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Old 11-09-2006, 02:37 AM   #1
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Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

OK so I go to the neurologist, he tells me that there is some medication that can help with fatigue - great I think, if it doesn't help it can't hurt and if it does maybe I can start to pull myself out of this rut

So he writes to my GP telling him to prescribe this medication - I go in today, pick up the prescription and get it filled

I come home and read the blurb sheet, nearly poo myself looking at the long list of possible side effects (which include hepatitis, heart attack, stroke, hallucinations, uncontrolled shaking, testicular swelling...) and find out exactly how this med is supposed to help me

Turns out the meds are a tricyclic antidepressant called Amitriptyline

Am I having the **** taken out of me and the medical community thinks I'm just a whiney ***** or does this stuff genuinely help with Chronic Fatigue?

I'm feeling very angry right now

 
Old 11-10-2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Tricyclics are far more than antidepressants - they have uses in narcolepsy, chronic pain, migraine, dperession, irritable bowl and things I have probably never heard of..... why not try the medicine with an open mind, and see if it helps. If it helps you feel better, does it matter if it is an antidepressant, a heart medicine, or a laxative?

 
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I have since spoken to people and it does appear that tricyclic antidepressants are a not-uncommon prescription for fatigue

I think what bothers me the most though is that he never mentioned what the drugs would be and, knowing that I've had 3 years of various doctors telling me that it's all in my head I took the fact that I was unwittingly being prescribed antidepressants kinda took me out of nowhere

 
Old 11-14-2006, 07:05 AM   #4
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

ITHat was the LAST drug I ever took! Hated it. It has toooooo many side effects and does nothing for pain....If you are having problems with fatigue I HIGHLY doubt this drug will help...it is also used for sleeping medication.....

Has your doctors tested you for Epsteing Barr Virus's and Cytomeglovirus??? he is just trying to cover up symptoms not helping with your problem..

sorry you are having to go through this ....it is a nightmare and a half....

good luck to you.....

Jodie

 
Old 11-15-2006, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannigaholic
OK so I go to the neurologist, he tells me that there is some medication that can help with fatigue - great I think, if it doesn't help it can't hurt and if it does maybe I can start to pull myself out of this rut

So he writes to my GP telling him to prescribe this medication - I go in today, pick up the prescription and get it filled

I come home and read the blurb sheet, nearly poo myself looking at the long list of possible side effects (which include hepatitis, heart attack, stroke, hallucinations, uncontrolled shaking, testicular swelling...) and find out exactly how this med is supposed to help me

Turns out the meds are a tricyclic antidepressant called Amitriptyline

Am I having the **** taken out of me and the medical community thinks I'm just a whiney ***** or does this stuff genuinely help with Chronic Fatigue?

I'm feeling very angry right now
Howdy , I was just reading what you have wrote and just wanted to let you know that I have had major fatigue for about 20 yrs and its not been fun at all . I am a beliver that when you have fatigue its for a reason ..... I was just told that I have cfs and that was that ....It took me 2 years of doing nothing but suffering and going to docter s and I found out I have had lyme disease for close to 30 years . I have tryed alot of differents meds and have found one that kinda works ...... what I mean is it make you feel more alert and awake but you can still feel the fatigue deep down but it does make the day easier to take for sure . My docter told me they made this drug for the military and its not addictive and not suppose to have many bad sideffects..... the only possible problem is that it cost me 10$$ per pill ,lol ouch but hey it works so needless to say it has to be a special occasion when I take one ,lol..... hang in there

Mike

 
Old 11-15-2006, 05:57 PM   #6
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey20
Howdy , I was just reading what you have wrote and just wanted to let you know that I have had major fatigue for about 20 yrs and its not been fun at all . I am a beliver that when you have fatigue its for a reason ..... I was just told that I have cfs and that was that ....It took me 2 years of doing nothing but suffering and going to docter s and I found out I have had lyme disease for close to 30 years . I have tryed alot of differents meds and have found one that kinda works ...... what I mean is it make you feel more alert and awake but you can still feel the fatigue deep down but it does make the day easier to take for sure . My docter told me they made this drug for the military and its not addictive and not suppose to have many bad sideffects..... the only possible problem is that it cost me 10$$ per pill ,lol ouch but hey it works so needless to say it has to be a special occasion when I take one ,lol..... hang in there

