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Old 03-30-2005, 07:25 AM   #1
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Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Good morning! My symptoms are getting worse all the time, so I feel that I need to try something to feel better. My PCP gave me a Rx for a low-dose antidepressant (I can't remember what it was but I hadn't heard of it before). I checked it out online and rapid heartbeat was the main side-effect. All kinds of things make my heart race since I got fibro (including alcoholic drinks), and I cannot sleep with my heart racing, so I was afraid to try that. After a few more months of feeling lousy everyday I went to a rheumatologist, who prescribed Elavil and Lodine. I've had problems with anti-depressants I've tried before (Serzone, Desyrel) and had horrible withdrawal from Zoloft a few years ago when my gynecologist (who Rxd it) told me that I was on such a low dose that I could just stop it. So I'm reluctant to try again. From what I read, they might help 25% of fibro patients and then only temporarily. Can you share any insights with me? Have any of you been helped by antidepressants?

May God bless you with a glimpse of spring beauty to raise your spirits!

Marcia

 
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

marshwiggle,
Yes I have been helped with anti-depressants, after my dx with FMS, my doctor started my on one older anti-depressant it didn't work, I knew with in a few days. Then tried Amatriptaline (misspelled), that did not work at all either, it intensified my fatigue and pain.

My doctor decided to, based on her knowledge of me, prescribe a SNRI, named Effexor XR, tho, I had to endure the first few sleepless mind racing nights. The effect on my sight and cognitive brain function was so much better it was worth it. It worked for a while, however the dose kept having to be raised.

I have to admit that I did not slow my schedule down, back then I was entirely too busy, basically working 2 fulltime jobs or more, with all the things I was envolved in after hours and working fulltime as a Financial Service Rep. Nor did I change my diet until December. (These probably compacted the symptoms of the illness, along with the sleep disturbance, it was 7 straight months rotating like a hotdog, I didn't realize how much pain I was in!)

I made it farther thru the day by taking Effexor twice a day, one of my symptoms prior to dx was sleep apnea, so she started me on Lexapro at dinner time, tried that for a couple of weeks then added trazodone a bedtime.

I still experienced continous cycles of extreme fatigue, my good days were one in a month, two in a month, when Cymbalta; SSNRI came out in September my doctor started me on 30 mgs at dinner, as I was weaned slowly off the Lexapro and Effexor. Then I was on Cymbalta 60mgs at dinner, and started 30 mgs in the am, while being weaned off the Effexor in the am, now I take 60 twice a day.

I have been taking Cymbalta for 6 months and plan to stay on it, I take Ultram 50mg for the pain regularly usually 3-4 times a day. It helps, but I also know there is no magic pill, it is a blend of things that address the symptoms individually, and I had to come to terms with that thru my own journey.

There may come a time that my seritonin level will be increased thru treatment, to the point that I may be off the meds. The specialist I see has me taking 5HTP at bed with the trazondone, it takes a while for the 5HTP to build up and increase my seritonin level. Where as the SSNRI's or SNRI's only increase the work load of the existing seritonin, but its a start in the treatment.

I hope this helps, uvm

This has been all under my doctors' care, but I believe there is a place for anti-depressants in the treatment of FMS/CFS Syndrome. (and it is not just for depression!)

 
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Hi,
I feel otherwise. I've been on Prozac for about 3 years or so. It was first prescribed for depression but then the dose increased (doubled!) when I was dx'd with FM. I don't think it helps my FM at all. I'm no longer depressed but my FM is as bad as ever. I haven't taken the Prozac in a while - a month or so - and I'm not depressed at all. I was taking the Prozac sporatically before last month. I tend to think that anti-depressants are prescribed because people think if they have a script, it will make them feel better. Anti-depressants are somethings thought of as a cure-all for all kinds of ailments.
God bless, Jen

 
Old 03-30-2005, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Hello Everyone,

I was given Prozac by my doctor, who told me that it was for the job of relaxing me enough so that the muscles in my body would not be as tense and would therefore ease the dreadful soreness I get.

I am too scared to take them though. I had a really bad time with a drug that I was given once before to relax my muscles, thing is I wasn't aware that it was Valium I was taking until I had been on it for 5 years and I had become addicted. I just knew it as Diazepam.

I am by no means a thicko, as I have been on a cocktail of drugs for lupus, and lots of other problems since I was 16, but this one slipped through my net of knowing what I was putting into my body. It was horrendous. It took me such a long time to wean myself off it - it was 20 months of withdrawal, it was so horrid and it always sticks in my mind. I can't bear the thought of that type of thing happening again. This is why I am so reticent to take any other type of drug like this.

