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Antidepressants for IBS-C?


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#1 Guineagirl

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 08:13 AM

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Has anyone tried SSRI's for IBS-C symptoms? I used to take Zoloft, for a decade or so, and it was when I got off of it that my IBS-C got bad. I was fine digestion-wise while on the Zoloft, but other problems made me decide to get off of it. I'm considering taking a very low dose of it again to see if that might help. I've been taking Linzess every couple days or so for the last 10 months, but I would like to be able to not have to take it. But it seems it IBS symptoms creep back up whenever I try to stop it, namely, bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort and weird stomach rumbling at night that interferes with sleep. And of course the C in IBS-C. 

 

Anybody had any luck with Antidepressants treating their symptoms?



#2 exch915

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:46 PM

I've been taking Remeron every day for several years to help me sleep (it does a great job) but it hasn't done a thing for my constipation.  I also take Xanax but a very small dose which also hasn't done a thing for my IBS-C.  Just saying.......



#3 October_55

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:29 PM

I was going to  post a new topic very similar to OP's but will tag on this one. 

 

I too am very interested in whether SSRI's or SNRI's might be an answer to what I think (and what my gastro Doc thinks) may be my problem:  Visceral Hypersensitivity which is a fancy term for being much more sensitive to colon sensations than non-IBS people.

 

I wouldn't have ever considered taking antidepressants for my lower left quadrant pain except for the fact that nothing else much has worked for my pain.  There is also a a very hopeful statement on this excellent website https://www.med.unc....depressants.pdf   which explains the use of antidepressants for IBS:

 

"Finally, a recent observation relates to growing knowledge that antidepressants may also stimulate nerve cell growth and possibly restore more normal nerve functioning in the brain and intestines over time. This is why at our Center we might recommend treatment for a year or two before tapering off the medication."  

 

This statement implies that you might not have to stay on antidepressants forever.  That got me excited about trying them for my pain.  

 

I am very interested about what is considered the best SSRI or SNRI to use in low dosages for IBS pain. The common SSRI's are   Citalopram (Celexa)  Escitalopram (Lexapro)  Paroxetine (Paxil)  Sertraline (Zoloft)  Fluoxetine (Prozac).   

 

The SNRI's are:   Venlafaxine (Effexor)  Duloxetine (Cymbalta)  Desvenlavaxine (Pristiq)  Milnacipram (Savella).

 

If you are taking antidepressants for IBS please post which one you are taking and your experience with it. 

 

Just a little background about me:   My IBS lower left pain is directly related to surgery that I had nine weeks ago.  I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy yesterday which were both normal.  The prep  completely eliminated may lower left quadrant pain, probably because there was no stool pushing up against the spot that is giving me such intense pain when I have the slightest bit of gas.  I can handle the constipation if I could get rid of the pain that I have for a large part of the day until my colon fills up and I am starting to need to poop.  The pain then recedes until I poop and stays away for a few hours after I poop until stool once again sits on the bad spot.  It's a pattern that is repeated every day, except for today after the colonoscopy prep. yesterday.



#4 jza

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:37 AM

Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can actually cause constipation. I've had SIBO-C the past few years, but I had IBS-D in my teens and escitalopram made the symptoms go away (they were brought on by anxiety).



#5 Guineagirl

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 09:57 AM

Hi October_55,

sorry you experience the left quadrant pain. Look forward to reading the article you mentioned. I was on Zoloft for over 10 years, and usually had normal bowel function. It was the same year I stopped the Zoloft my IBS-C symptoms began, and got worse for 3 years or so until I started Linzess. I actually tried getting back on it a few weeks ago to see if it would help with the constipation, well and for depression. But it affects my sleep somewhat and I don't feel as rested, and there are other side effects so I stopped it. But now even the Linzess isn't helping like it used to, so I'm actually considering a low dose of Zoloft again.

If you try an SSRI, let us know if it helps?


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#6 flossy

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:30 PM

Most of my family & family tree is on antidepressants, but not me. I always say, "Fitworks is my antidepressant." Yes, going to the gym several times a week can be as good as antidepressant meds.



