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Which antidepressent helped you best for your IBS ? Especially for abdominal discomfort/pain. I am currently taking 60mg Celexa and sometimes I think it's working a bit and other times I don't think at all. I can't even tell anymore. I have diarrhia maybe only once a month but mostly I have frequent stools which don't give me much relive. I am also very anxious and depressed about my IBS. I can't picture my life always being like that. My husband pretty much ingnores me when I am sad. Sometimes he tries to cheer me up and since it mostly doesn't work he gets upset with me. Than the whole thing makes me even more depressed because I can't cheer up on command when I don't feel good. There is just no support. I have to feel guilty for feeling sick. What other antidepressetns should I try ?
 

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I have tried about 6 for IBS-D and to tell you the truth none were really worth taking. Improvement was negligible. If I had to pick one it would be Effexor. Seemed to take the edge off the anxiety a little and give slight pain relief. It also had the most side effects however. Having said that everyone with IBS is different and your results may vary.
 
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Hang on - I'm sorry but why on earth is anyone taking an anti-depressant for IBS? These are really serious medicines - surely there are other options if your problems are IBS-related rather than psychiatric?Sue
 
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OK - yes thanks for the link but what I'm saying still stands - anti-depressants are, by their very nature - serious drugs - getting onto them and coming off can be extremely difficult and there can be very serious side-effects - I'd look long and hard at other alternatives first - it seems that they are being handed out like sweeties without exploring other possibilities as well.I'm on one so I do know what I'm on about but I have depression.Sue
 

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quote:Originally posted by SueV:OK - yes thanks for the link but what I'm saying still stands - anti-depressants are, by their very nature - serious drugs - getting onto them and coming off can be extremely difficult and there can be very serious side-effects - I'd look long and hard at other alternatives first - it seems that they are being handed out like sweeties without exploring other possibilities as well.I'm on one so I do know what I'm on about but I have depression.Sue
Agreed. I do not have depression but tried about 6 antidepressants to help with IBS-D. My wife said I was more mellow while on them and I did feel more alert and a general well-being feeling. More energy and drive as well. As far as helping my IBS-D they did very little. I did notice however when coming off them “cold turkey” my D was better. My theory is that for the weak or two after stopping my serotonin levels were nil and the bowels slowed down. For this reason I am trying to get on Lotronex that essentially works the same way by inhibiting the action of serotonin in the gut. On another note I recently read an article that stated most people on long-term antidepressants were still depressed. The drugs had little effect on the depression.I am sure some people have a chemical imbalance that causes depression for unknown reasons but most depression is caused by some life situation or stimuli or your reaction to it. If these things are not addressed and the proper therapies instituted the depression cannot improve by drugs alone. In other words simply taking a drug cannot get most people “over depression.” The problem now is most PCP’s simply prescribe them to anyone who is feeling “down in the dumps”. It amazes me how many people I know take them. I work primarily with women and at least half of them admit to taking them. I would bet many others are also taking them and do not admit it. Personally after my experience I think they are over rated.
 
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Interesting - I can only speak from my own experience - I'm 44 now and I'm sure over the years, have had bouts of depression - though never addressed it - but I was stopped in my tracks about this time last year and attempted suicide - I was put initially on prozac with disasterous results and eventually on Mitrazapene which after 6/8 long, long weeks and a spell in a psychiatric unit - started to look up. I'm still on them (30mg at night) and am very well, abit chubby but apart from that probably better than ever.But yes, it worries me that here in the UK, and from the sounds of it, in the US too - they are over-prescribed. I'm sure its a debate that will run and run.Sue
 

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In 1996 my doctor put me on Prozac for anxiety/panic attacks. The Prozac was not prescribed for my ibs, and at the time I wasn't even thinking of it as a help for the ibs. Once I was feeling better anxiety wise I did notice that my ibs attacks were less often and not as severe. Remember that antidepressants are not a cure-all for ibs. I still have ibs symptoms, I think though that the Prozac takes the edge off my obsessing/agonizing over having to deal with it. When I get up in the morning with ibs symptoms whether it be D or C (I'm a dual ibs personality) I recognize that I don't feel well but I don't let it control my life.
 
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Well thats fair enough jms - if, as a result of taking anti-d's for psychiatric symptoms/anxiety etc - you get relief for IBS - so much the better - all I'm saying is that surely they should not be the first port of call for purely IBS symptoms - make any sense???Sue
 

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SueV -Definitely ! I hope people don't take an anti-depressant solely for ibs alone. The point I was trying to make was: don't expect these medications to cure your ibs or wipe away all the symptoms.
 

