Effexor, clonazepam, and UC remission (oh, and menstrual cycles)

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emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/23/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi - this is my first post, and I have so many questions I hardly know where to begin.

I was diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in mid-June (sigmoidoscopy showed inflammation in the first 3-5 cm) after 5 weeks of mucous and blood in stool. I started taking Canasa 1000mg suppositories every night. Soon after, i started having real problems with insomnia (a recurrent thing for me), I think in part because of the mesalamine, and I went back on Effexor 37.5 mg (which I'd been on until about a month before this flare started in May), along with .5 mg of clonazepam and 50 mg of Trazodone at bedtime.

My GI had told me to taper the Canasa after just a few days (he thought it would clear up quickly), but I saw blood again each time I skipped. Anyway, after a couple of weeks, I started Canasa again every night; after 21 days, I finally had a few blood-free days in a row, then a little blood on days 24 and 26, then nothing since (this is day 33). I still am having quite a few bowel movements a day (anywhere from 3-8). My GI had me try Lialda, but after four days, my sleep fell apart and I've been really sick and nauseous all day today, so he said to stop.

I'm wondering if all the anti-anxiety and sleep meds are interfering with me getting into remission. Is anyone else here in remission and using Effexor, clonazepam, or trazodone? Did you start taking any of these during a flare?

And on another note, my last two menstrual cycles, I've been really nauseous, dizzy, revolted by food, losing weight -- do other women experience similar things?

I think I'm a bit of an odd duck because I had surgery for a rare brain tumor (choroid plexus papilloma) three years ago, and since then I've been really sensitive to medication (and have had bouts of debilitating insomnia, which I was trying to head off).

Grateful for any advice!

NMcP
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 8/24/2008 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, my periods have definitely changed since I was diagnosed with UC 2 years ago. My uc also changes with my periods. I poop a lot more and I am more likely to pass blood if I am in a flare. All the nature of the beast I guess.

Under normal circumstances Canasa works well for me. I'm currently on the down side (hopefully) of a flare. The canasa helps, but doesn't totally do the trick. (I am taking other stuff too).

UC can be incredibly stressful. Between the stress and the urges to go at all times of night and day, it gets tough to figure out what works to help you sleep, what helps to keep you in remission, etc. I wouldn't think that xanax or that sorta stuff would hurt your remission at all. In fact less stress would be better for you to get and keep you in remission!!
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
currently in small flare, tail end of colon
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 3 pills 3 x/day, Cortifoam at bedtime, Canansa in the morning
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/24/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info and encouragement! The weird thing about my periods is the nausea and complete lack of interest in food. In between, I feel pretty good (other than all the pooping!). It's made me lose almost 20 pounds since early July. I hope these symptoms will go away once this flare is under control.

I've been counting on the same logic you applied -- less stress and more sleep should help, not hurt. But I hate putting so much medicine in my system!

Thanks again, and best to you!

NMcP
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 8/24/2008 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes I get the nausea and food is the last thing I want as well during a period. I'm so bloated and crampy that all I want to do is sit in a hot bath or go to bed. I never had hard periods until about 3 years ago. I was diagnosed with UC 2 years ago. I'm not sure if it's because it's all in the same real estate down there or if it's because of the activity going on or what. I have noticed that a heating pad and pamprin do help.
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
currently in small flare, tail end of colon
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 3 pills 3 x/day, Cortifoam at bedtime, Canansa in the morning
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/26/2008 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Please help if you can -- I know I've noticed a few signature lines with Effexor listed. Is there anyone out there who can comment on whether or not Effexor, clonazepam, or trazodone contribute to flares? Were you using them before the flare started? Did you ever start them during a flare? Any help would be so much appreciated!

I am still fighting with nausea, and my anxiety levels seem to be rising as my energy supplies are exhausted --

Plus I'm worried that after 37 days of Canasa, I might have seen a little mucous. I don't know if my body can handle higher doses of 5-ASAs, and prednisone would DEFINITELY be a challenge...
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous)
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid


Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 8/27/2008 5:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Nauseous, dizzy, revolted by food and headaches all describe the first few days of my period perfectly... and extreme fatigue!! These symptoms have gotten worse over the last few years.. I never thought it would be related to UC but who knows... I think maybe the fatigue, etc from UC plus that from the period just escalate things... bed for me as soon as I got home from work yesterday.. and Tylenol isn't much help. :O/
Jenn 26/female
Ulcerative PANCOLITIS diagnosed 2004
Asacol 3 pills once/day, Buscopan as needed
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid, Metamucil one tsp per day so far
Flare March-June 2008.. pretty much in remission again July


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/27/2008 6:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Pooie -

Not being a woman, I can't talk about how my period affects my UC, but I take anti-depressants as well as clonazepam, so I thought I'd throw my two cents in...

Near as I can tell, none of my flares were related to the anti-depressants, and the clonazepam seems to help me produce fewer BMs through out the day.  Most anti-depressants have a constipating affect, and I think the clonazepam reduction in my anxiety makes me less prone to worry about the noises my stomach is making.  I'm not saying life is all good, because quite honestly, right now I'm having a hell of a time fumctioning.  I am saying that I think the anti-d's and clon might help you out. 

