on drugs comes from the manufacturers and their reps.

    There is a lawsuit now because the company which produces Neurontin told docs that it is effective for bi-polar disorder. This had disasterous effects for a woman who was taken off her Depakote and put on Neurontin.

    My point is that we all have to take a stronger role in deciding what we will put into our systems and not depend on our docs who are depending on salespeople with no medical training and literature from the companies who produce the drugs.

    There are no right or wrong answers. We each have to weigh the potential risks versus the potential benefits and make our decisions. At least, we can make informed decisions.

    Love, Mikie
  13. annepat

    annepat New Member

    I mposted portions of a Medscape article from 2000 on P450 cytochrome-please read-important SSRI and antidepressant info.
  14. annepat

    annepat New Member

    Many class lawsuits sue to overprescribing of SSRI's. P 450 cytochrome inof has been available, testing is available for P 450, as well as for serotonin levels, but depression is not well mananaged-it should be eveidence based-
  15. inkspo

    inkspo New Member

    I have taken Paxil for over a year now. While it does not stop Fibro pain, it helps me to deal with it better. I take Paxil CR 37.5, i prefer the paxil CR [time released] over regular paxil.
    My advice to you is to talk to your DR and see what he/she recommends. As you can see by the answers you have gotten there are pros and cons/Love it or hysterically against it.
    I have tried a lot of meds and only a few agree with me because of stomach problems, you have to listen to your body and see what it says....Good luck
  16. bitter-sweet

    bitter-sweet New Member

    IBS is often associated with fibromyalgia, and the surgeon who did my colonoscopy and diagnosed IBS knew this, and I have read it in other fibro literature, but I just can't remember where off hand. I just started it a week ago, so I won't know how it is, but coindentally I had a really bad flare a few days after. I haven't recovered fully, but I think my thyroid is contributing to how I feel also. I'm waiting to see an endocrinologist, but he's booked until Dec. Best of luck deciding what to do with everyone's input.
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I think these heavy-duty antidepressants should be used for clinical depression and not for "handling" the pain of FMS. They are waaaaaaay overprescribed.

    Antidepressants from the tricyclic family are a better choice for handling pain and getting sleep. Again, I think antidepressants should be saved for depression, but if one is going to take one, these are a far better choice than the SSRI's which can cause further seizure activity in our brains. Unfortunately, Elavil, the most often prescribed of the tricyclics, can cause rapid weight gain as can its cousing, Flexeril, the muscle relaxant. Docs need to tell people these side effects.

    Love, Mikie