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Old 12-13-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
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I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

As some of you might remember I have had a problem with major depression, fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, sleeping alot (10-14 hours/day), etc. Well, since I have been laid off work, I figured I would figure out what was going on with me one way or the other. I mean being tired all the time and having severe fatigue, depression, and suicidal thoughts is not normal.

I don't recommend anyone do what I did but I was going to start dropping each medication until I found out which one was causing this or possibly which were interacting and causing it. Keep in mind that most of my pain is nerve pain and severe depression, along with bipolar disease and recovering drug addict.

I was on a total of 8 prescriptions including Duragesic patches, Vicodin, Lyrica, Klonopin, Trileptal, Buspar, Celexa, and Androgel(testosterone supplement) and of course Miralax for the constipation. I thought to myself I am taking 3 meds that have anti-convulsant properties (Klonopin, Lyrica, Trileptal) and 2 that effect neurotransmitters (Celexa, Buspar). I thought it probably had to do with way too many meds treating similar conditions. The first one that I dropped was Buspar (used for anxiety and depression), went though mild withdrawal but it didn't really have much effect upon dropping it.

Then I went to the next most likely culprit, Trileptal. I was put on this because I am supposedly bipolar. But I thought, what if the doctors misdiagnosed me and I am not bipolar or it is being controlled enough with Lyrica(anti-convulsant). I was taking 1500mg at one point, dropped down to 1200mg, dropped down to 900, 600, 300, and then zero. I went through some fairly nasty withdrawal when I went from 600mg to zero in a matter of a week or so. I went through withdrawal (dizzy, lightheaded, spaced out, nausea, etc) for about a week. Then it's like someone flipped a switch and I went from sleeping most of the day to 8-10 hours per day and I was alert most of the day, and the suicial thoughts went away, and the depression is lifting.

So for those of you that may be experiencing feelings of severe fatigue, tiredeness, depression, etc and everything else has been ruled out, then you may was to seriously talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist to see which of your meds have similar methods of action. If I can help someone else through my story of suffering then I will be happy. I actually feel alive again and am doing things that used to interest me when I was at the point of ending it all because of these medication interaction and/or misdiagnosis.

brian
p.s. I went off the Trileptal & Buspar without my doctor's advice or instruction. However, I have learned quite a bit from this whole ordeal and it is possible that I am not even bipolar to begin with unless Lyrica somehow treats bipolar which I suppose it could considering it is an anti-epileptic medication similar to Neurontin and that medication I was on before for bipolar and nerve pain. I just thought I would let everyone know that the Trileptal ended up being the main culprit and I am back to feeling somewhat normal and HAPPY(I forgot what it was like to feel happy).

Last edited by brianpain33; 12-13-2009 at 03:48 PM.

 
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

Brian were diagnosed with Bp before or after your pain issues? Before or after substance abuse? Who Dx'ed you with Bp? What symptoms were you presenting with? Was it Dx'ed with at least one year of sobriety? I sure hope this works for!!! Just be careful Bp can often fool us for awhile about feeling great (not needing meds)and possibly not really having the illness until all heck breaks loose.

I would talk to your doctor about your med changes and monitor yourself (perhaps through a journal) and make decisions with a pdoc who can also monitor you objectively.

I know how it feels to be painfully tired, yet not sleeping restfully, major depression, suicidal thoughts, Bipolar etc...and the list goes on. Update us about how you are feeling and perhaps it can help others (and me).

Last edited by tattoogirl; 12-13-2009 at 04:27 PM.

 
Old 12-13-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

I was diagnosed as being bipolar in the year 2000, which was 5 years after being diagnosed as having major depression. I think the doctor mainly based it on the rages I would go into which I think had more to do with being depressed and not having any control over it. I never felt like I was superhuman or had enhanced abilities or had excessive energy, or stay up for days on end. I never did any of those things. I was tried on several anti-depressants which were not working very well and then after being diagnosed with bipolar they added a mood stabilizer.

The substance abuse problems came about in 2004. The only thing that I can give the Trileptal credit for was helping end the blow up spells and rages. However, it was once I was started on Lyrica and then on opiates that the additive effects of the anti-convulsant medications really came about. I even had one or two people on these message boards wonder why I was on Trileptal and Lyrica at the same time. I will keep you guys posted on how I am doing but at the moment I am doing very well. My pain is being managed quite well and my depression has finally lifted.

It even says in the drug information "leaflet" that comes with the Trileptal that it can induce mood changes, depression, and even suicidal thinking. Even the FDA has warned about this issue in the past.

I had always thought the Lyrica helped with more than just my nerve pain and maybe it does. I was to the point where I was not even hardly functioning because I was so depressed and was staying in bed all day (sleeping up to 16 hours/day). After dropping the Buspar with little to no effect. Then dropping the Trileptal with no effect on the pain (which I am surprised about because I thought it was helping my nerve pain some). But the change on my mood has been amazing. The less medications that I am on the better is my philosophy especially with paying for COBRA insurance and still being on 6 prescriptions (at least the Celexa is $4 month and it works). I am just glad to be back and wanting to warn people about possible problems with Trileptal and that most people without epilepsy should not need more than one anti-epileptic/anti-seizure drug.

brian

 
Old 12-13-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

Brian it sounds as if you have a good handle on your situation. From what you describe, it doesn't scream out Bp to me. Perhaps your more current mood changes were med induced and through process of elimination you have found that. Like a cloud being lifted...just still be careful and mindful and maybe look up the symptoms of hypomania (NOT SAYING YOU ARE OR WILL HAVE IT...just to be on the safe side because even if you are Bp it doesn't sound like Bp 1 with full mania but instead possible hypomania). Like you said, the med combination you are on is working because you still are on a mood stablizer med (Lyrica), so maybe if there still is an underlying "mental illness" it is being addressed with this med and you are doing well. Really no need to label anything at this time...go with it, ya know, sometimes it is what it is and doesn't need to fit into a neat diagnostic box. I think because you have/had a Bp diagnosis, that's why they put you on or were willing to put you on more than one anti-convulsant which is quite common, unfortunatley. The drug cocktails they can put you are really are amazingly crappy. It so easy for them to write a script, tell you to take them but shoot it's not them doing that to their bodies! It's like they want you to have blind faith and not question...I'm glad you have!

