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Old 10-24-2005, 01:19 PM   #1
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are all ssri drugs the same?

I have taken both prozac and paxil in the past and they have worked for my depression and anxiety. i started suffering from a new round of anxiety and depression so my dr switched me to lexapro rather than upping the dose of paxil or moving me back to prozac. unfortunately i don't think the lexapro is very effective. is it possible for one ssri to work but not another?

 
Old 10-24-2005, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Yes. These drugs work differently on everybody. What might work for one person, may not work for another. All you can do is try and see.

 
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Also, there's different categories of SSRI's. For example, there's the traditional ones such as Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Paxil that just target serotonin reuptake, but the "atypical anti-depressants", which also work on serotonin, help with norepinephrine reuptake as well. Basically, for depression, the function is the same, but the atypical anti-depressants cannot be used for treatment of other conditions such as OCD and panic disorder because of the norepinephrine difference.
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Gatsby, could you explain? I thought that effexor is indicated to treat both depression and anxiety.? What effect does norepinephrine have on anxiety?

 
Old 10-25-2005, 12:08 PM   #5
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

No, I think Effexor is just, as of now, an anti-depressant. It might very well be an SSRI, but not approved by the FDA for treatment in anxiety disorders. (Lexapro is commonly used for OCD and anxiety, but I did horribly on it, as my mother, who has depression and not OCD, does wonderfully on it, but since I don't have depression and it hasn't been proved that it works to treat OCD, that's why I don't think it worked for me). Norepinephrine isn't really associated a lot with anxiety, mostly depression. It is responsible for memory and detail, so it might very well be a part of OCD, but usually, in depression, a deficiency of norepinephrine attributes for the lack of concentration and the "brain fog" that a lot of people experience. So, yes, in answer to your question, Effexor might be classified as an SSRI because it does work on serotonin reuptake to treat depression, but it isn't very effective for pure anxiety as it hasn't been given the FDA approval. You might notice a difference in anxiety levels if you take Effexor or Lexapro, but usually only if your primary problem is depression. Otherwise, you'll need a med like Zoloft or Prozac to treat both, or even a benzodiazepine. I take Prozac (used to take Zoloft for three years until last Saturday) and Klonopin, so if you have any more questions, I'll be more than happy to answer them!
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Old 10-25-2005, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Gatsby, why did you stop taking Zoloft? is the prozac working for you? i am thinking about going back on prozac after 5 years. it worked before for my anxiety and depression so hopefully it will work again

 
Old 10-25-2005, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Hey, carteke! I stopped taking Zoloft because, after three years on it (with a six month blip on Lexapro, which only made my OCD worse AND actually made me feel slightly depressed), it lost its efficacy. I started it for "generalized anxiety" at 15, when I didn't know what was wrong with me; I was only on 25 mg at the time. It literally helped me settle the first time I took it, and no, I don't believe it was a "placebo effect". Both my mother and I could tell the difference- I didn't want medication, so I don't think that it was a subconscious thing...Anyway, it really helped me the end of my sophomore year, which was just pure hell with the returning obsessions and severe panic attacks. I still made all "A's" somehow, but each day was torture. Junior year was excellent, my favorite school year by far! I attribute it to the Zoloft- it really helped me enjoy life. I think I went up to 50 mg that April (of 2004) at the end of junior year; I started getting more tired, increased when I went to 75 mg that summer. I hate, hate, hate to sleep, so I felt like a zombie. That's why I switched to Lexapro in late August of '04, to see if it would decrease my sedation- wrong! Multiplied it ten-fold! I literally couldn't get any of my homework done until the morning (still made all "A's"- think it's because my brain is so used to procrastinating as a form of compulsive avoidance) before it was due, sometimes the period before it was due. So, I switched back to Zoloft around January- 100 mg. Amazingly, the tiredness stopped, and I noticed when I was weaning off of it (finished Saturday), I wasn't tired until I went from 100 mg to 50 mg, when I began to sleep again! Very strange- 250-100 weren't a problem; just seems that 50-75 are the worst for me. (I forgot to mention that, shortly after I was put on the Lexapro, I was officially diagnosed with OCD, which I knew I had since the summer after sophomore year...) Anyway, I kept increasing my Zoloft this past summer before college, and I got all the way up to 250 mg (300 is the max), and it just wasn't helping my OCD, let alone my panic attacks, which it never DID help. So, they realized that, while Zoloft worked for me for a long while, I just became tolerant to it, and my anxiety disorders were too severe for it to treat. That's why I switched to Prozac about a month ago, under the direction of the college psychiatrist. He also gave me Klonopin (only used it once so far, and it was the first thing that ever diminished my panic attack symptoms ), and a sample pack of the mood stabilizer Lamictal, which I'll start taking in a month, if the Prozac doesn't work on my mood swings. (I'm not clinically depressed, but I have long suspected- as well as about three different doctors- that I have cyclothymia, a very mild form of bipolar disorder where you switch from being "down" to being mildly hypomanic and giddy within hours, or even minutes. Have been like this since age four...) Hope this clarifies, and I hope your medication works for you, too!
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:27 PM   #8
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Gatsby, thanks for the response. Lexapro did decrease my anxiety, substantially in fact. I had to give it up because, like you, I became much too tired. Conversely, Zoloft made me a little too wired to help with anxiety, but it helped relatives with their ocd and depression. Good luck with your med changes!

