Anti-depressant question

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Gina B, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Yesterday I looked up information on a perscription my doctor gave me.
    I had discussed using a nerve blocker to help with chronic pain after trying a number of meds that didn't help.
    He perscribed Elavil. It's a nerve blocker from what I read, but it usually used as an anti-depressant/anti-psychotic drug.
    It's helped a lot as far as being able to function without as much pain. But...what happens to a non-depressed person when they take anti-depressants? :confused: I did notice that when I forgot to take it for two days in a row I was in an almost disgustingly good mood, but wouldn't it seem like it should be the opposite way?
    Also, it's helped with tremors, although the information on it says that people who are on it often DEVELOP tremors.
    Any clue why this stuff is? I don't see the doctor again until September, and it's not bothering me enough to go in and talk to him about it early, but it certainly has me curious! Plus if it's an anti-psychotic and I'm not psychotic and it's doing opposite things to me, what if I turn psychotic!? :eek: (go ahead some of you, bite that tongue!)
    Gina
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    I was on Elavil (Amitryptaline family) for years. Yes, for depression type of stress after a physical breakdown. It is so problematic that the Navy rejected my reactivation in 1984 because I was on it. I got off asap, but not easy.

    MD here in Casper said Elavil would help with the severe nerve pain in feet/legs. Its "side effect" of the emotional help was found to be for people with neuropathy, arthritis, gout, etc.

    I opted NOT to get hooked again. Bad news stuff, even in small dosage. PM if you want more info
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Pharmacists are often more conversant on drugs than doctors...their services are free for the asking.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. SpiritualMadMan

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    Doctors seem to be taught that there is no cure for depression only a drug treatment for the symptoms...

    This leads to two problems...

    Prescribing dosages larger than actually required to give the help actually needed...

    Prescribing dosages for long terms and being completely unwilling to back a patient off.

    Why would a doctor prescribe a 'Classic' anti-depressant over a low dose narcotic for pain?

    Because prescribing a low-dose narcotic over a similar term as they would for the anti-depressant garners the attention of DEA types...

    Some doctors actually get 'incentives' for prescribing certain 'brand-name' medications...

    As for me... I don't trust anything that is not yet available as a generic... For one thing the formula has been looked at by other people for flaws, it's been used by large numbers of people... And, I can afford it without insurance! :D
     
  5. Ben W

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    Maybe if a narcotic type medication does not work it would be logical to try something else like this?
     
  6. Gina B

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    I AM trying it and have been on it for about two months now.
    My question is the possible side effects of taking an anti depressant when you're not depressed, and why it seems to be having some opposite side effects on me than what the side effects listed are.
    Gina
     
  7. Ben W

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    Side effect lists are only ever going to be genralised. Are you on anything else? If you take more than one at a time it can cause other side effects.

    What I can suggest is maybe Acupuncture might be worth a go, a number of people claim that it does wonders for pain.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    There are several antidepressants that are used to help with pain relief. Elavil is just one of them.

    All antidepressants affect different people in different ways. That is because our brain chemistries are as individual as we are.

    Son who is nine takesa small dose of Elavil as a migraine preventative. It is generally considered safe. It can be addictive(it was one of the drugs my mother was addicted to)if taken to long or in the wrong dose. We had to adjust Son's dosage because it made him sleep a LOT.

    Sometimes you just have to go with what seems to work. Knowing your own body will go a long way in preventing problems.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    What are you taking? 2mg.

    Psychiatric use (for depression) is 10 times that for starters!
     
  10. Gina B

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    Guess that I was wrong on what the lowest dose available is...he started me on ten mg.

    Menagerie, BenW, I quit taking anything else. The last two I was on were naproxin and then flexeril. The one regular pain one I was on for a while was Tramadol (generic version of Ultram) but that didn't do a thing.

    I WILL be depressed if I get a bunch of needles stuck in me! EKE! [​IMG] My daughter's uncle in China is a doctor and has said he will send the right stuff, it'll be interesting to see what he sends.
     
  11. donnA

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    I took naproxin for my back, two weeks later I was in so much pain I could hardly walk. I take it it didn't help you either. It has a nasty sideeffect.
    Talk with your pharmacist, he knows much more about prescrition drugs then doctors do.
     
  12. Jude

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    I have suffered from an anxiety disorder, and still have it (probably always will), but really don't 'suffer' at this point. I have used Xanax in the past, and if I do remember, did even try Elavil for a while. I was also prescribed Zoloft several years ago, but it was such a HORRIBLE experience I quit after 10 days. I really don't know what to think of SSRI's or many of these 'tranquilizers'. I certainly don't condemn people who need medication for depression/anxiety,etc., but I do wonder about the safety of many of these drugs.
     
  13. dianetavegia

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    Dr. gave me Flexeril for TMJ and I read the side effects and took the bottle, unopened, right back to the pharmacy! Spooky side effects! In fact, you can sleep so deeply that you couldn't waken to care for your children if you needed to! I understand it causes disturbed sleep patterns because of VIVID dreams.

    Our dil takes Elavil for her OCD and 'Depression'. Sandra tried to wean off when she was pregnant and could not. She lost the first baby and little Jack is the one with grand mal seizures. She took the meds during the second and third trimester with him.