Also, I'm not sure when the drug use happened in relation to anti-depressant treatment as it's contraindicated alone in Bp and often people will self medicate in hypomania (caused or increased by anti depressants w/underlying Bp) with drugs and alcohol if not on a "mood stabilizer"...like doing your own "mood stabalizing" which, I'm sure, as you know, does not work-lol.

I must say your post is very logical and sounds quite sound to me from what I read. Keep me updated. Also, do you know why they say if a person with past alcohol and drug abuse might not be able to take Lyrica? Always wondered that. Thanks!

Last edited by tattoogirl; 12-13-2009 at 10:36 PM.

 
Old 12-14-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattoogirl View Post
I must say your post is very logical and sounds quite sound to me from what I read. Keep me updated. Also, do you know why they say if a person with past alcohol and drug abuse might not be able to take Lyrica? Always wondered that. Thanks!
They say this because it is labeled a Class V medication. The FDA labels medications class I(not medically used for anything, II(most pain medications), III (some pain meds, anti-anxiety meds), IV (sleep medications), and V (Lyrica). It goes from I (extremely high degree of abuse potential) down to V (very low abuse potential). What happened was during the drug study they gave the medication to known drug addict to see if they "liked" the feeling that it gave them. They rated it similar to a benzodiazepine such as Xanax or Valium or "feeling somewhat buzzed or drunk". However, not everyone will expereince this side effect and it depends on the actual dosage that you are taking.

I was taking the maximum dosage at one point (600mg/day) and had worked my way down to 300mg/day because it was just too sedating and would cause drowsiness and a "buzzed" type of feeling. Obviously if you are an alcoholic or drug addict you might like this sensation and take more of the medication than you are prescribed. To tell you the truth I am a recovering addict but had being tired and slowed down and actually like the opposite, speeded up type of effect. This is why they have a warning label on the medication to be careful if you are a known alcoholic/addict or it runs in your family.

brian

 
Old 12-14-2009, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

I took Trileptal briefly for nerve pain. And I say, "briefly, because it made me so tired that one day, while driving home from work, I was falling asleep at red lights. My PM doctor, who at that time was an idiot, would not listen to me about how overly sedated I was. I got the sense that he did not care about the side effect profile of any drug as long as he could avoid giving a narcotic. Needless to say, I dropped him and found a much better PM doctor. I found Oxycotin to be less sedating that Trileptal or Topamax. Oh, and more effective. Go figure.

 
Old 12-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

I was put on Tegratol a few years ago and it totally zombied me out. I walked around in a fog, kind of like out of body, bad stuff.

Melissa

 
Old 12-15-2009, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

That's so great to hear. I know how difficult it is to come off of each med because I did it once before and it was hell. Unfortunately none of the drugs was causing a problem and each of them was in fact serving their purpose.

I would also caution you about being in some sort of a hypomanic phase right now IF you are Bipolar. It's a spectrum disorder and if you're Bipolar II like I am, you don't get fully manic. I don't even get hypomanic anymore but I do go back and forth with depression and anxiety randomly.

Also, Lyrica is such a weak anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer I wouldn't guess it's helping with Bipolar stuff. My doc says Neurontin doesn't do anything (for Bipolar or anxiety issues) which is almost the same thing.

When I took Depakote (anticonvulsant) I slept 13 hours a day so I know what some of them can do to some people.

Again that's great to hear and keep us updated.

 
Old 12-15-2009, 12:49 AM   #9
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

I can only say congrats!!! to you for taking control of your medical meds situation. We do that in our house all the time because doctors really have no clue on each individual and it is so refreshing when patients just do it! I totally believe in order to discover you have to stop all the meds and then start over. There is a name for it...it is called a drug holiday. I know that there are life and death meds that it can't be done with something like an insulin but most chronic pain patients end up on so many meds for this and that and if you are constipated on top of it all that 'stuff' sits in side of you and you become toxic on all the meds you take. We are doing that as we speak...reducing the current meds to try to figure out what is causing the current unacceptable symptoms of exhaustion. So anyway good for you. It doesn't matter what they have diagnosed you as all that matters is what is all the meds doing to you and if you don't think you need something then don't take it. Keep detailed notes because you will go through this over and over so I always forget why we stopped certain things or the details because as the weeks/months/years go buy it is surprising how much you forget and end up back on something that you have forgotten you took yourself off of and the reason. Good luck it is such a good feeling to have some control over your own destiny.

 
Old 12-15-2009, 12:56 AM   #10
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Re: I found out what was making me so dreadfully tired & depressed ALL the time

A drug holiday can be disaster for someone who is Bipolar Type I or Schizophrenic though. A doctor needs to be consulted for that. When I did my individual elimination it was my doctor's idea which I went along with.

I would only do this on my own if a doctor is very uncooperative or doesn't care. But then you should have a different doctor.

 
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