1 (edited by Pamela Sun, 15 Jul 2012 10:37:54)

Topic: Questions about antidepressants

Does anybody have experience with antidepressants? Did they make you feel really crappy at first, and then when you got used to them, did you feel better? My doctor prescribed Zoloft for me because I am having a hard time with things. I took a whole pill, the dosage I am supposed to take, and I felt really nauseous, really sleepy, and totally drugged up. So the next day I took half a pill, because I could not face another day of feeling that bad, and I still had the side effects, but not quite as bad. The doctor said it would take a few weeks to feel the good effects and get used to them. Do these side effects go away after a while? I couldn't stand to take them if I am going to feel this bad. They make me feel numb with no emotion. I am sure my family likes that I am not crabby or smart with them. I haven't felt this even tempered for a long time if ever. I have always been the high strung, moody, difficult type at home. I put on my happy face when out in public. I feel really weird writing about myself instead of Lauren. But, I hope you guys can help. I am afraid to take a pill today. Thanks.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam, many years ago I briefly tried Zoloft.  I took it for about a week and gave up for the same symptoms you described.  Plus, I wasn't going through a major life event at the time so I felt I could handle things.    I would try the half pill for a bit longer and see if the side effects go away.  You are dealing with so much it's worth seeing how it goes.  I hope it gets easier to take it.  I know you want to feel well!  Love, Pam

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam, can't help much but I have a friend who is on Prozac with no side efects. Hope you can find yourself that "good" position to be in.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam, I've been on fluoxetine for some time, mainly for debilitating over-anxiety but I'm glad it's keeping depression at bay, too; I couldn't bear to go down that route again.

I think fluoxetine may be Prozac, but I'm not sure.

I don't remember bad initial side effects, but I do remember being told to start them very gently and not to stop them suddenly.

I do hope the symptoms subside quickly. Sending love and hugs to you all.

Jx

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Hi Julia and Pamela,

Fluoxetine is indeed Prozac and my dad was put on that after his diagnosis and before he started his PDT. No wonder the doc put him on it considering he was away to spend 6 weeks in the same room! He had no side effects or reactions to it at all but was also told not to stop it quickly either.

On another note, a friend of mine started on Prozac also a few months ago after a nightmare separation from his wife. He went through a nightmare with his wife and his doc put him on 20mg to start with, now upped to 40mg. He was also told the same about not stopping it and that it would take time for the levels to build up from the Prozac before it started working for him. A few months later and it is working wonders for him with no side effects at all so far.

Hugs,

Gavin

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Hugs back at'cha, Gavin xx

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Hi,
Those are the side effects of Zoloft(part of the SSRI family); Taking half the strength(25mg) may be a good idea to titrate the dose gradually up to the adult dose of 50mg. it will take some time(in a week or so) for you to notice the benefits. Another choice is Xanax, an anti-anxiety agent which ,like Zoloft will cause a bit of drowsiness but not the side effects of nausea that much for
Xanax.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam,
        side effects of nausea are common with ssri drugs like zoloft,this is usually short lived so it is a good idea to take half the dose for a few days.I will take two weeks at least to have an effect on your mood so whatever you are feeling its not the tablet!
    Most importantly though tablets are not enough on their own to combat a reactive depression.I think some counselling/talk therapy is helpful and one of the best ways to improve your mood is excercise,studies have shown that comfortable levels of excercise three times per week dramatically reduce cortisol levels in the blood thereby making you feel better and more energetic.
     But give the tablets a bit more time,really they just take the edge off things when they start to work            good luck                Janet

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Hi Pam,
I've been on anti-depressants for several years.  I take 75mg zoloft along with 200mg wellbutrin.  It does take a couple of weeks to see a benefit.  I didn't have nausea or drugged up feeling.  I do know what you mean about feeling numb.  That may or may not be the zoloft....could be a symptom of depression.  I would hang in there at the lower dose and see how it goes.  If the symptoms don't lesson, call your doctor.  There are many different anti-depressants to try.  I could not manage without my medicine.  I used to cry all day and felt such despair.  Things are much better for me now.  I can cope better with ups and downs.  Rarely cry anymore smile

Hope this helps.


xxoo betsy

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam,

My Doctor prescribed a small dose of Xanax for me.  I took a very small dose (once) a day but it was written for up to three a day.  It was just enough to take the edge off but didn't make me sleepy or drugged feeling.  You may just need to try something else.