#7 October_55

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:47 PM

Hi October_55,

sorry you experience the left quadrant pain. Look forward to reading the article you mentioned. I was on Zoloft for over 10 years, and usually had normal bowel function. It was the same year I stopped the Zoloft my IBS-C symptoms began, and got worse for 3 years or so until I started Linzess. I actually tried getting back on it a few weeks ago to see if it would help with the constipation, well and for depression. But it affects my sleep somewhat and I don't feel as rested, and there are other side effects so I stopped it. But now even the Linzess isn't helping like it used to, so I'm actually considering a low dose of Zoloft again.

If you try an SSRI, let us know if it helps?

Thanks Guineagirl,

 

I'm going back to my primary care doc on Monday and ask him if he has any ideas.  I have decided that I need my stools to be mushy all the time to prevent the pain or some kind of medicine to work on the Serotonin issues.  I'm also going to ask him for a referral to a "functional medicine" doc.  Unlike some folks, I can exactly pinpoint what caused my problem:  my incisional  hernia repair surgery nine weeks ago.  I'm hoping something can be figured out.

 

Do you feel that the Linzess kept your stools soft all the time or did it just help you to poop easier?



#8 Guineagirl

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

Thanks Guineagirl,

 

I'm going back to my primary care doc on Monday and ask him if he has any ideas.  I have decided that I need my stools to be mushy all the time to prevent the pain or some kind of medicine to work on the Serotonin issues.  I'm also going to ask him for a referral to a "functional medicine" doc.  Unlike some folks, I can exactly pinpoint what caused my problem:  my incisional  hernia repair surgery nine weeks ago.  I'm hoping something can be figured out.

 

Do you feel that the Linzess kept your stools soft all the time or did it just help you to poop easier?

Good luck with your doctor and hope you are healing well.

Yes, Linzess definitely make stools softer the days I take it, and it's more like D most of the time, so yes it does makes going easier. 



#9 Penzel

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:53 PM

Amitriptyline at 100mg helps my pain. 



#10 Fairydust44

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:54 PM

Ive been on antidepressants for 4 years and suffering with a mixture of IBS-C&D for a few years which has now gone into just IBS-C. Mine havent helped change my bowel habits at all! I changed my medication to one that shouldve helped with my bowel but it hasnt made any difference Im afraid :( I hope you can find something that works for you! Xx

#11 Penzel

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:43 PM

Ive been on antidepressants for 4 years and suffering with a mixture of IBS-C&D for a few years which has now gone into just IBS-C. Mine havent helped change my bowel habits at all! I changed my medication to one that shouldve helped with my bowel but it hasnt made any difference Im afraid sad.png I hope you can find something that works for you! Xx

Hi Fairydust, for managing constipation I've found magnesium citrate capsules 600-1000mg, probiotics, dried prunes, and 1-2 kiws/ day to be very helpful.

Have the antidepressants helped your pain at all.



#12 mpfiorv

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 02:25 PM

Lexapro is great for constipation

#13 sarahbear82

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 10:47 PM

I take Zoloft 50 mg once a day have been on for about 4 months. not sure does anything for my stomach issues. was prescribed by my pcp for anixety. though I think that needs increased

#14 Roby-in-RI

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 09:26 PM

I was on paxil for 20yrs and my Gastro and my Psych both agreed changing to another might be beneficial. I just tapered of the paxil and I'm on Zoloft 25mg now but it's only been a week. So far I can't tell but I will report back any positive results.



#15 aries_wmn

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 09:53 PM

I took celexa (generic is citalopram) for depression, but noticed it really helped my IBS. Unfortunately I had to discontinue it for other reasons. I currently take Fetzima, but it hasn't really impacted my IBS. 



#16 FinallyFree

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:56 PM

I'm 43, male, been suffering from IBS-C / sharp pain for over 25 years. It's beyond crippling. I've tried so many things but no permanent success. 

 

Looking at the mind gut connection, I've come to believe that my Parasympathetic nervous system is severely off balance. I tried 100 mg of Zoloft but no success.



#17 GJMody

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 07:51 AM

You have to continue or change meds. I have bipolar disorder and I take meds. Depression does effect bowels. Mind and gut are connected.





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