Which antidepressant?

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CathyA
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   Posted 6/24/2007 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
   I'm curious......are any of you on an antidepressant that you feel has really helped your GI tract?
I'm in the process of trying to find out what's wrong with me......nauseated, dizzy, anxious, headaches, fatigue, feeling like poop all the time, etc., etc., etc., and I truly feel that something somewhere in me is wrong.  But I'm not sure we're going to find out what it is.  If something isn't "inside the box", I fear the docs ain't gonna find it. 
   But.....I've heard alot of how antidepressants can help things like fibromylagia, IBS, etc., and I think I'm almost willing to give them a try.    I'm scared to death, since I get so many side-effects from things, plus there's always hell to pay when trying to come off them.
   I would never go on Effexor.  My doc mentioned zoloft.  He said "that's one of the ones we use on older people 'cause they can get so  many side effects".   Who you callin' OLDER???   hahaha
   Anyhow........I'm interested in your experiences with them.  Thanks.

SnowyLynne
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Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 6/24/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I take Remeron & it does help.
SnowyLynne


dbab
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   Posted 6/24/2007 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cathy,

I tried antidepressants however I cannot tolerate the SSRIs. My doc has thrown out the option of trying a tricyclic one and I am also curious about it. I hear that they are wonderful for pain, IBS, depression, sleep... all the things that I need it for. I wouldn't write them off even though I know you are concerned about the side effects and the withdrawals. I know if you have been on them for a while then you need to taper off of them but if you are just starting I think my doc said that if they are not working or causing too many side effects, its easier for you to get off of them if needed. Please let us know what you decide, and once I start on them (which I will probably), I will let you know too.

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goddess0728
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 6/25/2007 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
CathyA

I was just going to do an update on the "bentyl" thread I started weeks past, but it might be better to put my experiences here...

I have chronic pain from herniated discs in my neck. I have been to the whole rigamarole of drs including a neurologist and have been told that I "have a legitimate problem" BUT that it can't be fixed with surgery. So I manage it with acupuncture and massage, when I can afford it. In other words, live with it.

I went to the drs 2 weeks ago where I finally got an official diagnosis of IBS (after years of trying to manage my crazy gut) When mentioning my "pre-existing conditions" to the doc he suggested I take amitriptyline for my nerve/neck pain, and he gave me Bentyl to control the cramping.

I started the amitriptyline last Monday. I was afraid to begin on the Bentyl as I got confusing directions from the (intern) doc. Thursday I had another appt with a specialist and she explained the correct way to use the Bentyl "as needed", that is before a meal. So I've been taking that for a few days.

To come back to your post Cathy: amitrityline is used as a anti-depressant as well as for nerve pain (and other things). Before I even began using the Bentyl, my intestines/gut felt much better and calmer from just the amitriptiline. I'm not sure it is helping my neck pain, which seems the same, but it def. seemed to help my stomach/cramping/urgency. And it makes me just a bit sleepy which is good since I take it at bedtime. (This was strong at first, I'd get sleepy right away, and I was a little dopey when I first woke up, but that is going away now, so I suspect I just was having some initial side effects. Still helps me sleep thru the night tho).

So in my limited experience anti-depressants can help with IBS. I don't know if it will work for you but it seems to have helped to calm things down a bit.

Don't know if that helps, but maybe you should give the anti-depressants a try. I'm with you on the effexor tho, they gave me that for my fibroids and I dont EVER want any drug that makes me feel like that one did! **shivers**

Good luck :)

LondonGirl22
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 6/25/2007 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
effexor helps me

Victoria x

Xx Sometimes we all have to go a little crazy just to stay sane xX


goddess0728
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 6/25/2007 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
hey Victoria

I should have said that I've had a bad experience with Effexor but that I've talked with others who say it works for them.

I've been on prozac in the past for depression and it was like night and day for me.

Hope you find something that works CathyA!

softy
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Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 798
   Posted 6/25/2007 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
I don't post much but I read all :-)    Anyhow, I've had bad gut problems for 4 years now and have been tested up the ying yang for what the drs. thought was Crohn's.  Nothing shows up so for now they're calling it IBS *rolls eyes*.  I was on Celexa for 3 years at the start of all of this and it helped my mind but seemed to do nothing for the gut.  A week ago I started on Amitriptyline which is supposed to help the mind as well as the body, it is widely used for chronic pain.  It takes about 4 weeks for the full effect and has the added bonus on helping you fall asleep at night.  Whatever you choose, do your own research.  Good luck.
 