There are numerous things available.  This one was perfect for me since I was not worried about driving while taking it.

It saved my sanity, made me a whole lot more effecient and pleasant.  I hate taking medications but it was a godsend for dealing with all of the stresses of this disease.

Don't give up.  My doctor was amazing and caring and knew exactly what was best for me.

Hugs!

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam,
I think this forum is a perfect place to ask about you, and what we caretakers struggle with through this process. I don't have experience with anti-depressants but I am thinking about asking about them for my mom. She is becoming more detached and distant but she also hates that foggy brained feeling so it might be a struggle to find something that is just right for her. Right now she is taking Ativan at night to help her sleep (it's an anti-anxiety) but it makes her so sleepy she doesn't take it during the day.
Good luck and I hope it helps!!
Melissa

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam-I have taken Lexipro twice, same dose (10 mg)but major different reaction. The first time was recommended by my oncologist as a preventive. I had no side effects and never felt altered by it. The second time was after my second transplant and what a difference. My family and friends call that period "my lexipro time". I could sit in my chair (I couldn't walk) and stare at the wall for hours. Caitlin and Jeff became very frustrated and angry, because I was so "nothing", they threatenned to put me in a nursing home and I casually replied "Ok, do what you think is neccessary!". Cates and Jeff knew at that point we needed immediate medical help. My transplant doctors felt that this wasn't there area of specialty and sent me to a psychiatrist and he immediately weined me off it. I will always remember 2 weeks off being weaned off it (vert slowly), getting out of my chair and saying "I am back"!
Pam , the strange part was I  never knew I was gone. I never felt the symptons. I don't know why the 2 times were sooo different.
My best advice is talk  and talk more to your doctor, these are very dangerous drugs to regulate, they can have great outcomes but dosages are very tricky to get right.
Lots of prayers for you to keep the strength you show to Lauren-Cathy

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam,
I was originally stared off on a 50mg dose of Zoloft and took it daily (January, start of chemo) and after a month and a half, it seemed to not be helping too much. Apparently, one of my stature (5'10" 200lb, not that I'm fat, 34 waist, not a lot of belly fat) this dose was not enough. They upped it to 100mg, and I've been on that dose for about 3 months. Never had any side effects, and I agree that it takes some time for this medicine to take effect.  I'm continuing to take it even though I've been done with radiation/chemo since the 2nd week of June, not sure if I'll stop to be honest. I was high strung to begin with, and it seems that I'm a bit more mellow on the Zoloft. Ask my wife, she'll tell you the same thing! Take the half dose for a week, then up the dose to what they prescribed and you should be fine...

Derin

Husband to Eileen, Dad to Hunter (15) and Sydney (13)
Attitude is everything, you have to keep it positive! And take it one day at a time, it's all anyone can do with this disease...

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam:
My doc prescribed Paxil for me and I had hallucinations the first night! I wouldn't touch them again if someone paid me. But I did recently start Xanax and it's saving my sanity. I only take a .25mg dose. I can take 4 a day but limit it to 2. I still get a little depression but it is helping a LOT. No more anxiety attacks and I think I'm more even keeled.
Good luck with the Zoloft. I have a friend who's been on it for a couple of years. I don't remember her having a problem when she started, but it's saving her sanity, too.

KrisJ
"Don't just have minutes in the day; have moments in time."
Any opinions I give are based on personal experiences, and are not based on medical knowledge. I strongly suggest receiving medical care and opinions.

15 (edited by tiff1496 Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:47:38)

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam, I'm on remron. It's a very good one. The thing I like about it is you take it at night. They say it can help you sleep, but it doesn't me. I can tell a difference since I have been on it. I have also tried other drugs, but didn't like them for the same reasons as you. Maybe ask your doctor about remron?