 
Old 10-25-2005, 01:45 PM   #9
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Gatsby -

Have a question for you. I may start Prozac soon. Am on Cymbalta now and have tried WEllbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil. The Norepineprine effect of the Cymbalta has me agitated and anxiety ridden which I am prone to. I love the energy and mental clarity it gives me, but I am blowing up at my family too much. I hate the weight gain issues of the LEx and Paxil. Lex did little for me except put weight on, Paxil seemed to work but I was only on it for a month before having to wean off. It seems like the meds that work well for anxiety and depression work best for me. I was wondering if you know if the Prozac with Wellbutrin will offset some of the anxiety that the Wellbutrin causes and the Wellbutrin maybe offset the sexual side effects of Prozac?????

I'm thinking I might start this combo next??? Also is Klonipin addicting? My Dr said that the Zanax that I take every once in awhile is habit forming. I m also thinking that adding a Klonipin type med to the Cymbalta or WEllbutrin may help with the anxiety part. I'm going to talk to my Dr next week at my appointment but wanted to get people's opinion.

Thanks,

Chris

 
Old 10-25-2005, 02:04 PM   #10
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Gatsby. Thanks for all your comments. Very helpful. I pesonally found that the prozac worked very well. I don't know why my old doctor wanted me to try Paxil. I have been on Lexapro for 5 weeks and I don't know if it is working. I also think that the Wellbutrin is making me more anxious.

 
Old 10-25-2005, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

GuineaPig and Carteke- I'm sooo glad that I was able to help you in some way! And, thanks for the encouragement about my Prozac! chrismom- Not to alarm you, but some of the symptoms you're having that have been cause by the Cymbalta may be indications of bipolar III disorder: bipolar disorder induced by the use of anti-depressants such as SSRI's. The reason I mention this is because you said that you've been feeling very energetic, been "blowing up at your family", and you've had increased mental clarity. Has this mental clarity come in the form of racing thoughts and ideas? Are you feeling more talkative and/or euphoric in addition to this increased irritability you've been having? Have you been sleeping less? Have you started lots of projects recently? If so, I'd definitely go to the doctor and tell him/her about this so they can get you off of the Cymbalta right away and, if necessary, put you on a mood stabilizer. I don't want to freak you out or have you worry that you have something else wrong, but these are classic signs of mania, and the fact that you've only begun having these symptoms while on the anti-depressant could signal bipolar III. If you have any questions concerning this, PLEASE don't hestitate to ask me! I don't want you to get the wrong idea or worry over nothing! Anyway, yes, Klonopin can be addictive, just like Xanax, but only if you use it irresponsibly. If you use it according to your doctor's instructions, you should be fine. I realize this, and I also realize that I would never become addicted to anything because I'm not like that at all, but this is just one of my worries. Write back soon, and God bless!
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 10-25-2005 at 02:16 PM.

