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  • SSRI's and brain damage??



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    Old 03-21-2003, 12:32 PM   #16
    Jennita
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    Just Barb,

    Just a boy is right. People do develop tolerance to psych drugs; just how long it takes is up to dosage, type, the person, etc. Some people go many years before this happens, some only few months. If you decide to go for the Wellbutrin, take it for only a few months then start to slow taper, in case you develop tolerance to it too eventually.

    But I have heard of many success stories with people who finally give up the meds. They usually slow-taper and then put up with various symptoms intil they start to fade away...which could take some considerable time but it can be done. Lots of these people were told they'd be on meds for life...

    I can tell you also, your physical problems are typical of psychoactive drugs. People forget that the brain does not only have some control on "feelings" or "emotions", but also control of our nervous system, which regulates everything in the body!(muscles, pain, movement, etc) So a drug specifically made to target the brain is also going to effect our bodies!


    [This message has been edited by Jennita (edited 03-21-2003).]

     
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    Old 03-22-2003, 12:09 PM   #17
    Just Barb
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    Thank you for the imput. Is it really true that SSRI's can leave brain cells damaged? After 14 years I may have some of this damage. If so, is it more damageing to go on another such as Lexapro and then increase the dose? What is Buspirone and what is it for? Sometimes I wonder if the doctors don't understand or don't have the time to research the drugs they perscribe. I have requested that the doctors allow me to stay off the Prozac, crying jags and all. I have been given permission at work to take time off to work this out for the next few weeks w/o fear of losing my job. But I don't really understand how to direct the change and I have to trust the doctors. I have asked my husband to help with parenting our teenagers as I can no longer keep up with the day to day. I keep forgetting important dates and meetings. I left the boys at tennis the other day!! I just wish I could be normal like everyone else. How do people do it, because I'm feeling guilty for not being up to par on top of everything else. I believe I'm being selfish and letting everyone down. Thanks for letting me vent and share.

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    Old 03-22-2003, 09:06 PM   #18
    Just-A-Boy
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    Just Barb

    I am telling you, when I suddenly stop Zoloft, I would get panic attacks, and my doctors told me it was my anxiety coming back but IT WASNT!

    So after I stopped ZOLOFT, and went on 8 weeks of HELL... withdrawal side effects, and now its been 7 months since I been off the drug, I am doing GOOD!

    If you want to protect your brain try KAVA KAVA, and yes it could cause liver damage, but in rare cases.


     
    Old 03-22-2003, 09:11 PM   #19
    Just-A-Boy
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    Just Bard...

    Get a VERY GOOD MultiVitamin, like from GNC.

    Also get a seperate Super B-Vitamin Complex.

    Take 500mg of magnesium, and 500mg calcium a day!

    And try Kava Kava, when you are off Lexapro, or any other psychiatric drugs.

    [This message has been edited by Just-A-Boy (edited 03-23-2003).]

     
    Old 03-24-2003, 03:12 PM   #20
    kat721
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    So basically, as I understand it, taking Kava Kava in replacement of an SSRI would be the safe choice where the treatment of multiple disorders including depression and anxiety would be concerned?

    Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom have either already pulled Kava from sale or are in the process of regulating it's use. I think last year Australia asked for voluntary regulation by asking companies to pull all Kava Products off the shelves. The U.S. FDA is currently sending out some serious talk on investigating the toxicity of those "rare" side effects on the Liver.
    So in view of the recent news on Kava, I suppose then one might need to choose which poison suits them best.
    The poisoning of the Brain or the poisoning of the Liver. What a choice!
    Seems to me that given the huge amount of warning on either product that both sides of the debate are pretty much the same:Toxicity, and how much does the damage.
    kat


     
    Old 03-24-2003, 08:20 PM   #21
    CRJ
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    FYI: Rebuttal to Prozac Backlash -