Take care, Softy
 


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 6/25/2007 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Goddess, I just heard on the radio today that studies have proven that non-traditional treatments for back pain, such as acupuncture, massage, cognitive therapy, etc. were found to be more effective in reducing pain than surgery or pain meds. So I think you're probaby on the right track when it comes to what you've been doing for your neck! I just hope that this will encourage insurance companies to start paying for this alternative treatment, especially since it's cheaper than the traditional methods and with less side affects to boot.

goddess0728
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 6/26/2007 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Keriamon said...
Goddess, I just heard on the radio today that studies have proven that non-traditional treatments for back pain, such as acupuncture, massage, cognitive therapy, etc. were found to be more effective in reducing pain than surgery or pain meds. So I think you're probaby on the right track when it comes to what you've been doing for your neck! I just hope that this will encourage insurance companies to start paying for this alternative treatment, especially since it's cheaper than the traditional methods and with less side affects to boot.


Thanks for that info Keriamom..I've actually had much better results from acupuncture and massage than from anything else I've been prescribed...ultram, vioxx, etc, having my neck stretched, a tens unit, etc..my chiropractor actually sacrificed her fee once so I could have a massage when I first got hurt, since the insurance wouldn't pay for it. But I could have all the drugs I want (roll eyes)

It also makes me feel much better about the amount of money I've spent on non-traditional medicine, especially since I have no insurance...means I've spent the money in the right way I guess :) rather than on a premium.

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 6/28/2007 5:44 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks everyone,

   I wrote a long reply the other day, but the site was having troubles and it lost my note.

   I tried elavil when my fibro and IBS started, but it wiped me out for 3 days (just one 10mg tablet).....so I didn't take it again.

  I also tried Prosac and got very dizzy and nauseous.   I guess I don't have many reserves to tolerate some of the initial side-effects.  I've been this way my whole life, and tend avoid almost all meds.

   Thanks for your responses.

   I don't know why doctors are so reluctant to open their minds up to alternative treatments.   What if no one ever opened their minds to the earth being round instead of flat,  or to the idea that ulcers were caused by a bacteria, etc., etc.?

I don't know if doctors are just so overwhelmed and busy that they stick to whatever they've known until now, but it seems so incredibly limited.


Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/28/2007 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   

I think the reason is that they have to rely on conjecture for the most part, and doctors haven't been trained to base their patient care on anecdotal evidence.  They are looking for vigorously peer-reviewed studies.  The reason is that even if some new treatment modality helps thousands of people, it could have a serious side effect in some random few...and that can be dangerous.  That's why those peer-reviewed studies are done, so that docs can weigh the risks and benefits.

All SSRIs work in generally the same way (they just act on different serotonin receptors), but people tolerate some better than they do others.  So you might need to just keep trying until you find one that works.  I'm a sertraline (Zoloft) fan myself.


CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 6/28/2007 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sarita,
Does that mean you are on Zoloft? Any side-effects for you? My doctor mentioned that one first.......saying he likes to use it for older people, since they tend to be more sensitive to side effects. "Older People???" Who you callin' Older People doc?! hahahaha I'm 57 and my hair is white and I probably look about 87. I guess I need to get used to the idea, that I'm beginning to be an "older people". :)

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/28/2007 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL Cathy!!! Don't be insulted... That is a myth about Zoloft. I know 2 people in their late 20's who are on Zoloft (Sarita included). I bet docs finally realized that it works the same for the young and the old, so why not. It could be worth a test...
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Laloopo
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 6/28/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
hi all, I haven't beeen on in a very long time , I have been doing well on Paxil with a few in between spasm. The only side effect I have is gaining weight and a big *** belly that I did not have before. my doctor sorta thinks it's the paxil . I have been eating healthy , haven't had meat in a very long time , no fried foods, So I don't understand where this weight is coming from and all the bloat. I get very upset when I look at myself. I thought People with IBS are thin.