    Diane
     
  14. Gina B

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    This seems to have helped somewhat with the TMJ also, although the plain old pain from chewing still happens if I overdo it. Nothing hard or chewy. Peanuts are the WORST for causing a flareup! Steak is not an option. Etc..
    The Elavil is now starting to make me sleep too. The Flexeril didn't. I'm trying to figure out if it's the medicine making me oversleep or if it's just letting me catch up on the sleep I've missed the last few years. It had been a while since I slept more than a couple hours in a row, I'd go without sleep sometimes.
    It IS a deep sleep, and I haven't had nightmares like before. I rather like that side affect. [​IMG]
     
  15. Ben W

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    Just to point out Gina, that Acupuncture is not like getting injections (yuk!) but more like small pin pricks. My wife had some really bad back pain and in desperation we took her there for treatment and it really did seem to make a difference. People have it done to help quit smoking and for all manner of things, I saw it work on my wifes back pain, so I am open to it being able to work in different situations, and maybe even for you in yours.

    One thing that I can do is to remember to pray for you. Your advantage there is that in the nighttime in America when you are supposed to be asleep, it is daytime here, so hence I can pray right when you are resting that God will help you to rest, So think on that next time you are doing it tough. [​IMG]
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    What about dreams? Dreams are a sign of GOOD deep rem-stage sleep.

    Before diagnosed with apnea, I was not dreaming. I had lost that and was sleeping "hard" and waking up tired. Found I was getting less than 7 minutes (total) rem sleep in 8 hours.

    I had not noticed the lack of dreams! Then when using the CPAP, I actually was getting 4+ hours rem, dreams and nightmares returning and getting by on lots less sleep and feeling rested. Amazing.
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    Elavil is an antidepressant used to enhance Stage IV sleep. It clearly elevates serotonin levels.

    Elavil seems to have some effect on the "hunger center" in the brain, exactly what it is isn't clear.

    Elavil belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclics. They are effective for depression and pain control. Elavil is relatively sedating which can limit it usefulness. It takes about 3 weeks or longer for the antidepressant effect to begin, you will also experience a dry mouth and constipation.

    Elavil is not habit forming in small doses (doses used for chronic pain are usually smaller than for depression and less likely to cause the cardiac problem). Warning: Elavil should NOT be stopped without consulting your doctor and never stopped abruptly.

    Elavil warning: If you take this drug at bedtime and dosage is missed, do NOT take it in morning. If you remember you missed it within one hour of the normal time, take the dose. If over an hour skip and then continue on your normal schedule.
    Never Take a Double Dose!

    Elavil overdose can be fatal. Symptoms include: Change in body temperature, convulsions, coma, congestive heart failure, or vomiting. Warning signs: Agitation, high body temperature, excessive movement, flushing, or stiff muscles.

    Elavil will have these common side effects: Blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness, dry mouth, increased sensitivity to sun, low blood pressure, increase in sweating, sleepiness, or weight gain.

    Elavil will have these rare side effects: Confusion, increased appetite, insomnia, racing heartbeat/palpitations, seizures, sexual problems, or skin rashes/allergies.
     
  18. Gina B

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    Thanks Ben, that's very sweet of you! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the info Dr. Bob! The increased sensitivity to sun is definitely obvious, or any increase in temperature. But...it just feels more warm than it should and I go somewhere cooler and am fine. The good thing though is that where ANY change in temperature, higher OR lower, used to make me shake uncontrollably and feel weak, now it doesn't.

    It's good to know not to take it in the day. I had been doing that when I forgot it at night.

    I don't know about the dream thing. I'm not having any as far as I can remember and I usually do remember, but I know I'm sleeping deep because I sleep by the door on the couch and neighbors are telling me that they've knocked and I haven't answered, or I'll have messages on the phone machine and will not have heard it ring, where before I'd jump ten feet if either happened.

    I still wake up immediately if I hear a kid's voice though. LOL

    Gina
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    It may be that once you have been on it for a few months that the side effects will lessen. Son has been on it for about six months. At ten mgs we couldn't get him awake in the mornings even if we splashed cold water in his face. At five we could wake him in the mornings but if he fell asleep on the couch we at first couldn't wake him up to go to bed. Now if we need him to wake up during the night it is much easier. He doesn't remember being woke though.

    I take prozac now and have taken paxil in the past. Both make me sleep much sounder. I've missed entire thunderstorms, phones ringing and husband getting up ill during the night. Like you though if I hear the kids I am wide awake. It's a mother thing.
     
  20. Melanie

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    As a user of the antitricyclics for donkeys years I can say it usually takes several weeks to get a noticible response, the dose is titrated by the medico and then usually by the patient when and if it becomes an established regime. This is for the person with a depressive problem.
    Chronic pain is a misery. I do not know Elavil by that name, it may not be available in Oz, but I do know that some chronic pain sufferers are helped with antiepileptic type drugs. All these act on the brain chemistry in ways that are not always well understood by the medical profession.

    If you have the misery of chronic pain you need to work with you doctor and or try alternative methods. Quite frankly, do not turn your back on acupuncture it can be of great benefit, and the needles are so fine you are unlikely to feel any or most of them......Babies and children are acupunctured in Asia and babies anywhere will cry if they hurt.

    Good luck Gina, keep us posted
     

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