I am really keen to know more and to find out if they do in fact work on the muscles in the way the doctors say they do. Or is because they make you feel a bit dopey and then you don't feel the pain as much. I am not making light of it, I am really interested.

goldenwings

 
Old 03-30-2005, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenwings
Hello Everyone,

I was given Prozac by my doctor, who told me that it was for the job of relaxing me enough so that the muscles in my body would not be as tense and would therefore ease the dreadful soreness I get.

I am too scared to take them though. I had a really bad time with a drug that I was given once before to relax my muscles, thing is I wasn't aware that it was Valium I was taking until I had been on it for 5 years and I had become addicted. I just knew it as Diazepam.

I am by no means a thicko, as I have been on a cocktail of drugs for lupus, and lots of other problems since I was 16, but this one slipped through my net of knowing what I was putting into my body. It was horrendous. It took me such a long time to wean myself off it - it was 20 months of withdrawal, it was so horrid and it always sticks in my mind. I can't bear the thought of that type of thing happening again. This is why I am so reticent to take any other type of drug like this.

I am really keen to know more and to find out if they do in fact work on the muscles in the way the doctors say they do. Or is because they make you feel a bit dopey and then you don't feel the pain as much. I am not making light of it, I am really interested.

goldenwings

(((((WINGS)))))

Mwah! How ARE you woman?

I'd like to reply to your post if I may. I am personally against those stinkin' anti-D's. I think docs push them at us as soon as they hear the word Fibromyalgia. I was taking 225mg of Effexor before I new it, and it absolutely "numbed" every emotion I had. I went through my mother's dying and her funeral barely shedding a tear. My psyc told me, that Effexor worked on numbing your emotions. I did not know that, no one told me how it worked exactly. Just mumbled something about serotonin re-uptake. HUH? Then I went to Wellbutrin XL which had my emotions all over the map. So I gave up on those things. But honestly I never heard any thing said about anti-D's helping as a muscle relaxant. Muscle relaxants are in a class all their own, I thought. And to respond to your taking Valium, yes, you should have been told how addicting it is. It's up there with Xanax and other "benzo's" (I can't remember the whole pharmacutical word) but they are basically anti-anxiety meds. They are used for a lot of different reasons. I use Klonopin, which is one of the most addictive benzo's, for RLS and sleep. I've been on it for 3 years, and I suppose it will be horrifying to ever come off of it, and it worries me. I don't know about benzo's working as muscle relaxants tho. I imagine as an anti-anxiety med, it would relax you. But yes, they are very addictive, especially if they have what is called a "short half life". Which means that the effects of the med wear off in 3-4 hours, making you want more in just a few hours. If you are going to take this kind of med, you should, IMO, ask for the longer lasting ones, so you don't feel like you "need" another pill every few hours. I take Klonopin, 1mg, at bedtime. And no of course you are not a "thicko" , but you know enough to research meds on the web. There is usually some good info out there as far as the side effects of the meds, and what they are meant to do for you. You have a lot on your plate right now, so I think you are doing great as far as being "on top" of things.

I hope you are doing okay considering all you are going through, and I think about you everyday. It's my speacial time to think of "wings" during the day!


Much love to you.


tk

 
Old 03-30-2005, 11:22 PM   #6
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ukiahvalleymom HB User
Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

I want to respond again, sorry to hear of those who have been prescribed the wrong type of anti-depressants, it sad to hear when docs try and treat beyond their training. The anti-D's that have been negative for the most part are not at the top of this list for FMS.

Cymbalta, has been tested successfully for FMS, it is a Selective Seritonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor. It helps what is left of those 2 bounce off each other to produce more energy and help somewhat with the pain level.

I have felt all my emotions so far with Cymbalta, I can laugh and cry, even when watching a tear-jerker movie. I have had better night vision, when feeling good. Even in the flare-ups of FMS I feel that I have better brain function then when I trying to figure out what was wrong and then as I started treatment in May of 2004.

However, we all are different, and what may work for one may not work for another. FMS is very complicated because it effects people differently.

One thing that I can say, even through the roughest treatment that I going through, I have kept my job, because of the mix of integrated meds...and maybe a touch of stubbornness on my part.

My prayer is that the treatment will become more available around the world and that it will become more affordable, so that no one will be left untreated with this horrible illness.

uvmom

 
Old 03-31-2005, 07:15 AM   #7
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

You all, read my thread titled "New tidbits of info for us Fibromites" (I think that's what I titled it! ) Pleeeaaassse!

It talks about these anti-D's. You know how I feel about them! Patoowie!

But take a look, it's down the list a ways, but it is really interesting and there are some interesting statements in there about all these anti-D's that our docs give us.

K?



Love ya bunches,
tk

Last edited by tkgoodspirit; 03-31-2005 at 07:19 AM.