    'Prozac Backlash' May Represent a Step Back and Keep People From Seeking Treatment
    April 13, 2000
    MedscapeWire -------- The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) has voiced concern over what it called misleading statements in a new book that claims antidepressant medication is over-prescribed and causes serious side effects. The NMHA also expressed concern that the book, _Prozac Backlash_, could discourage people from seeking treatment. NMHA's criticism of the book, written by Boston psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen, MD, was echoed by 2 leading psychiatrists, who said that the book's messages were misleading and irresponsible. "The truth about depression and its treatment is just the opposite of what the book claims," noted Mike Faenza, president and chief executive officer of NMHA. "In fact, clinical depression remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. And the new generation of medication for depression is much safer and more effective than those of the past." Faenza noted that depression is a very serious health problem for more than 19 million Americans, and left untreated can result in years of suffering and even suicide. Only about half of those with the illness seek and receive appropriate treatment, which includes psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Faenza cautioned that the book could have serious consequences if people accept its contents as fact. "Our organization has worked hard over the past decade to raise awareness about depression and the need to get help. We're concerned that people may decide against seeking appropriate treatment for this serious illness after hearing about this book." A number of leading psychiatric researchers, whose work is cited by the book's author have also been critical of _Prozac Backlash_. "In cases where Dr. Glenmullen quoted studies published by me, he quotes the work out of context to fit his needs," said Anthony Rothschild, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "This book is misleading, and does a great disservice to people with depression. The very medications that the author claims are overused are, in fact, well studied, closely scrutinized, and closely regulated." "Dr. Glenmullen goes well beyond the published research on the side effects of these newer antidepressant medications, the SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and into pure speculation," warned Harvey Ruben, MD, MPH, clinical professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. "His messages are an irresponsible deterrent to those seeking help for depression, and border on inflammatory journalism." The psychiatrists noted that SSRIs and other new medications for depression do have adverse effects that effect some patients. "This is true for any medication that treats any illness, and patients should always discuss side effects with their doctor," noted Dr. Ruben. "However, it is the overall safety and low incidence of serious side effects with these newer medications that have made them so effective in the treatment of depression." Both psychiatrists noted that the suffering from depression usually far outweighs the adverse effects, usually temporary and minimal, of antidepressant medication. They shared the concern of the NMHA that the book's messages could cause people to avoid seeking help for depression, cause those now receiving treatment to discontinue it, or persuade people to use unproven, unregulated treatments including herbal remedies such as St. John's Wort. "The sad fact is that stigma still surrounds treatment for mental illness," warned Faenza. "And books like this one unfortunately only add to this stigma. The real message about mental illness is one of hope --- that most people can recover with appropriate treatment." In fact, Faenza noted, the US Surgeon General recently released the first-ever Report on Mental Health, which identified mental health and mental illness as a key public health issue, and underscored the effectiveness of mental health treatments and services.


     
    Old 03-25-2003, 12:05 AM   #22
    Just-A-Boy
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    You know,I have read Prozac Backlash, and all I could say, what a BEAUTIFUL BOOK!

    The book was clear that, when back in 1900's where Cocaine Elixirs where so popular, and were cure for everything until their dangerous side effects started to show up. Also the books, states that psychotherapy could be effective as the antidepressents, and that antidepressents should be used in severe cases, not when you are biting your nails constantly!

    Cant the SSRI meds, become like Cocaine Elixirs, there is a chance, the Prozac Backlash, states it why!

    About KAVA, I dont care what the European governtment has to say or do! I know that KAVA KAVA been used for thousands of years around the world, and so suddenly people started to die from it... something is not right here Ok! Basicly people who died from it and/or needed liver transplant, abused KAVA with alcohol, and where taking other drugs. My doctor personally has told me that, in Dr.Andrew Weils book it said that KAVA may cause liver damage, when taken with other chemical substance.

    I've taken KAVA, and I never abused it, and I followed the directions, like it said on GNC bottle. I dont drink alcohol, and I dont take any prescription drugs! and I just did fine with KAVA!

    Also, I believe, that pharmaceutical companys, will state anything to cover their dirty work!

    [This message has been edited by Just-A-Boy (edited 03-25-2003).]

     
    Old 03-25-2003, 12:14 AM   #23
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    Since when providing a possible chance of having brain damage, becomes a misleading information?

    That doesnt make sense to me!

     
    Old 03-27-2003, 11:57 PM   #24
    mmlissa
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    After thinking a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of taking antidepressants, I am wondering if I am simply better off not taking them. I have been on and off several different cocktails for the past 3 1/2 years for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorders.

    I was extremely hesitant to start taking antidepressants because of the way they affect the biochemistry in the brain. But I was so depressed, I got to the point where I would try anything just to relieve the depression and help deal with life.

    From what I've studied most of the "newer" antidepressants that are on the market were created in the 1980's. If scientists are only starting to understand how the brain works now, then I would be afraid to think of how little they knew back then. To me it seems foolish to take a substance created by
    researchers that barely understand the scope of what they're treating.

    The inherent biological mechanisms in our body are so complex that scientists, until lately, have used a 'hit-and-miss' approach in trying to find substances that cure illness. Some are great, but many also come with a price.

