Poll Were You Ever Prescribed Antidepressants for ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia?

Where you ever prescribed antidepressants for ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia; if so, how did it go?

  • Never prescribed

    Votes: 11 11.1%
  • Prescribed - They provided some help

    Votes: 29 29.3%
  • Prescribed - They were a major help

    Votes: 6 6.1%
  • Prescribed - They provided no help

    Votes: 14 14.1%
  • Prescribed - They made me somewhat worse

    Votes: 14 14.1%
  • Prescribed - They made me a lot worse

    Votes: 25 25.3%

  • Total voters
    99

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are often mistaken for depression and antidepressants are often a doctors first option. The situation is complicated by the fact that depression is not uncommon in either disease, and antidepressants can relieve pain in people with FM and ME/CFS who are not depressed. Some antidepressants may also affect immune functioning; antidepressants are not just for depression anymore.

Studies suggest, however, that antidepressants are not particularly helpful for most people.

The question is "Were you ever prescribed antidepressants and if so, how did it go?

Provide more complete reviews in our review section
 
Last edited:

AnneVA

Active Member
My family member was prescribed 75mg of Effexor XR at bedtime to help with pain at night (effort to get better sleep without EDS pain disrupting it) and to help raise blood pressure (also is dealing with neurally mediated hypotension - NMH). She could not tolerate that dose. She is on 37.5mg now and that seems to help some. She also takes a very low 50 mg of 5-HTP, a precursor to prozac. It has helped with a POTS symptom of out of the blue feelings of "doom".
 

Carrie Conley

Moderator
I have been on Effexor for a few years. Before I was even diagnosed with fibro. Its is a good med for my depression so I havent let the drs change it. It does have alot of the same ingredients as the others so I would imagine it could be prescribed for fibro pain too.
 

LondonPots

Active Member
My doctor prescribed me antidepressants years back, on the basis that 'at least they will help you sleep' - I'm not sure what his logic was, but hey. I took just ONE, and lay awake in bed for hours feeling so unbelievably weird and nauseous that I threw the rest in the bin. Horrible.
 

fdotx

Well-Known Member
I've tried every anti depressant out there and never noticed anything positive or negative about any of them. I wasn't taking them for depression so maybe that's why......
 

Tracy

New Member
I tried Wellbutrin and it worked on both pain and the exhaustion I was feeling. I was on a low dose but unfortunately I started having some extreme mood problems with it and had to go off. My mind is better now but the worn out feeling is back along with the aches. Quit smoking though - that is what I actually went on it for (Zyban). It helped me to quit smoking and then I found it helped with some of my FM symptoms. This has made me a little more willing to try other antidepressants as my doctor said that they can help increase energy. I am now going to try Prozac.
 

Zapped

Well-Known Member
I started with Prozac and later switched to Zoloft (Sertraline) after ~a year (and reading all the hoopla about Prozac, its long half life, etc.).

I feel that both helped about the same with an anxious emotional state, i.e. anxiety leveled off and enabled deeper focus, which I liked. After ~5 years on Zoloft my then trusted GP said 100mg wasn't very much and persuaded me to double it to help with the systemic pain. I didn't notice a lot of difference with 2x dosage but became somewhat more ambivalent, stoic, mellow... ?

Rather than add even more, I titrated back to 100mg after a while and have stayed on it for years. (The reported usual side effects for me were/are about the same, irrespective of dosage.) A few years ago I titrated over to Wellbutrin but it made me so nervous I went back to Zoloft, presumably psychologically accustomed to it. I think it has helped with pain if not overall equanimity.

FWIW, I have recently decided to see it I can give it up completely and have been titrating down, now to about 25mg, while adding 5-HTP and SAM-E to keep Serotonin balanced when I get to zero. I hope this self directed protocol will keep me out of a cage. ...We'll see; so far, so good... .
 

Emma Peters

New Member
I was diagnosed first with depression, then fibromyalgia, then they decided the depression was more likely to be PTSD anxiety.
I was on Citalopram for several years, I did find it helped me be a little more stable, and the pain was slightly less, but I put on weight, my memory got worse and worse and I lost my sex drive entirely. (Not that I had much of one anyway with fibro and anxiety to deal with.) A couple of years ago i had a really bad anxiety crash, and was put on prozac for a while. I had 8 days of horrific side effects (massive mood swings, crying, palpitations, panic attacks, nausea, hyperventilating and eventual blackout) and ended up at the emergency doctor who put me on valium and beta blockers for 2 weeks to slow my heart rate back down! I was a mess for about a month after I stopped taking them because of their ludicrous half-life. A lot of people swear by Prozac, apparently my body is intolerant of it. I've been on Sertraline for the last year or so, I do find it helps a bit with the anxiety. The only side effect I get from Sertraline is teeth grinding. I don't seem to have put on weight so far. I'm on a very low dose due to meds sensitivity, 25 mg daily; I recently put it up to 50mg for a couple of months, my sleeping worsened and my sex drive died instantly, and I didn't feel it helped with anxiety any more than the lower dose, so I'm back down to the 25mg.

I can't get Wellbutrin here (UK) as they won't prescribe it. I'm considering trying Amitriptyline as a lot of people have said it helped them, but I'm a bit frightened of swapping meds around since the Prozac debacle lol.
 

Seeksassy

Active Member
I tried many different antidepressants (except prozac) over the first five years or so of fibro and some of them helped a little with pain for 1-3 months, and then they didn't work anymore. It's so long ago now that I don't remembered the details of each but for a couple of them the side effects weren't worth the small decrease in pain. Trazadone does help me get to sleep and I've been using it for years.
 