 
Old 10-25-2005, 06:53 PM   #12
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Hi Gatsby -

Wow, you are just a wealth of psychiatric information! I really don't have manic symptoms as you indicated. Just the irritability and "normal" energy. My energy levels before Cymbalta were extremely fatigued. Also, my mental clarity is really just a more "back to normal" state for me because when I started with the depression I became really foggy and unable to concentrate. I feel it's somewhat related to anxiety though. Cymbalta is not the drug for me, I don't think. I also have nervous tics that are exacerbated by meds like Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. I actually felt the most "back to normal" on Paxil, but it was short term because I had to get off of it due to pregnancy. It seemed to help my anxiety and depression. I am sooo afraid of weight gain though. I really am kind of obsessive about it. I love food and need to eat regularly to keep my blood sugar steady.

Did Prozac cause weight gain for you? The Lexapro was terrible for me in that regard.

Thanks for your concern and info.

Chris

 
Old 10-25-2005, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Quick question....for anybody....

When you speak of Prozac is it the generic or name brand??? My Dr indicated once that the generic may be not as good??

Chris

 
Old 10-25-2005, 08:15 PM   #14
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Hey, chrismom! I'm relieved that it's not mania, so that's good! Anyway, no, as of yet, the Prozac hasn't caused weight gain, but I've only been on it for about a month. The only medication that did cause weight gain was (surprise, surprise) Lexapro. Nothing good came out of that medication as far as my treatment goes! I'm kind of obsessive about my weight, too, but only in the way that I like to weigh the same thing and I worry about heart disease and such... I'm actually a healthy weight (almost 5'4 and 135- was 125 before Lexapro), which may be more than what the average girl weighs now, but I figure that the "average" girl nowadays is far too skinny. As my name suggests, I'm a huge nostaligia buff, and I'd much rather look like movie stars of the 50's, like Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe, who were voluptuous and had curves like women are supposed to, than look like one of these women around today who literally starve themselves, and create stereotypes of "anorexia" that aren't true- anorexia is a real disease that the people can't help; these movie stars do it voluntarily and on purpose... I'm not athletic at all, so I've never done sports of any kind, just weigh myself as a checking compulsion and eat healthy to maintain my weight. (That's why I didn't get the "Freshman 15" because I'm not doing any less exercise than normal- actually more because I walk uphill more than I did in high school- and I don't eat a lot of junk, so the calorie-laden crap here didn't tempt me. I'd much rather have an orange than a piece of cake any day, but then again, I've always been strange like this! ) Fluoxetine is the chemical, "generic" name for Prozac, but it's the same thing. I have "fluoxetine", and it doesn't specifically say "Prozac" on it, but it means the same- my psychiatrist prescribed me "Prozac". I think the only reason I got actual "Zoloft" rather than "sertraline" because I got that provided by a different pharmacy for insurance reasons, but whatever. My "clonazepam", or generic Klonopin, works just fine! And, thank you for saying that I'm a "wealth of psychiatric information." That made my day! I'm a neuroscience major and I've done a lot of outside research, so the fact that other people think I'm knowledgable even though I'm a mere "freshman" is a real honor! Write back soon!
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 10-25-2005 at 08:21 PM.

 
Old 10-26-2005, 06:09 AM   #15
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Re: are all ssri drugs the same?

Hi Gatsby -

Wow, very interesting. I put on the Freshman 15 in college. I had a roommate that was a junkfood junkie and midnight stops at McDonalds didn't help either. I've since taken it off and struggle to keep my weight at a reasonable level so I can stay in my size 8 jeans.

Wow, neuroscience huh? What do you think you will eventually do when you graduate? All this neurochemical stuff really fascinates me. I also search the web for informationon health and depression, etc.... that's how I found this site. I think it's like an obsession for me somewhat. It makes me feel better to talk to others in my shoes or who have tried something that I have medication wise. I guess it's like a support group without having to actually go to meetings. This is a lot more convenient!

Do you feel any difference with the Prozac yet? Are you on 20mg? My appt is in a week and I think I will try that next.

Do you know if Celexa would be a waste of time for me since I've tried Lexapro. I know it's from the same chemical. I was wondering if it causes the weight gain like LExapro. Lexapro was really a waste for me too.

Let me know how the Prozac is working out for you. Better let you get back to studying.

Chris

 
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