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Today, it seems that everyone is on prozac or paxil or zoloft for depression. I know these drugs are usually prescribed (or should I say OVERLY prescribed) for a period of a few months.I have been on 100mg of Zoloft for two years. I am a little worried about side effects (such as brain tumors from use of the drug). So I have started weaning myself off the medication.It's been 3 weeks now, and I am down to 55 mg each night (approximately), but now I am feeling blue again. Is this normal? Should I stay on the Zoloft? Could I have chronic/long term depression and need another medication? (I haven't talked to my doctor yet, but wanted to get feedback from some of you first.)Thanks gang
 

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Sorry .. see you did this on your own. I would recommend that you speak to your physician before you start changing any dosages.Good luck
 

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Hi Jen, Any time you decide to make medication changes it's a good idea to make those changes with your Doctor following your progress.Taking yourself off a medication, any medication, is a medical process.Any chemical change in your body is bound to cause a chemical change reaction,So the judgement call on is it the medication change or a further manifestation of clinical depression is a question that can only be responsibly answered by your Doctor.Please talk to your Doctor.You know, a lot is to be said for therapy and alternative practices.I've lived and breathed the world of alternative practices forever and a day.But sometimes, in life, there are parts of life in which the body just might need some medicine to help with functions in the body that are beyond the obvious.In my case, I suffered for years with many a malady only to find out recently that many of my problems were due to excess unopposed estrogen, in particular, Estradiol, in my body.Now tell me this...how on earth is THERAPY gonna deal with that?Well, the answer is...it's not....Oh therapy can help you cope and therapy may help your mental out look but therapy does doodly nuthin for the fact of the chemical brain needs.And boy howdy, don't you know hormones in all their excess or depletion do mess with the whole chemistry of ones body.SSRI's and Tricyclic antidepressants get a bum rap for a few reasons.One, they are over prescribed.and two, they are often prescribed for the wrong reasons.But that does not mean that if you need one of those meds for your personal situation that it's wrong for you.So for people who don't need that particular kind of medicine, yes indeed, it's the wrong and worst choice.The reality and decision regarding your real needs is a matter that should be discussed with your Doctor.After all, your doctor has seen you in person and will be better able to let you know if your needs are correctly assessed regarding this medication.And if you are not sure if you have been assessed correctly then it might be time to seek a second opinion.You know, I had this thing happen not too long ago regarding my prescription combo of Elavil and Prozac.I had to go to the ER for tachycardia and a bowel shut down.So the ER doctor gets all judgmental and tells me that my meds aren't doing me any good and I just need to get my lifetogether and he suggesed THERAPY.Well, I wasn't feeling too good so didn't say anything and just endured so I could get assistence in getting the pressure off my heart and get my pulse down.HOWEVERMy inner feelings were this:Now just HOW am I supposed to get my life together when all of my female organs except for one only ovary had been excavated from my body and I have a malfunctioning colon because of adhesions on the outside of my gut and my hormones were dropping at the speed of light.Most people simply don't realize how insanely physically and emotionally painful it is to be trapped in the throws of surgically induced menopause.The hot flashes alone dehydrated me and left me weak.It can be a terrible ordeal.It's such a difficult ordeal that my colon shut down some 20 days after my surgery and I needed emergency surgery to get it going again.Well a lot of people would say....silly woman,take hormone replacement therapy.but I don't want hormone replacement therapy because my mother and my mothers sister both had Breast Cancer and the whole Estrogen nightmare runs rampant in my female family.So for me, and many others too who have real brain chemical needs, certain medications are a God Send.Did you know that SSRI's and Tricyclic antidepressants actually help to regulate the brain to bring hotflashes to a halt.YES! it's that amazing what they do.And if they can regulate the inner furnace then what is said about the brain gut connection just might be valid too.So if the problem is more of a chemical problem then medication just might be a good answer.If the problem is an issue problem then therapy might be the answer.So only you and your doctor can decide on what might be the right course of action regarding your body.It is the wise person who know the limitations of any modality whether traditional medicine or alternative.Do your own research and learn all you can.In the long run, the information you give yourself will be your greates help.Hugs,Kamie
 

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Hi JenS,Have you looked into Sam-e? I had posted a link to the article at one time. I have to find it and I'll put it here when I do. Definitely talk to your doctor before you try it though.Kari
 

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Okay here is one of them:Newsweek Volume 12, Issue 133March 22, 1999 The 'Sammy' Solution A new supplement may help relieve depression and arthritis as well Author: GEOFFREY COWLEY With ANNE UNDERWOODSection: Science and TechnologyPage: 65Article Text:WHEN A PILL PURPORTS TO fix everything from aching joints to flagging spirits, you can guess it's probably snake oil. But Same ("Sammy"), a dietary supplement reaching U.S. drugstores this month, may just buck that rule. Few Americans have heard of the stuff (SAMe stands for S-adenosyl-methionine), but it's been used for two decades in Europe to treat arthritis and depression. A quick review of the medical literature shows why. SAMe appears comparable to state-of-the-art treatments for both conditions. And unlike the leading drug therapies, it lacks significant side effects. Dr. Richard Brown, a Columbia University psychiatrist, declares it "the best antidepressant I've ever prescribed." The new remedy is not an herb. It's a compound that our bodies make from methionine, an amino acid found in proteinrich foods. When nudged by vitamin B12 and folic acid, SAMe gives up a piece of itself (a so-called methyl group) to neighboring tissues and organs. The transaction supports an array of vital processes the maintenance of cell membranes. the removal of toxic substances from the body and the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. And when SAMe finishes its work as a "methyl donor," its breakdown generates still other valuable molecules, including "sulfate groups" that help maintain the cartilage in our joints. "It's involved in almost everything." says neuropharmacologist Teodoro Bottiglieri of Baylor University in Dallas. Researchers started investigating SAMe as an antidepressant back in the 1970s, after an Italian lab learned to produce it in cell cultures. Controlled studies suggest that 70 percent of depressed patients respond to SAMe - roughly the same proportion that benefits from any established drug treatment. Experts don't recommend it for people with bipolar disorder, since it could exacerbate their mania. But SAMe appears effective against major depression as well as mild blues. It hasn't been found to cause the side effects associated with prescription antidepressants (constipation, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction). And it tends to work more quickly. "I felt better in less than a week." says Lisa Interollo, a New York writer who has managed her once intractable depression with SAMe for nearly four years. "It was the first treatment that really worked for me. and the first one that didn't leave me feeling drugged." Some of the first patients given SAMe for depression happened to suffer from osteoarthritis as well. And when they reported improvements in their joint pain, researchers saw another potential use. More than 22,000 arthritis sufferers have now been through studies comparing SAMe with placebos or with anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. After four weeks of treatment, patients taking SAMe get as much relief as those taking NSAIDs. Animal studies suggest that the compound may restore damaged cartilage, not just dampen pain. And whereas NSAIDs damage the lining of the stomach. SAMe may actively protect it. SAMe is sold by prescription in Europe, but Pharmavite and GNC stores will sell it as an over-the-counter supplement in this country. They're changing the name to SAM-e (partly to keep people from pronouncing it "same"). And to ward off government regulation, they're avoiding overt therapeutic claims, saving only that SAM-e promotes "joint health" and "emotional well-being." The new supplement won't be cheap; a 10-day (20-pill) supply of Pharmavite's Nature Made brand will go for approximately $25 in most stores. But it's cheaper than many prescription remedies. And if it lives up to its promise, it may be more valuable.
 
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