    Upsetting the natural chemical balance of the body has the potential to do more harm than good. I'm not saying that medicine is bad, but taking a cocktail of drugs isn't a good thing either.



     
    Old 03-28-2003, 10:13 PM   #25
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    mmlissa,

    Good for you. If you do get off your meds, go extremely slow. Usually doctors will take you off way too fast. Keep in mind that actual withdrawal isn't the only problem; that there is a post-withdrawal, or otherwise known as recovery period, which has symptoms that may last awhile after actual drug withdrawal. But if you taper slowly, you have a better chance of avoiding some unpleasant symptoms.

     
    Old 03-30-2003, 02:23 PM   #26
    seaseal
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    Hi,

    I was recently on a cocktail of psych meds - xanax and lexapro, first, then Buspar was added while I tapered off xanax. Long story short, the medication interaction caused me to go into seizures and convulsions. So, doc took me off everything but xanax cold turkey (as that can cause seizures as well).

    I ended up suffering from something called "antidepressant discontinuation reaction" (look it up on google) - yucky. It's a euphamism for antidepressant withdrawal. Some people don't get it, most do. The recommended therapy, oddly enough, is a single dose of 20mg Prozac because that's supposed to be the antidepressant with the least withdrawal symptoms.

    ADR can include suicidal ideation, severe depression, tinnitus, etc.

    I took Wellbutrin for 3 months in 1999 and ended up having a 7 day long manic episode. So, I am totally spooked by all psychotropic medication now.

     
    Old 03-31-2003, 12:18 AM   #27
    Just-A-Boy
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    I am very glad that you are okay!

    I believe Psychoptherapy can be very helpful!

     
    Old 05-15-2003, 11:09 PM   #28
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by Just Barb:
    I keep forgetting important dates and meetings. I left the boys at tennis the other day!! I just wish I could be normal like everyone else.
    Just Barb,

    Hi! I noticed that you take levoxyl for hypothyroidism. I do too. And, though I am only 27, I also experience brain fogginess, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating. This is hard on me as an intellectual and just as a young person!

    Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine posted a study at [url="http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/340/6/424"]http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/340/6/424[/url] which states that people on thyroid replacement hormone, which is usually just levoxothyrine(t4), have improvements in the symptoms that you're having when t3(Cytomel or from Armour Thyroid) is added.

    Here's an easy-to-understand condensation of the study from [url="http://www.thyroid-info.com:"]www.thyroid-info.com:[/url]

    February, 1999 -- The February 11, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine

    The article is titled:

    "Effects of Thyroxine as Compared with Thyroxine plus Triiodothyronine in Patients with Hypothyroidism"

    How the study was conducted

    Essentially, they took a group of 33 people who were hypothyroid, either due to autoimmune thyroid disease, or removal of their thyroids due to thyroid cancer. All the patients were studied for two five-week periods. During one five-week period, the patient received his or her regular dose of levothyroxine alone. (Levothyroxine is the generic name for the brand names such as Euthyrox, Levoxyl, Levothroid and Synthroid.) During the other five-week period, the patient received levothyroxine PLUS triiodothyronine (T3.) (Note: In the U.S., the brand name for T3 is "Cytomel." ) In the T4 plus T3 phase, 50 g of the patient's typical levothyroxine dose was replaced by 12.5 g of triiodothyronine (T3). A variety of blood, cognitive, mood and physical tests were conducted at various stages of the testing.

    Results

    From the standpoint of physiological effects, the differences between pulse, blood pressure, reflexes and a variety of other functions for T4 alone, versus T4 plus T3, were very small. Blood pressure and cholesterol in fact dropped slightly on the T4 plus T3.

    Where the results were dramatic were in mental functioning. Patients performed better on a variety of standard neuropsychological tasks on the T4 plus T3. Patients' psychological state also showed improvement on T4 plus T3.

    At the end of the study, patients were asked whether they preferred the first or second treatments. 20 patients said they preferred the T4 plus T3 treatment, 11 had no preference either way, and only 2 preferred T4 only. The 20 patients who preferred T4 plus T3 reported that they had more energy, improved concentration, and just felt better overall.

    The researchers determined that "treatment with thyroxine plus triiodothyronine improved the quality of life for most patients."

    You may want to talk to your dr. about this study and adding t3 in an effort to improve your symptoms. With luck, you might be able to get off of antidepressants. My goal is to find a way to stop using them by the end fo the summer!