Mike
forgot to tell you the drug ,lol..... I have a reason for that , I have lyme disease ,lol.... its

provigil 200mg

 
Old 11-17-2006, 10:14 PM   #7
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannigaholic
OK so I go to the neurologist, he tells me that there is some medication that can help with fatigue - great I think, if it doesn't help it can't hurt and if it does maybe I can start to pull myself out of this rut

So he writes to my GP telling him to prescribe this medication - I go in today, pick up the prescription and get it filled

I come home and read the blurb sheet, nearly poo myself looking at the long list of possible side effects (which include hepatitis, heart attack, stroke, hallucinations, uncontrolled shaking, testicular swelling...) and find out exactly how this med is supposed to help me

Turns out the meds are a tricyclic antidepressant called Amitriptyline

Am I having the **** taken out of me and the medical community thinks I'm just a whiney ***** or does this stuff genuinely help with Chronic Fatigue?

I'm feeling very angry right now
Personally I don't see how this will help cfs. I have dealt with this and fms for 10+years. amitriptyline could mainly help your sleep which is why they like to prescribe it for fibromyalgia - but the side effects are crappy! You will gain weight, feel left over groggy (so no help to cfs), it does cause some weird dreams/nightmares. I honestly think the profession is too quick to rx antidepressants for these ailments and they really do not work most times. I will tell you as Ive told them, depression a lot of times comes from a situation, and if you fix that situation you will fix the depression so in fibro fix the pain and in chronic fatigue fix the fatigue. for me Ambien cr helps to sleep a full 7hrs most times which does help the fibro aches. What does help the fatigue is Provigil. Now that one is new to me this year, but in the past I was taking Ginseng, Ginko Biloba, and other energy herbs (natural) I could find to ease the fatigue. One draw back is it is expensive. the better your insurance is the better the coverage for this but so far it has been worth the cost to me as with the herbal supplements I would have to take it more than once a day, with the Provigil I only have to take it one time a day. Good luck and I did learn also in all this is to stand up to what they want you to take. Don't believe all the commercials (ie cymbalta - another yucky one) and ask questions as to what it is they are prescribing and why it is they are prescribing it.

Last edited by soulwise; 11-17-2006 at 10:17 PM.

 
Old 11-22-2006, 01:04 AM   #8
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Exclamation Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I went with husband to doc just today and he was prescribed Nortriptyline (sp?-i am too lazy to go look). He suffers from chronic pain.

Doc said this med originally was meant to treat depression but other therapeutic effects were discovered, and although the drug is not tested for its pain-relieving results (to the extent FDA requires in order for it to be considered effective for pain relief), it was found to be effective on nerve pain in many patients.

She said lots of meds are used for reasons other than which the meds were developed (i.e. aspirin used for blood thinning to prevent heart attack). She also said not to be alarmed at side effects. She told my husband not to read them, but I should read them and keep an eye on him, so he wouldn't "imagine" side effects.

Keep in mind that if even ONE person suffers from a single particular side effect, it must be listed on the drug monograph (the sheet of paper with all that info). So if one in 100,000 got a headache or swollen testes from it, they have to list that as a possible side effect. Also remember that every person metabolizes and processes drugs differently. The one guy who got swollen testes may have got them for some other reason.

Try the meds, do more research, make sure you try the meds for the recomended time to gain the desired effect, and MOST OF ALL STAY POSITIVE (please do your best ) My husband has had chronic pain for 10 years, 1 month and 5 days. But he wakes up thanking God that he is alive. Good luck with the new meds and think positively!

jo

 
Old 01-04-2007, 01:35 PM   #9
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I was surprised to see this on the top page - I haven't been on the boards fora while

OK Basically I tried the amitriptyline and it did indeed make me groggy and kept me asleep for 10 hours a night (I usually sleep the normal 8 hours) so I stopped taking it and am about to start Nortriptyline. I'm not saying there were no positive effects, but they were negligable compared to the negatives.

In the meantime I just feel worse than ever - my limbs are heavy, my chest is tight and any fitness I ever had has disappeared. Without wanting to sound like I'm being flippant (because I'm genuinely not) I feel like a cancer patient

edit: Before I took the amitriptyline I did ask my neurologist and he said it was not an uncommon treatment for fatigue and a friend of my father said they gave it to him after an operation and it was the psychologist who was the only person to explain it to him that it genuinely helps build up your body a bit - the words he (dad's friend) used were something along the lines of 'it's your body that is depressed'

Last edited by Hannigaholic; 01-04-2007 at 01:42 PM.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Amitryptaline is actually really common with FMS and CFS--and EVERY medication has side effects regardless of what it is; the list of possible side effects in no way implicates that you're going to get hepatitis, or even any side effects at all.