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For some people taking antidepressants at doses usually too low to effect mood can have very positive effects on their IBS.Saying no one should ever take them unless they have a mood disorder means a lot of people would suffer when they do not have to.Tricyclics tend to be more helpful for IBS-D because they can be constipating, but they can be effective for a wide range of pain disorders.SSRI's are more likely to trigger diarrhea but can also be very effective for pain in a lot of people.No one ever said antidepressants are a cure all for IBS, but for some people they can be very useful (for many different disorders) even when they are at doses too low to be effective for mood disorders. Like you said they won't help everyone's IBS but the fact they do not work for one person does not mean they never work for anyone.I sometimes need low doses of antidepressants to prevent migraines, doesn't work for everyone, but the drugs for migraines aren't good for me either for a lot of reasons and I'd rather take the lowest dose of an antidepressant they make than suffer in pain for weeks on end because I don't want to die of a stroke from the migraine meds.One of the reasons they can work for IBS is that the gut nerves like the nerves in the brain use serotonin for signaling. In fact 95% of the serotonin in your body is found in the gut nerves (why antidepressants tend to have GI side effects, after all). Many of the newer IBS-specific drugs are ones that effect serotonin receptors in the gut nerves.What I'm trying to say is it isn't completely unexpected that they can help some IBSers based on the biology of the enteric nervous system.No one is saying they aren't serious medications. Just remember for IBS and other pain conditions you are typically talking lower doses than for mood alteration which makes a big difference in side effects, etc.If it gives someone with IBS their life back I don't know why that should be something that people say should never be done. I know a lot of people who need to be on the antidepressants for their IBS because that is the only thing that makes them functional. When my IBS was bad I needed both a serotonin effecting drug (Buspar that is related to, but not an antidepressant) and Levbid just to be able to walk from my car to my workplace. Heck I needed it to walk from my door to the mailbox. It worked for me. Didn't make the IBS go away completely, but it was enough I could still work and not have to lose everything because of the pain.Again, they do not work for everybody. When they do work they work at low doses. You should try other treatments first. But if you need them, IMO take them. Don't suffer in pain for years when you do not have to.K.
 

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Kathleen, which ones do you take for your migraines? I'll ask my doctor about them. I recall him mentioning a low dose of one before but I don't recall what it was. It seems the only other option is beta blockers. Years ago I took Nortiptylene and I think my migraines were better then. A few years ago I took Effexor and I got them but less frequently than now and Midrin or caffeine worked when I got one, Midrin isn't working well now and I can't take caffeine if not on Effexor because it makes IBS-D worse. I've done the diet changes and exercise and nothing's really improved so I feel like I'm left with not many other options.I have IBS and anxiety. I took antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds after years of suffering and trying group and CBT. They gave me a life. Now I'm off everything hoping to have a 2nd child but I think I'd get on them again. I HATE coming off the antidepressants but they make it so I can live a somewhat normal and pleasant life. I decided at some point that being able to live for right now was more important than what they might do long term...at least until I can find something else that works.Also when I started on Paxil, my anxiety was mostly under control but IBS-D came and was so bad that I feared losing my job. We were living check to check and I had to do something quick. It was the best drug for my anxiety and IBS but when I came off it to get pregnant with my son, it seemed like I was coming off a street drug. I've never taken it again for that reason. Not all people are as sensitive coming off. I taper down way slower than others.
 

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I take in very low doses, prescribed by my UK GP, nortriptyline and fluphenazine which are very long established medications for ibs. I have had ibs d for over twenty years and it is only over the past two years that I have been prescribed medication. These drugs have definitely helped. Now I am trying hypnotherapy with a view to coming off the drugs altogether.
 

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I've taken low doses of tricyclics (elavil and doxepin) and prozac of the SSRI's.Both types work for me, I've gotten sensitive to the anticholinergic side effects of the tricyclics. They work better I think but I can't always take them.I'm in a better space with the migraines right now and mostly control them with Coenzyme Q10 100 mgs a day. I thought I might have to go back on the antidepressants, but was able to get them under control with that supplement.Mine get bad when I start a new set of allergy shots.K.
 

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I used to take the tricyclics too but I can't seem to take the side effects now either. The thirst alone kills me even if I take water with me all day.I'll check into the Q10. I haven't had many lately because I have to take motrin daily for my jaw but I hate having them - very disabling.
 

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I just started with Sarafem. Sarafem is actually prozac (20mg) prescribed for PMS related symptoms.I went to a new OBGYN yesterday for a hormone panel, explained my IBS symptoms (mine only happens in the luteal phase of my menstrual cycle) and she suggested Sarafem, since Sarafem is designed to be taken only 14 days a month - during the same time I get IBS attacks (I get IBS-A, but my main issue is excruciating cramping pain that is associated with BM and gas during the time progesterone and prostaglandin are high) and it's reported that it helps with IBS.I am hopeful, but only time will tell.I would do just about anything at this point, short of having my uterus removed!!!! I have been missing at least a day of work each month because of the crippling pain, and I cannot really plan any trips in advance either with fear that I may have serious attacks during my trips. Anyway, like I said, I am hopeful. I have nothing to lose, really.tmm
 

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Hi SueV -I too was surprised that people take antidepressants for IBS - didn't understand at first. I was a normal healthy 33 year old who had just completed a Master's degree, was having a normal life when IBS started following abdominal surgery ( which I now think was totally unnecessary...). Anyway, I went from being outgoing, positive, happy and successful to being bedridden, depressed, helpless, hopeless, underweight,gaunt, anxious and nearly suicidal in a matter of a few months. I refused even the idea of taking an antidepressant because they are "serious meds" like you stated. I have to say that they saved my life and I actually have a life outside of my bathroom now. I had never been depressed or anxious before IBS, but it devastated me and I had no other hope. I for one, firmly believe that if nothing else works, one should at least weigh the option of taking an antidepressant for the SSRI benefit. Just my two cents...
 

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In 1996, my husband committed suicide. A long story made short, the doctor put me on an antidepressant for the obvious reason. I was depressed. The side effect of it was it stopped my IBS spasms to the point I could live a normal life.I take 37.5 mg. of Effexor. That's all it takes.It anyone has any questions how and why this works, please go to the main IBS forum and ask Eric. He can tell you anything you need to know about it. He is great!
 
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