~Tiffany~ 31 years young wink Fighting CC since 10-27-2011
Wife to Brian; Mommy to Carter (8) and Madison (4)
http://tiffanyschwantes.wordpress.com/
Liver transplant 7-9-2013

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Tiff....is it Remeron?  And, why are you not sleeping.  Steroids?
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam,  I was on zoloft several years ago. 

The doc gave me a starter back and built up the dosage very slowly. 

I believe I started on 10 mg for 7 days , then 25mg  for 2 weeks etc...finally up to 50mg.

I was very nausous in the beginning and felt weird but that eventually wore off and the medication worked really well and got me thru a very tough time in my life.

Getting off the medication was the same slow process.

Don't give up on taking them too soon.  It could be just what you need.

Since my husband was diagnosed I've been on Lexapro.  that works also.

Peony

Re: Questions about antidepressants

I was also on Remeron Tiffany and what I liked about it was that the side effects helped me a lot during treatment.  Increased appetite and help sleeping at night.  Another good thing about it is that you do not have to wait for it to build up in your body to get the good effects and you do not have to wean off of it if I remember correctly.

I was told it was an "old" anti-depressant, but it definitely worked for me and i did not feel dopey or anything.  Taking it at night definitely helps.

After treatment for awhile I was taking xanax to help me sleep. 

Just remember that there are drugs for depression and different drugs entirely for anxiety.  I think during treatment I was depressed, but later on just had anxiety (thinking the worst, dreading scans,etc.)  Xanax is for anxiety, Remeron was for depression.

I personally think it's important to be diagnosed by a therapist so that you are getting the right drug to address the problem.

Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

I have been on celexa (like lexapro) for about  5 years. It has been great. Take Xanax if I need to' but very rare.
Jtoro

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Well everyone, I have given it a week at half the dose and I am better with the crying. I don't have the outbursts of crying anymore. But, I can't stand the side effects. The nausea and headache are gone, but ever since starting this medication it feels like I have a rapid heartbeat. I am afraid I will have a heart attack or something. I feel it most up in my throat. I know, weird. Last night, my husband and I went to dinner and I felt really so strange. Like my body was going crazy inside and I had to take deep breaths to calm down. Calm on the outside, but freaking out on the inside. It is so hard to explain. I am calling Monday to see if I can be put on something else. I do not want to feel like that again. Thanks so much for all of your comments. I just hope I find something that works.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Pam, we know ourselves the best! That is how I feel sometimes from my Prednisone (Dreadnisone). Hunt and peck until you find something that works be it  an RX or something natural. BTW, you saw right through me today in posts! I LOVE YOU and thank you!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

You are welcome and I will always have your back. I love you too. You have helped me and so many others more than you will ever know. Take care.

Love, -Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Dear Pam,  Sending positive thoughts that you will find something that will work for you. You have so much on your shoulders and you are such a wonderful mother and caregiver to all. Make sure you are finding some time just for you! Manicure, pedicure perhaps? Yoga classes? Or even just a walk by yourself. I was going to start yoga when I broke my arm and now I am held up with a frozen shoulder but I am looking forward to starting one day. It has helped my daughter, who suffers from depression. Sending love to you and Lauren. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Lainy,  My 14 year old cat was put on prednisone and she is just like a kitten again! She is doing so much better. I told my daughter, who is suffering similar ailments to my cat, that maybe she should try prednisone and she said "heck no, way too many side effects". (She is an RN). It is too bad it causes so many side effects for some, because it is good at what it does! Anyway, I am weaning the cat off of it now so I hope it has done it's job. One day we will be free of cancer and other diseases such as MS and arthritis and we will no longer need "dreadnisone". Love and hugs. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Questions about antidepressants

Thanks, Nancy.  It's 10 months now but I forsee another couple of months and then hopefully can get a life again. Yes, I agree, it is good at what it does but the side effects are awful. I have them all. I also have a new found respect for anyone with UC. Funny thing is it is such a miracle drug and so CHEAP. Costs me about $7 a month, while a healing RX called Lialda for the stomach lining costs me $175 a month. Go figure! You wrote, "One day we will be free of cancer and other diseases such as MS and arthritis". My religion has a little saying that goes like this, for what you said, "From your mouth to God's ears".

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.