If the fatigue is really bothering you that much, just take the medication. If it helps, then it helps, and if it doesn't, then you try something else.

There are natural supplements that have relatively low side effects and help with fatigue.

 
Old 01-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #11
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I've been prescribed two antidepressants so far and both of them made me very sick to the point where I was bedridden for about two months. I've heard that they are extremely helpful to some people, but others develop a sensitivity to medications, which is what I think happened to me.

I understand your pain and the frustrations of all of this. I hope whatever you find works for you!

 
Old 01-07-2007, 10:42 PM   #12
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia quite often go hand in hand.

My neurologist has just switched me over from Effexor to Wellbutrin as this helps with pain as well as depression and when taken can give you more of a zip, so if you take it like say 3:00 afternoon, prepare to be awake at night.

I take less painkillers by about 75%, and that is like wow! And when I need to, extra strenght Tylenol or Tylenol 3, and hardly ever, Percocet.

talk to your doctor, I know the pain and suffering that comes along.

Also, if you can help it, and you feel really fatigued, leave the stuff you are doing for another day, or you will pay for it the next day.

learn to pace yourself. I have had CFS and FMS since 1991.

Do yourselff that favor.

Last edited by Carolthumm; 01-07-2007 at 10:46 PM.

 
Old 01-08-2007, 08:09 PM   #13
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Re: Treating Chronic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I have been taking nortriptyline for a little over a yr now. My GP proscribed it (versus other meds) because not only do I have depression but I also have mild scoliosis but it happens to be in just the right spot that if I sit too long I get pain stabbing down my legs. She told me upfront it was an antidepressant but also told me it helps with some nerve pains. I started by taking mine at night but it jacked me up and the first weekend I literally did not sleep any at all. So when I called her on Monday morning she told me to try taking it shortly after lunch and then I was able to get to sleep.

I have not been diagnosed with CF yet but I do have fibro. My dr provided some handouts for me to give my hubby so he would understand and he said it looks like I also have a lot of the symptoms of CF so I plan to ask my rheumy at next visit. If I don't keep moving I can fall asleep in minutes and even after sleeping for hours I still feel exhausted. The rheumy had me switch my AD to when I get up because I am so tired, in spite of my zanaflex.

One prob I have with meds is I don't tend to have "normal" reactions. I have a chemical imbalance which causes me to suffer from ADHD and really I can't tell upfront how I will react to a med. But usually I have the opposite effect where sleep is involved. The AD has helped some with my depression but a large part of my depression does not stem from my health problems. Most of it stems from child custody issues and then losing both my parents in 16 months.

The nortriptylene as not had many side effects for me and it has worked, to a degree.

 
Old 01-10-2007, 10:26 PM   #14
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Re: Treating Chrinic Fatigue with antidepressants?

I have a current prescription for Amitryptiline to treat CFS/FMS.

The doses that are normally prescribed for CFS/FMS are around 50mg, which is non-therapeutic for depression and also carry fewer side effects. However, there are still side affects, especially for the first few weeks after you begin taking your low dose at bed time. For me, the first three or four days after I started, I slept 12 - 16 hours a night. The groggy, logey feeling I had all day during those first weeks made the fatigue much worse. I wanted to sleep all night AND all day. I also felt somewhat anti-social and made a bit of a hermit out of myself and craved carbs.

The benefit of Amitryptiline is that it helps to regulate sleep patterns and enables deeper, more refreshing sleep, something most sleep-aid prescriptions can't do. If you can get past the initial side-effects, Amitryptiline can really help because you are getting better quality of sleep overall.

However, since my goal is to manage CFS/FMS with a more holistic approach (surrounding diet and exercise), I only take a dose of Amitryptiline if I've had insomnia for several nights in a row and developed a sleep deficit, and also if I can plan on DOING NOTHING for a day or two after I take it. I will sleep 12 - 16 hours the night I take it, and then feel sleepy and lazy and may take a nap the next day. It has its drawbacks, but at least it does help me to "catch up" on sleep if I get stuck in a pattern of fatigue which makes me unable to exercise and eat right.

Anyhow, hope this information helps.

 
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