    Elisa

    p.s. feel free to email me with questions at [email protected]




     
    Old 05-16-2003, 02:33 PM   #29
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    You are better of trying therapy first... if that dont work then try meds.. good luck

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    dipps

     
    Old 06-01-2003, 02:32 AM   #30
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    I HAVE PANIC DISORDER. I HAVE SENSITIVITY TO ALL MEDS AND IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND THE RIGHT DOSES. I ALSO HAVE TROUBLE TRUSTING DR.S AND MEDICATIONS. IT COULD BE MY DISORDER AND THE FACT THAT I HAVE BEEN DOWN SOME DIFFICULT ROADS AT BEST WITH EITHER.I AM CURRENTLY TAKING PAXIL CR 12.5 MG DAILY. THIS IS MY 3RD DAY. I AM EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS SLEEPING AND TAKE THE PAXIL IN THE MORNING. I DON'T REALLY SEEM TO NOTICE ANY OTHER CHANGES. TONITE I HAVE HAD FEELINGS OF ANXIETY AND PANIC. I WAS ABLE TO WORK THROUGH THIS AND I CAN USUALLY WALK MYSELF THROUGH THESE EPISODES. IT IS DIFFICULT TO KNOW IF THIS WAS MY PANIC BROUGHT ON BY STRESS AS TODAY WAS DIIFICULT, OR THE MEDS? I SEEM TO BE DEVELOPING A SLIGHT RASH ON THE BASE OF MY NECK. LAST YEAR I HAD DIFICULTIES CONTROLLING THE PANIC AS MANY STRESSORS THAT WERE BEYOND MY CONTROL AND JUST HAD TO WAIT THEM OUT. THE DR. PRESCRIBED PAXIL AND THE NEXT DAY I JUST SLEPT ALL DAY NOT CONDUCIVE WITH SMALL CHILDREN RUNNING WILD. HE THEN SWITCHED ME TO WELLBUTRIN AT VERY SMAll DOSES, I THEN WENT INTO NON-STOP PANIC ATTACKS ACCOMPPANIED BY ACUTE ANXIETY FOR ONE AND A HALF WEEKS.THIS WAS INCREDIBLY UNBEARABLE FOR ME AND THE FAMILY. THE DR.BELEIVED THAT IT MAY BE A MANIC EPISODE ALTHOUGH I HAD NEVER HAD THIS BEFORE OR ANY DIAGNOSES OF THIS, REFERRED OUT TO PSYCH. NURSE TREATED FOR PANIC DISORDER AND GIVEN SERZONE HAD VISION AND MENTAL DISTURBANCE ON LOW DOSE. IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO STAY ON THE MEDS AS MY ANXIETY USUALLY WORKS AGAINST THIS AND I HAVE CONTINUALLY HAVE TO EVALUATE THE WHETHER THIS ANXIETY OR REALITY AND I HAVE BEEN DOING FAIRLY WELL. I HAVE AGREED TO GIVE THIS MED 6 WEEKS AND WE WILL MEET IN 4 TO TAKE STOCK. I AM JUST NOT SURE THAT I CAN CONTINUE TO HAVE BROKEN RESTLESS SLEEP AS I HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN THAT ARE NEVER TIRED AND LIMITED RESOURCES. ON THE SAME TOKEN NEED TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT IF I STILL HAVE DIIFCULTY SLEEPING AFTER A FEW MORE DAYS I WILL CALL DR. I HAVE OTHER HEALTH CONCERNS AND TAKE PREVACID,ZANTAC And SEVERAL OVER THE COUNTER MEDS. I AM TRYING TO STABILZE MY STRESS LEVELS AND REGULATE HOW MY BODY RESPONDS TO THIS TO AVOID SURGERY. I AM JUST NOT SURE AS TO WHAT COURSE TO TAKE WITH MEDS, THE SIDE EFFECTS AND DR.S I HAVE ENCOUNTERED HAVE DEFINITLY MADE THIS WORSE AT TIMES. MY DOC NOW SEEMS TO BE ON THE BALL BUT IS JUST AN MD. I HAVE BEEN IN THERAPY YEARS BEFORE AND DO NOT HAVE COVERAGE FOR THIS NOW. I DO NOT FEEL THAT I HAVE ISSUES TO RESOLVE TO LESSEN THE ANXIETY, JUST WOULD LIKE TO ENJOY MY LIFE WITHOUT HAVING TO WORK THROUGH THESE EPISODES IT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT AND TIRING AND WOULD JUST LIKE TO ENJOY MORE TIME LIVING.SIMPLESIMON

     
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