I had a psychiatrist tell me that some of the nerve receptors in our gut are the same ones that prozac, welbutrin, etc all work on in the brain, so they should have a calming effect on the gut.  Not sure I believe her, but since they all work on my brain, I keep taking them, as I have for over 15 years.  One thing to keep in mind is that alot of medications have a side effect of nausea and stomach pains, so maybe the Effexor is doing something to you.  I always google search medications to find out what to expect, or to find out if anything new I'm feeling could be caused by a new med.  I advise you to do all the research you can on your meds.  Read everything the pharmacist gives you, and look them up on the web.  Knowledge is our best tool, so the more you know, the better you will be able to help yourself.

Brandon


Brandon
 
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06, had symptoms for years prior to dx


hana24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 8/27/2008 7:15 AM (GMT -6)   
clonazepam makes me "go" maybe once more sometimes about half and hour after I take it. I kind of get stressed out for about half and hour after I take it though and then it calms me down. Stress is a major trigger for me so I think it helps in the long run and it plus the Citalopram makes it possible to go to school for me. The only other antidepressent I was on was prozac a long time before I had UC. Good Luck
Jessica 27/F 20mg pred
Remicade
Lialda 2.4GM
Citalopram 20 MG
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal, Culturelle, dicyclomine)


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/27/2008 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Brandon!

Would you mind sharing the doses you're on? It's really helpful to hear your story and know that the Effexor and clonazepam may actually do some good in this miserable situation.

I know that all the stuff I'm taking has nausea as a potential side effect -- but I've taken them in the past (before diagnosis this June) and the only time I've had this sort of nausea is during the time when the sleep problems were not yet under control. This time, during my period, I slept fine and was still sick as a dog. And still am, plus my anxiety is rising as a result. Yuck.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write --
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous)
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/27/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenn, thanks for confirming that you get nausea, food revulsion, etc. during your period. Isn't it the worst? I just wish mine had ended with my period this month...
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous)
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/27/2008 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Jessica, thanks for posting your experience -- it's reassuring to know it's helping you!
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous)
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/28/2008 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Emory -

I take 300mg of the Wellbutrin, and 20mg of prozac. The clonazepam is an occassional thing, so it doesn't take much to work on me...I can take .5mg and I'm one mellow fellow. Any more than that and I'm going to fall asleep! Good luck to you.

Brandon
Brandon
 
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06, had symptoms for years prior to dx - currently flaring
Taking Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, and fexofenadine for allergies


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/28/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Brandon -- best to you, too!
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous)
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/2/2008 3:32 AM (GMT -6)   

Emory,

I'm curious about how you are doing lately.  Have you made any med changes, or are you going to ride it out?  Since I've been taking antidepressants for so long, those are the stablest part of my med regime.  I've been using VSL#3 for a couple of weeks now, and I'm starting to notice a reduction in the number and bloodiness of my BMs finally.  I noticed that you aren't taking a probiotic...conscious decision or your doctor didn't recommend them?  Look around the forum, and you'll find that the majority of UCers take some sort of probiotic.  At least it is something to think about.  I hope things are looking up for you.


Brandon
 
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06, had symptoms for years prior to dx - currently flaring
Suffered from depression since I was 19
Taking Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, and fexofenadine for allergies


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 9/2/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Brandon,

Thanks for thinking of me. Four days ago I upped my Effexor to 75 mg (with psychiatrist's approval), hoping that would help me sleep through the night and eventually let me get away from clonazepam and trazodone. So far, no good -- the second day I was really irritable, and the past two nights I've been waking at 3:45 and not really going back to sleep. We'll see how it goes. I'm feeling some stress because my husband will be out of town for five days, and I'll be on my own with our five-year-old while not feeling well.

My GI had me start hydrocortisone suppositories last Wednesday at my appointment with him, when it seemed like things were finally coming under control. Later that night, I saw mucus for the first time in a while, and that's continued, plus a little bit of blood in the last few days, so I think my UC meds will have to be revisited.

I am planning to add a probiotic, but haven't found the energy to research one or get to the store. Pathetic, I know. I will get there...

Thanks again, Brandon -- it makes me feel good that you wrote --
emory
40 years old and female
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Osteopenia (and I haven't even taken steroids!)


luckykitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 9/4/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Emory!

I am just going through the same thing as yourself.  I have begun a new career and was having some anxiety and sleep issues and was not in a flare.  My Dr. prescribed clozepam (sp)? and effexor...the effexor made me so sick to my stomach and i started a flare shortly after.  I got rid on the effexor, and the nausea went away but i am still working on my flare.  I have started taking nightly salafalk enema's which seem to work...touch wood!  I am also stoppin the clozepam for anxiety as that was also a new drug that i have not taken before, so I want to see if they were the cause of my flare.  Keep in touch and let me know how you are feeling.  Good luck!


emory
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 9/4/2008 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Luckykitty --

If you don't feel you really need the Effexor and clonazepam for anxiety and sleep, you're probably better off without them. Clonazepam in particular can be habit-forming. Both have been helpful to me in the past, though, and I think they're still beneficial now, so I think I'm stuck with them for a while. I did drop back to 37.5 mg of Effexor after only 4 nights because my sleep was becoming non-existent. Things seem a little better now.

I hope you can get your flare under control with the salofalk enemas!

Something I tried today was acupuncture. It has worked well for me in the past with sleep problems, and my practitioner says she has had very good luck treating IBD.

Best to you,
emory
40 years old and female
Dx ulcerative proctitis June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories nightly, 25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories in a.m.
Effexor 37.5, Clonazepam .5 mg and Trazodone 50 mg for sleep
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Osteopenia (and I haven't even taken steroids!)

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