Anti-depressants for IBS

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 4/16/2008 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
A friend of mine is going through her diagnosis stage, they seem to have ruled out Crohn's and are calling it IBS.  She has awful stomach pain and frequent irregularity (too much or too little).  Her Doctor put her on Lexapro 2+ months ago but her side effects include sleeplessness and dizziness, and it hasn't improved her IBS symptoms.
My question is this - have you been put on anti-depressents as your lead medication before and if so is there one that worked better than the other?
Also - do you know how to taper off Lexapro (is it smaller pills ever day or same size pill but fewer days?) 
Her doctor sucks and won't return her calls - but I know it's dangerous to go off Lexapro all at once.
BTW I know no one is a doctor here - just looking for anecdotal advice from your own experiences.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 4/16/2008 6:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I would suggest call another doc or a experienced psych nurse
Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 4/16/2008 5:57:26 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 4/16/2008 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
A pharmacy could probably help with tapering advice also.
--39 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
--rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--stuck on methylprednisolone, tried Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08
--single mom to 10-year-old girl

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/16/2008 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   

I am on lexapro and I tapered from 20 mg to 10 mg. I just cut my pills in half. I am still on my 10mg. I find the medication very helpful with my anxiety and depression. I am also on Welbutrin for anxiety and depression. Neither were a lead medication, but I was dx with my CD long before my anxiety and depression. I hope they figure out what's going on. That was the worst part for me.

Hope this helps.


27 year old female dx with CD in 2001. Pentasa 4 g/day, Prednisone 30 mg/day, Amytripaline 25mg/day, Lexapro 20 mg/day, Maxalt 10 mg as needed. Mother of son, 3, and daughter, 6 months.  

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/16/2008 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was put on Prozac under this rationale - people who are not depressed have normal serotonin levels. An anti-depressant in a non-depressed person will raise serotonin levels. Higher than average serotonin levels can block pain receptors. It worked for me for about 3 or 4 months and then it was pointless. I took it for 8 months I think. My boss was also proscribed it for back pain. But, when they prescribed it to both of us they used the generic name brand so we would feel less "stigmatized." Silly.  My doc said she wished they would market it under another name just for people using it for pain. I guess she had patients that wouldn't take it because it was an anti-depressant.  I feel like it would be deceitful not to tell someone it was an anti-depressant.  But I guess if you arent depressed it shouldn't alter your mood. Im not a doc or a pharm so I have no idea.

26 Year old married female law student.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid.  For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn.  I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13.  I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium.  Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I alos take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

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