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Will antidepressants help if thyroid levels aren't right?
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Will antidepressants help if thyroid levels aren't right?

I've been having a really rough go of this thyroid mess the past 3 weeks.  I had my labs drawn 2 weeks ago and my TSH was 2.23 and then I had them redrawn on Monday and TSH was 6.158.  I was in the ER because I seem to keep having anxiety attacks.  My doctor started me on Prozac a week ago.  She told me it usually takes 2 weeks before people start noticing any changes from it.  My question is, is the Prozac going to help if my thyroid levels are still all wacky?  I just feel so hopeless right now.  I have never had trouble with anxiety and this is not fun.  The ENT told me yesterday that it is a normal symptom of Hashi's and hypo, but I don't know how long I can deal with this.  I can deal with being tired, but the anxiety *****.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am on synthroid and one thing that is listed not to take with this thyroid medication is any antidepressant. I do not know what you are on, if any nor did you say wheather the doctor who put you on prozac is your same doctor as your thyroid doctor? On this sight(Med Help) awhile back there was alot of question as to wheather or not antidepressants caused thyroid problems but it mainly delt with effexor.You can find this by looking up effexor and thyroid, that is how I found the talk on Med Help. Since both effexor and prozac alter the bodies serotonin levels I persoanally do not feel being on antidepressants is all that good, but to mix thyroid with prozac I feel could be dangerious. When the thyroid acts up it can cause depression and anxiety problems itself, adding an antidepressant like prozac will and has been known to lower the bodies serotonin and too from all the research I have done prozac can in itself cause even more anxiety and depression so I am sure this is something you might want to check into before causing yourself more harm. Alot of doctors are too quick in prescribing antidepressants when actually knowing very little about the harmful effects of these drugs. Please do yourself a big favor and save youself and family members alot of hurt, check out the effects of antidepressants, esp. prozac, on the thyroid and on your brain. There are many good sights to go to on the net,
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929504_tn?1332589534
Most people including myself complain about having anxiety when on thyroid med's, as well as exhaustion which is all due to the thyroid levels, I, myself do not take any anxiety med's because i feel that i have control of the panic attacks , however there are other's who do. Maybe you should speak to your psychologist/psychiatrist about switching from prozac to another anxiety med (such as: zoloft, lexapro, xanax,celexa,etc)   to see if that helps. Everyone reacts differently to med's and this may not be the right one for you. Also, speak to the pharmacist in regard to the interactions of the med's.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I was on xanax and was for many years due to post traumatic stress disroder and Agoraphobia.
The day I had RAI...the Agoraphobia got to a stage where I could cope with it and also finally have the courage to deal with it.
I continued on the xanax up until 6 months ago and felt no ill effects as they are very short lived and fast acting in the body.
As long as you dont take both the xanax and synthroid at the same time, I found no problems with it or with my levels.
Ask your Doc as Xanax is to take the 'edge' of the anxiety and panic attacks (if you are having them).
I found a good technique for anxiety by John Kabat-Zimm......Mindfulness for Beginners.
It was the turning point in my life in conquering Agoraphobia (which I might add, I had for 26 years). I had RAI in June 2008 and havent looked back.
Most thyroid patients are prescribed Xanax.
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Avatar_f_tn
My doctor prescribed both my Synthroid and my Prozac.  My Mom is actual on the two together as well.  My doctor says that there is not interaction, my pharmacist has never warned me of a potential reaction and they are very good about that, and I checked both a drug interaction checker online and the Synthroid website.  According to the Synthroid website and to the drug interaction checker on drugs.com, Synthroid can increase the therapeutic effects of Prozac and the possibility of needing the dose of Synthroid increased.  I used to take Synthroid and Prozac together before I had a baby last year and I was fine.  I'm not necessarily concerned about mixing the two because it was never a problem for me before.  The only thing I'm wondering is if the Prozac is going to help if my thyroid levels aren't stabilized.  
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929504_tn?1332589534
Thanks for the advice on John Kabat-Zimm...product. i just ordered the digital download version. You never know that when you respond to "one's"  post, that your message can be helpful to others'....

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735676_tn?1257575826
I have thyroid cancer and had a total throidectomy in April of last year. My endo and primary care doctor both told me that it could take a long time (up to a year or more) before my synthroid dosage was at the right level, and so I have been hypothyroid for almost a year now. It's getting to the point now where I am actually starting to feel a bit better than I have been, but I know it's still a work in progress. One of the toughest parts of being hypothyroid (aside from the fatigue) is the depression. My doctor had asked me if I wanted an antidepressant to at least keep the depression at bay until the synthroid dosage was correct, but I kept declining. Finally I decided it would be a good option for me to try because the depression was getting to be too much. I would take my Synthroid in the morning, and then at lunch I would take 20mg of Prozac. It worked wonders for me. I had no side effects or drug interactions from the two medicines, and I felt like I actually had control over my depression. I knew it was caused by being hypo but I just couldn't handle it on my own. My doctor said the low dosage was enough for me to be able to function and that Prozac was the easiest antidepresssant to taper off of once my Synthroid dosage was at the right amount. I have been off Prozac for a couple of months now and feel just fine. So, to answer your question, yes. Prozac might be able to help you even if your thyroid levels aren't stabilized yet. It did for me. Hope that helps you out a bit. Good luck with everything.
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Avatar_n_tn
but if your tsh is 6 that is high and your free t3 and free t4 is probably out of range too-  those labs will make you feel terrible- very depressed. mine was 9 and i was crying every day and suicidal. to me, taking an antidepress med will put the proverbial bandaid on and just mask the true problem. you will feel better when your tsh is down and your free s  are mid to high range- its not a psych problem but a thyroid problem. i would not put psych meds on board to treat a psysical medical issue- but thats moo-  my opinion only. good luck whatever you decide.
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Avatar_f_tn


My tsh is 4.7 yet my FT3 and FT4 are fine and at a comfortable level......

