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How long have you been on the same SSRI??

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Old 12-26-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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How long have you been on the same SSRI??

Hi everyone.

I am a 26-year-old female and have been on various anti-depressants for about three years, I think it's been. I started with Zoloft (prescribed by my gynecologist, for PMDD), followed by Effexor XR, then Wellbutrin, and now Lexapro. I've been on the Lexapro for about a year and a half, and it's definitely worked best for me.

My question for all of you is simple: How long have you been on a single SSRI? My parents and some other people in my life have me questioning the safety of being on this stuff for the long-term, and I don't even know if there have been studies on the VERY long-term use of these drugs. I mean, what should I expect? I'm only 26. Will I be on this stuff until I'm in my 80s or 90s if live that long?

What are your thoughts on this? Am I being silly? I am currently being treated by my primary care physician, but will be seeing a psychiatrist in a few weeks, so I'll be asking him about this. Before that, though, I'd like to figure out where I stand, if I should be thinking about stopping these meds (I'm also on Lunesta for sleep, Loestrin, and Lorazepam on an as-needed basis).

Thanks so much.

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Old 12-26-2006, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

There has no been a lot of long term testing on the majority of antidepressants out there. I think the highest I have seen is 8-9 years. I believe most of us would have the goal is to get off AD's as soon as possible once we are so called cured.

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Old 12-26-2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

Yeah, that makes sense. I feel like my doctors, thus far, have not had that goal in mind. They just think I can be on this stuff indefinitely... I don't know. If your problem is truly chemical, how can you ever be "cured"?

Old 12-26-2006, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

The doctors don't seem to know much about SSRI's, and I suspect that the pharmaceutical companies don't know much either about the long-term effects (they don't even understand HOW they work, just that they sometimes do work for some people).

See what your pdoc says, then decide from there. If he says you "may have to stay on them forever", I would be suspicious. You can always try weaning off the meds later, if you feel stable, then if you have to get back on again you can. Until much more is known about these meds, I don't feel good about taking them for many years non-stop. JMHO

Old 12-27-2006, 12:41 AM   #5
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

Hmmm. Well, first, I've taken Zoloft off and on for 12 years.

But second, there are long term studies that I know of on Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil and their effects on the infants/babies/toddlers/school-aged kids of mothers who took these meds during or/and after pregnancy (with comparison groups of non-depressed moms, and with moms who did not get treatment for depressiion). There are long-term studies of what happens to those kids and the kids of depressed moms as they grow up. Prozac is....20 years old (or really close to it). Depressed (/anxious) mothers in pregnancy more often have children who are harder to settle and who have a harder time in school with focusing etc.

I know this isn't quite what you were asking, but if there is a vulnerable population getting antidepressants (even minimally) it would be babies in utero and young babies. That's what I know. I haven't looked for other research.

Old 12-29-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

I took Paxil for about a year. I think antidepressants can be helpful for getting the ball rolling. They might give a person enough motivation to use natural treatments such as therapy and exercise. Aerobic exercise is better chemically than antidepressants, and has been shown to be effective for medication resistant depression. My doctor's goal with his patients is to get them off meds as soon as possible.

Old 12-29-2006, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: How long have you been on the same SSRI??

I've been on Lexapro for 3 months. That's the only AD I've ever taken. I definitely don't want to be on it long-term. Long-term side effects of SSRI's are unknown, and plus, if I continue to feel this groggy with it, I just can't imagine staying on it for much longer.

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