Anti-depressants and UC

Have you taken anti-depressants?
No, never - 38.5%
Yes, before my UC was diagnosed - 19.2%
Yes, after my UC was diagnosed - 42.3%

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 5/7/2009 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Up until 2002 my bowel motions were normal, then I started taking Paxil in 2002 and almost immediately my bowel motions changed. I had more gas and bloating and the stool moved quicker through my intestine. It didnt worry me too much but now i have UC I'm wondering if the anti-depressant was the original cause. Most anti-depressants are known to cause microscopic colitis. Perhaps there is a link here to full-blown UC.

My question is how many people here have taken or currently take anti-depressants?
Male, 33yrs, Australia

Bowel problems started 04/03
Pan-colitis UC Diagnosed 08/07
Hospitalized Aug 05, Aug 07, Mar 09

Main Meds used: 4g Mesalazine (maintenance),
10mg Prednisone
6-MP 100mg
150mg Imuran, (stopped due to liver toxicity)
400ml daily IV Hydrocosone (when in hospital)
2g Entocort enema (during flare-up),
4g Mesalazine Enema (medium term maintenance)

Foods I avoid: Alcohol, Chocolate, Muesli, McDonalds

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 5/7/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never taken anti-depressants.
25 years old; diagnosed March 2007;
Currently: persistant rectal inflammation
Asacol, 4 tabs, 3xday; Rowasa nightly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; Primadophilus Reuteri; sublingual allergy drops; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 5/7/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   

I take Xanax which is for anxiety and it helps everything - dealing with UC and life in general.


Senior - New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008   Tried, Colozal, steroid enemas, etc. - started working but severe side effects occurred. No mesalamines!!
Started on prednisone Feb.7, 2009 - tapering to 20 mg. - upped prenisone to 25mg. on my own (bleeding returned) - 6MP - 50 mg. 2/28/2009 
75mg. 6 MP added on 4/8/2009 - waiting for CBC and Prometheus tests
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD, Gas-X, vitamins, Calcium/D
Tylenol for knees and arthritis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 5/7/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I started taking effexor xr in October for GAD
20 year old college student diagnosed in March 2005
Remission since January/April 2006->THREE YEARS!!!!!
Trying Colazal 3 750mg x2 (NOT for a full blown flare, just some random symptoms)
25mg Elavil
75mg Effexor XR for GAD
Will possibly go back to asacol
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Maya Angelou

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 5/7/2009 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I started taking anti depressants 2 years ago (come to think of it, having read your post, my symptoms started soon after I started on them) I came off them about 6 months later. And now I'm taking Citalopram for anxiety.

22 year old female, from the UK.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis Jan '08, Proctosigmoiditis Jan '09.
Hospitalised Jan '09 for 3 days IV Hydrocortisone - had no effect!
Hospitalised Feb '09 for 7 days (5 days - IV Hydrocortisone)
Currently taking daily: 
15mg Prednisolone tablets (tapering from 40mg, came off at 5mg then back up to 15mg)
1g Acetarsol suppository every other night (Previously taking 5mg Pred suppository)
1g Mesalazine granules x 2
7.5mg Zopiclone (taken when needed for sleeping)
10mg Citalopram (anti-anxiety/depression)
Probiotic Multivitamins 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 5/7/2009 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on Zoloft, which I started before I was diagnosed with UC, but after my symptoms began. My primary care doc thought that my diarrhea was because of the postpartum anxiety. So even though I was diagnosed after I began using Zoloft, I know it's not what caused my UC.
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa nightly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 5/7/2009 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I started taking Effexor after my diagnosis when anxiety started interfering with my life. Thinking I didn't need it anymore I tapered of off in in March '08. Big mistake. I started flaring shortly after stopping. It took months to get things under control. The anxiety also came back - enough for my husband to tell me to get back on the meds. Finally after restarting the Effexor, mu UC calmed down too.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  remission
Lialda 4 per day,  Azathioprine 50mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia, Fibercon, and Culturelle
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: June 17
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
Co-Moderator UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 5/8/2009 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I was put on Buspar when I suffered from IBS, before my UC diagnosis. I was also on an anti-spasmodic. The two together gave me so much brain fog, I fell down the stairs at my house. After that, I got off the anti-anxiety med. I never felt like IBS was caused by anxiety. In retrospect, I think it was caused by my extremely poor diet - high in sugar and carbs - and constantly ingesting gluten and dairy, which I know now are problems for me. Several courses of broad spectrum antibiotics also contributed to the downfall of my digestive health.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999. Have been in remission for years with only a few minor blips.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, vitamin D, fiber supplement and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and l-glutamine for gut healing. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free low carb diet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 5/8/2009 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I was in remission with my colitis for 4 years and the week I started taking Wellbutrin XL was when I started to flare. The GI and regular
doctor say its unrelated, but it is awfully coincidental!
37 year old mom of 2.

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis 1995 (24 years old) / Ulcerative Colitis in 2000 (29 years old)
In remission for 4 years from 2005 - 3/2009 with colazol maintenance only.

Hospitalized for flare 3/23/09 - 3/25/09. Hospitalized 2nd time for same flare 4/17 - 4/22

Current Meds: Apriso 4/day, Prednisone 20mg per day, Rowasa Enemas 2/day, Culturelle

Had FIRST Remicade infusion in the hospital 4/22/09, 2nd infusion 5/7/09 (I think the first infusion put me in remission!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 5/8/2009 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Lexapro. I started taking it about a year and a half ago. I think the fact that I had taken such a hard drug--Prednisone--made me less fearful of taking a drug like Lexapro. Lexapro has really helped with my anxiety and depression. I can't imagine going back to a life without it.

Hi Shelliesv,

It's really hard to tell sometimes whether or not something is coincidental. I started hiking in the mountains for the first time in February a few years ago. That August I got my first flare up. I got my next flare a year later, again in late August. At the time, I didn't know why I had Colitis. I thought that perhaps I was allergic to something in the mountains. I got tested for allergies and found out that I'm not allergic to anything in the mountains. BTW, I also got my third and final flare in late August. I noticed that I got it after the weather started to change. I get cold easily and my body tenses up when it is cold, making it easier for me to flare.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Post Edited (subdued) : 5/8/2009 11:43:01 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 5/9/2009 4:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I wondering if the antidepressants cause anxiety and that in turn triggers the UC flare - it's a thought! Wellbutrin has been know to heighten anxiety.
37 year old mom of 2.

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis 1995 (24 years old) / Ulcerative Colitis in 2000 (29 years old)
In remission for 4 years from 2005 - 3/2009 with colazol maintenance only.

Hospitalized for flare 3/23/09 - 3/25/09. Hospitalized 2nd time for same flare 4/17 - 4/22

Current Meds: Remicade, Apriso 4/day, Prednisone 10mg per day, Rowasa Enemas 2/day, Culturelle

Had 1st Remicade infusion in the hospital 4/22/09, 2nd infusion 5/7/09 (I think the first infusion put me in remission!)

Post Edited (Shelliesv) : 5/9/2009 12:30:06 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 5/9/2009 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking anti depressants for about 12 years now various ones. I now take cymbalta. Wellbutrin gave me anxiety and chest pains. Zoloft gave me some anxiety too after a few years on it. Cymbalta helps me with my energy, I take a low dose. I thought I read that zoloft and proton pump inhibitors were associated with a certain type of colitis. Kind of makes ya wonder, doesn't it??? It's all too scary sometimes.
diagnosed 1/09 with colitis,54 yo, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, cymbalta

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