 
Old 03-31-2005, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

I have felt a huge difference with Zoloft and Doxepin. I was first put on Imipramine, and even though it immediately helped with the pain of the fibro, I felt like I wanted to destroy everything I came in contact with!! Talk about being on the edge!! But when the doctor changed me to Zoloft during the day and Doxepin at night, I have felt a slight difference in the pain and a good night's sleep. I also take topamax, oxycontin, and vicodin for breakthrough pain. I'm on a great deal of meds, but that's the only thing I can do to get through a decent day. I am totally disabled now, thanks to this disease and a degenerating spine. Misty

 
Old 03-31-2005, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Hi All,
I'd like to respond about the antidepressants. I am taking 20 mg of amitriptyline and I have to say, I feel so much better. I have actually woken up in the morning feeling refreshed. It doesn't take care of every ache I have, but at least I feel more alert and more like my old self. I'm sorry to hear it doesn't work for everyone, but my doctor did say that himself. Hopefully those of you for whom this doesn't work can find something that does.

KarenMA

 
Old 03-31-2005, 11:35 AM   #10
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goldenwings HB User
Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Hiya Everyone,

A lot of the ad's I read about on here are not ones that I am familiar with (names that is not actual drugs). I am in the UK.

Toss up between Prozac and Amitriptyline then? What'd think tk my 'ol buddy?

goldenwings

 
Old 03-31-2005, 11:39 AM   #11
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marshwiggle HB User
Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. I sometimes feel like you said, JenniferEvelyn, that doctors just feel a need to offer us something even if it isn't particularly helpful. But it's good to hear that some of you have seen an improvement with anti-d's. I'm willing to put up with some side effects if there's at least some hope of relief. Also, as you said, ukiahvalleymom, you put up with some bad nights when you first started Effexor XR, but it did end up helping. TK, I also appreciate your amusing expression of your feelings about anti-d's. I'm really leery of trying new drugs at this point. I read your "New Tidbits" thread and thought it contained a lot of insight. Gotta get that book.

I guess we all have to just try different approaches until we find what helps for us. I really wish my insurance would pay for: massage, yoga, biofeedback, relaxation classes, a couple of supplements - all things that I think would be very beneficial, instead of just paying partially for MD visits and prescription meds. Thanks again for all your helpful comments.

Marcia

 
Old 05-18-2005, 02:52 PM   #12
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

YES! I've been on minimum dose of effexor (75 mg) for 5 years now, because I'm borderline bi-polar. I find it works great for me and I have not had to increase the dose. I feel normal and get sad when you are supposed to be sad. I do not feel drugged or have any side effects.

 
Old 05-18-2005, 03:18 PM   #13
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

It, uh, has helped my depression.... I was majorly depressed...now I'm not....
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:30 AM   #14
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

I have had severe dental pain and facial neuralgia with my FM. I was given Neurontin at first,which helped some,then Tegretol was added and the combination finally made my pain bearable. I still have discomfort daily in my teeth,but at least it is now at a level that I can tolerate! I also was having severe sleep problems. Trazadone was tried at first with no help. Then Elavil was tried (at bedtime) and I can now sleep 4-6 hours at a time,which is a major improvement! I continue to have bad lower back pain and severe pain in my legs despite surgery on my lower back on March 1st and my current medications of Nuerontin,Tegretal,Elavil, Duragesic patch 50mcg and Vicodin as needed. I admit I do fight with depression NOW (was not depressed before all this started!),but I feel that is only natural when your quality of life changes drastically(was a registered nurse and now no longer working.On long term disability currently and have just filed for social security. Plus trying to cope with the pain on a daily basis and the things the pain prevents you from doing!). As the months go on,I am learning to cope better and reading the messages on this board has helped tremendously!!!! Thanks and love to all!

 
Old 05-19-2005, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Have anti-depressants helped anyone?

Hi Marcia!

I realize you originally posted this in March, but I saw the recent reply on here so I thought I'd share my experiences with you.

I have been treated for depression on and off most of my life. Effexor and now Cymbalta have definitely been the top performers. I was diagnosed with FM/CFS about a year and a half ago. While I honestly believe the Cymbalta helps keep me feeling better emotionally and perhaps helps with my fatigue, I can honestly tell you that I have felt no pain relief from it at all. That doesn't necessarily mean that other people suffering from this nasty illness won't respond differently. It's very possible you could experience pain relief from this med.

The way I look at it, there's no harm in at least trying what your doc suggests. These meds are fairly harmless compared to a lot of the other meds the docs give us for pain, etc. You will have to give it time, though if you do decide to try it. These antidepressants are usually prescribed in low doses in the beginning and are GRADUALLY increased as your situation dictates. It can sometimes take as long as a couple of months before you really know whether or not it will work for you. VERY IMPORTANT: If you and your doctor decide you should stop taking an antidepressant, PLEASE follow your doc's advice on SLOWLY weaning yourself off of it so you will not experience bad withdrawal symptoms!

Good luck to you and God bless,

Robin

P.S. Your username is so cute!

 
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