Karen PT

Member
I was on Celexa and my doctor changed me to Cymbalta because it helped some fibro patients with the brain fog. I had had CFS/ME for about 10 years, but had new onset of brain fog. It did help with the brain fog; I still have cognitive deficits, but it doesn't feel like fog. She started me on 30mg and I had too much nervous energy, so we lowered the dose to 20 mg and I tolerated that well. I have also battled depression. When I started cymbalta, I didn't have pain.
 

TigerLilea

Well-Known Member
My doctor prescribed Zoloft for one month then took me off of them. She was pretty sure that her diagnosis of CFS was correct, but she just wanted to be absolutely sure.
 

Seeksassy

Active Member
I was on Celexa and my doctor changed me to Cymbalta because it helped some fibro patients with the brain fog. I had had CFS/ME for about 10 years, but had new onset of brain fog. It did help with the brain fog; I still have cognitive deficits, but it doesn't feel like fog. She started me on 30mg and I had too much nervous energy, so we lowered the dose to 20 mg and I tolerated that well. I have also battled depression. When I started cymbalta, I didn't have pain.
I tried cymbalta on 2 different occasions, probably a couple of years apart. I "think" (brain fog prevents me from ever being sure of anything, anymore!) that it may have helped a little with pain, but messed up my head ... could be the other way around, lol!
 

Merida

Well-Known Member
I started on low dose Wellbutrin when I was completely bed ridden 1 year. I was very jittery for a week, but finally began to feel enough energy to get out of bed, begin walking and pool therapy. Side effects stopped. Wellbutrin helped severe constipation, brought back motivation and energy. A very helpful drug until it stopped working about 6 years later.
 

Croatoan

Well-Known Member
ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are often mistaken for depression and antidepressants are often a doctors first option. The situation is complicated by the fact that depression is not uncommon in either disease, and antidepressants can relieve pain in people with FM and ME/CFS who are not depressed. Some antidepressants may also affect immune functioning; antidepressants are not just for depression anymore.

Studies suggest, however, that antidepressants are not particularly helpful for most people.

The question is "Were you ever prescribed antidepressants and if so, how did it go?

Provide more complete reviews in our review section
I do not think the depression is misdiagnosed. I think they both share a common root that has to do with how serotonin and/or glutamate and/or dopamine effect both the immune system and mood.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10080856
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20619420
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3503927

And this is a great article:
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/26858/title/Serotonin--Repurposed/

Increasing or decreasing serotonin will effect both the mood and the immune system. I saw this while I was on prozac.

When you stop looking at these as separate diseases it will all start to make sense.
 

IrisRV

Well-Known Member
When you stop looking at these as separate diseases it will all start to make sense.
How do you explain the fact that many PWME do not have depression if ME and depression are the same disease? I'm not arguing that there could be a lot of depression in ME, both endogenous and situational. I just question whether they are the same disease if many PWME don't have depression and antidepressants don't elminate most ME symptoms.
 

Seeksassy

Active Member
How do you explain the fact that many PWME do not have depression if ME and depression are the same disease? I'm not arguing that there could be a lot of depression in ME, both endogenous and situational. I just question whether they are the same disease if many PWME don't have depression and antidepressants don't elminate most ME symptoms.
I don't believe depression is the same as ME/CFS/FMS. For me, being sick is "depressing" which isn't the same as being clinically depressed. This view has been supported by a couple of psychiatrists who took very in depth analyses of my history. I saw these docs in the hope that I was depressed and that antidepressants and counselling would cure me. No such luck, unfortunately. And I don't by any means mean to say it would be lucky to be clinically depressed, I know depression can be deadly, but it can also, often, be treated.
 

Croatoan

Well-Known Member
How do you explain the fact that many PWME do not have depression if ME and depression are the same disease? I'm not arguing that there could be a lot of depression in ME, both endogenous and situational. I just question whether they are the same disease if many PWME don't have depression and antidepressants don't elminate most ME symptoms.
I am not saying they are the same disease. I said they might share a common root. The same amount of serotonin will not cause the same issues in everyone. That depends on there serotonin reuptake (SLC6A4) and their serotonin receptor (HTR2A) genetics.

There are several studies that point to serotonin being part of the issue:
http://www.bmj.com/content/315/7101/164
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X03020497

And serotonin is also an immune modulator.

Please do not think this means I am saying that people with ME are "just depressed". As someone who spent too much time in a psychiatric hospital, I now know that my illness was not "all in my head".
 

Croatoan

Well-Known Member
How do you explain the fact that many PWME do not have depression if ME and depression are the same disease? I'm not arguing that there could be a lot of depression in ME, both endogenous and situational. I just question whether they are the same disease if many PWME don't have depression and antidepressants don't elminate most ME symptoms.
As I say in another reply, I do not think they are the same, i think they share the same root, we all have different serotonin transport and reputake genes, as well as a different ability to produce serotonin. While serotonin may effect us with CFS the same way in the immune systems, it might effect us differently in the nervous system.

Antidepressants do not work because they only block serotonin uptake in the neurons and play a limited role in the immune system. They helped me because it lowered the amount of serotonin that was creating oxidative stress in my serotonin nerves. (Slow MAOA genes)

See this for all the genes that can effect our reaction and production of serotonin.
https://www.pharmgkb.org/views/pathway/PA161749006.png

The only way to find out how you are unique is to get your genome. To me there is no cure outside of that.
 

Forum Tips

Support Our Work

DO IT MONTHLY

HEALTH RISING IS NOT A 501 (c) 3 NON-PROFIT

Shopping on Amazon.com For HR

Latest Resources

Top