Anxiety Medicine & Flare-ups

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Have any of you seen success with anxiety meds helping to keep you from flaring up? I have a very high stress job at times and do not deal well with the stress. I used to take anxiety medicine but quit because of the side effects. I must say the side effects of having to take the steroids are far worse than the side effects of the anxiety meds. What kind of success have you had taking anxiety meds to calm yourself down to avoid flare-ups??
If any success, what are you taking??
29 yr old recently diagnosed with UC in Nov 08. Taking Asacol 3 times daily and Steriod enemas 2 times daily. no children, very active;

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope someone is able to answer. I was considering going on a low dose of anxiety medicine for UC. I've heard studies about serotonin and our intestines being our second brains.
31 yr old female currently breastfeeding
Diagnosed 2/29/08 with Mild Universal UC
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Lialda Colazal & Asacol made symptoms worse, MUCH worse
Not taking any meds for now. May be on 6mp soon?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I have crohns, not UC but take a low dose of xanax when I know I am in a situation that causes me to have "d" from stress. That includes job interviews, flying, long car rides, anxiety over a test, etc. I find that "normal" anxiety = bad for IBD so I counter even normally stressful situations w/ .25 of xanax w/o a problem.

Before I was diagnosed w/ crohns I was put on prozac to see if it would reduce my pain. It was explained to me that if I was not depressed I would get higher than average levels of serotonin and it would have a pain killing effect. I wouldn't say it killed my pain but it did numb it for a little while. Not enough for me to really stay on the prozac though.

If your job is always stressful you might need a long term med instead of a special circumstances one. But if it is only once and awhile it gets you all riled up then xanax or ativan might be the way to go.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 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 take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 3/16/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Yes, Xanax has helped me.  Before I was diagnosed with UC - my doctor thought I had anxiety attacks causing diarrhea, etc. (did have one panic attack) and I tried three types of medication and ended up with Xanax helping most without side effects.  Others, including Lexapro made me too loopy or sleeping - both at times.  So, now, after diagnosed with UC I take it when going out, etc. - calms me and my gut, I believe.


Senior - New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008  Cannot tolerate mesalamines, Canasa, etc. Tried, Colozal, steroid enemas, etc. - started working but severe side effects occurred.
Started on prednisone Feb.7, 2009 - tapering to 20 mg. for two more weeks and then down to 15 mg.etc.  Added 6-MP Feb. 28.
Added Anusol suppositories - March 16 - see doc in 3 months. 
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:13 AM (GMT -6)   
a family friend was on zoloft and says it worked wonders with her crohn's so maybe it would have the same effect for UC.
I have xanax .25 mg that i take as needed- not very often...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I started effexor XR for over the top anxiety issues with school plus a little bit of OCD but NO depression. It has reallllly helped me. I find sometimes that I do still have IBS issues but I'm my body's own worst enemy!
20 year old medical technology/biology student
Remission since January/April 2006
4 400mg Asacol 2x daily, 10mg Elavil, 75mg Effexor XR for GAD, ortho lo

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"
John Lennon

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm on Lexapro but not for UC. I take it for anxiety and depression. I suffer from severe social anxieties and depression. Always have.

Anyway, Lexapro did not keep my third flare away. I felt anxious despite the Lexapro when I started showing symptoms of a flareup again, and it wasn't long before I was definitely flaring.

I do think that if you tend to flare due to stress, then Lexapro can help. The medicine does have side effects though, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, ringing in the ears, mood swings, fatigue... But at least it doesn't age the body like Prednisone does.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: pro-inflammatory foods, HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 3/18/2009 1:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a friend who has found Elavil to be very helpful with her symptoms. I have taken low dose Valium for muscle spasms and it works quite well with few side effects. good luck to you
10 yr old daughter diagnosed with "UC-like Crohn's" 12/08
currently on 2400 mg Asacol 

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