Laloopo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 6/28/2007 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
is fat a bad thing to say? I noticed the stars in my last reply

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 6/28/2007 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
lol.........I didn't know fat was a bad word either! (unless someone is yelling it about me to my face! ;) )
Oh dang.........I had totally forgotten about how antidepressants can make you gain weight! Bummer. I definitely don't need that.
When I was on Toprol (which is a beta blocker), for 5 years, I was hungry 24/7, and I've finally lost about 10 pounds from that. I sure don't want to put it all back on.

7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 6/28/2007 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Laloopo,
Could you have typed something other than 'fat'? As you can see fat is allowed. Hmmmm... I can't think of any word that is similar to fat that would have been edited.
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Laloopo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 6/28/2007 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Nope , I did not use any other word, I don't understand what happened.. I am also on toprol for 3 years and I did not gain until I started paxil. does anyone feel bloated all the time?

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 6/28/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I've heard that alot from people on antidepressants. I don't know the mechanism of action, but it does put weight on you. I suppose its better to be fat and happy, than thin and depressed, right?? ;)

now-IBS-free
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/28/2007 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I wanted to jump in this discussion with one additional piece of info: instead of Amitriptyline, ask your doc about Nortriptyline, and also Nu-Lev. Here's my story: I have had IBS for years and years. I have taken elavil/amitriptyline for years too. It did help. It more-or-less stopped my bowel spasms which I developed about 4 years ago. Recently my doc switched me to what she called "a newer version of Amitriptyline" -- Nortriptyline. Without any exaggeration, I can say that I am now IBS FREE. Something else: I also took a great drug called Nu-Lev that is a fast acting bowel relaxer for my IBS. If you haven't tried that drug, please research it. It was a wonder drug for me as well. However, I used Nu-Lev to prevent an IBS "attack" or to settle my bowel if I was in the midst of one. I had this drug with me 24/7. I had it in my coat, purse, car, kitchen, bathroom, etc. When my doc switched me to Nortriptyline, I was taking 6 Nu-Lev every day. Today, I have been on Nortriptyline about 7 mos., and I can't tell you where my Nu-Lev bottles are. I have no idea if I even have any Nu-Lev left! Like I said, a not-so-minor-miracle for me. Anyway, I just wanted to share this in case it helps someone out there. Good Luck!! Oh-- another thing, Nortriptyline helped my chronic neck pain as well.

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 6/28/2007 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Yeah, a lot of these tricyclic antidepressants actually do work for some people with IBS; it's an off-label use.  They can also be used for chronic pain.  Nortriptyline is a "second generation" tricyclic; it causes fewer side effects than "first generation" tricyclics like amitryptiline.  Good to see it's working for someone!

Cathy, that is hysterical that your doctor said Zoloft is used more in "older people." Whatever that means.  I've been taking Zoloft since I was 23 or so (am 28 now).  I was under some duress when I saw my doctor about being depressed and would have tried voodoo if someone told me I'd feel better.  Matter of fact, I think I DID try some voodoo.  Wasn't particularly effective.

It's so weird - the first couple weeks I was on it, I had the most bizarre side effect of extreme yawning (didn't feel tired - I just kept taking these huge gulping yawns).  That is actually a rare but occasionally reported side effect.  But that subsided in a short time.  I don't have any side effects from it.  I notice occasionally that I feel slightly "blunted," but I still feel regular emotions like happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety, etc. 

 

 

 

 


CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 6/29/2007 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, I was on Nortriptyline about 8 years ago for sleep problems and fatigue. It put me in a coma every night, but I was still fatigued during the day. And it raised my BP and HR. I can't remember what it did for my pain and my IBS. I had to stop because of the BP and HR side-effects.
I think what the doc meant was that Zoloft has the least amount of side-effects, and because older people tend to be more sensitive, it is used on them more than the other choices. I was just offended that he was considering me "older". hahaha I suppose I'd better get used to the idea though!
Sarita.......that's weird about the yawning. I never could tolerate Sudafed for many years. It made me crazy and made my skin crawl. But I've been having lots of problems with a eustachian tube closing up, and I decided to try it again a few days ago. It worked! But yesterday, 1 tablet didn't work, so I took another one. And I couldn't stop yawning!!!! It was the weirdest thing. I wasn't tired......just couldn't stop yawning! So maybe the zoloft was somehow stimulating the same area of the brain as the sudafed was??
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