Basically most of us here have been to he// and back in life experiences (let alone thyroid ones) and if I had to choose between taking an anti-depressant or killing myself then I'm afraid I'm all for the anti-depressant.
Thyroid levels dont 'go up or down ' overnight.This can take sometimes up to 2 years to balance.
Some battle with their levels for years and people are supposed to be depressed for years?
Sorry...not in my books, they arent.

What the anti-depressant does is NOT put a bandaid on the depression but rather 'take the edge of the knife' that is sticking in your back...so to speak.
They take the edge off the anxiety and depression and believe me, I have had BOTH and Agoraphobia for 26 years so know what I am talking about here.
Others try natural products...whatever works for them.
But in my eyes, QUALITY of life is better than quantity of life and if I had not been on the Xanax.....I can honestly say that prior to RAI dealing with Graves, Hypo/hyper symptoms, thyroid storm/heart problems.....then I would be dead now.

As long as the person taking the ant-depressants knows that they are not a quick fix and that they have to come off them one day .....then all should be ok.
No-one and I repeat ...no-one LIKES being on anti-depressants, believe me.

And thats my opinion.....I say it as I see it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your post annamae26.  I could not agree more.  I have two small children at home, a 6 yr old son and a 7 month old daughter as well as a husband whom I have only been married to for almost 3 years.  I am not ok with sitting around and trying to deal with this depression and anxiety and missing out on any more of their lives and mine too just because of this thyroid mess.  I do not want to feel like this and no matter how hard I try to get a handle on it, I can't seem to do that on my own.  I do not want to have to feel like this until one of these doctors I am seeing can finally get a handle on my thyroid and get my levels right.  I just want to get to the point where I can enjoy life again and not feel consumed with the anxiety and depression.  I am aware that the anti-depressants are not a quick fix nor are they a bandaid.  I am still dealling with the health problem, my Hashimoto's, at the same time.  Thank you very much for helping me feel better about my decision.
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1218579_tn?1267642416
I am post total thyroidectomy and 3 days post RAI for Thyroid ca.  Prior to 1/26/10 I had never been diagnosed with thyroid problems.  Although have always battled hypothyroid symptons but test were always normal.  About a year ago I was officially diagnosed with ADD and possible post traumatic disorder.  I did not like this diagnosis but when I went back and thought about my entire life it made perfect sense.  I began taking Ritalin and prozac along with counseling to learn coping tech. to manage my ADD succesfully.  I was afraid of ritalin but thought I would give it a short term trial.  Surprisingly I then had enery my head was not confused or foggy overall felt a bit better.  Now have gone through the Thyroid Cancer I questioned my ADD diagnosis.  Three of my doctors all said they were totally unrelated.  Intresting enough soon after my thyroid removal and starting low iodine diet to force my body into hypothyroidism I ws having complete opposite more like hyper, tons of energy, wide awake, overal extremly speed up and feeling really good for the first time in a while.   it seemed like my Ritalin was having double the effect.  Actually the effect my doctor said someone who didnt need Ritalin would have becasue its a stimulant.  So inconclusion when I had myy thyroid I felt awfull but levels were never off, was given ritalin for ADD and I felt better.  Now I have no Thyroid and Ritalin is having too much effect.  Hence makes me think Thyroid all along except that dsont explain all my symptons as a child.    Just curios as to if any one had any thoughts to this situation.  Oh ya now 4 days post rai and 2 days taking levox... and no restricted diet I feel like crap again but not sure of levels yet,  I still take my ritalin and prozac.
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Avatar_f_tn
When taking Ritalin with a T4 med, it can accelerate the Ritalin effect.....basically like taking a double dose of Ritalin.
Maybe you should ask your Doc to cut it down a bit as its well known that Ritalin does interact with a T4 med.
I dont care what any Doc/Endo says...thyroid issues do cause anxiety, depression, panic disorder etc at some stage when levels arent right.
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1218579_tn?1267642416
Thank you that is what I was thinking.  Do you know were I might find more info on this (website)?  Only difference I started having double dose feelings after TT and when I  started LID, before ever taking thyroid meds.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, they make a huge difference.  im on Celexa and Klonopin now and feel like a whole new person.  2 weeks ago i was on just T4 and hated life, no motivation to do anything.  Celexa helps with depression and anxiety, ask your doc about it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, I am a member of the hypothyroid anxiety club. I have never had any anxiety or other health issues til I developed a thyroid goiter/large growing nodules which were removed ( thyoid lobectomy).
I am a work in progress...even though my TSH is in normal range, free T's were below normal I still had  hypo and hyper symptoms such as racing heart/high pulse, extremely cold extremities, intolerance to heat and cold, severe fatigue, anxiety and sweating.
Do what you must to get thru this time. Each and every one of us is different and what works for you may not be a good solution for me.
But that said I love this site, it is a wealth of information to sift thru and know you are not alone ( even though you feel like it sometimes).
God bless you all and thanks.
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291885_tn?1404896807
The one thing to remember about an antidepressant is that it is made to work by "balancing" out the brain chemistry. Clinical depression is caused by an imbalance in the brain and those medications try to restore balance. If you are depressed because of something else antidepressants are unlikely to work and sometimes can make it worse because your brain chemistry was already in balance and you are now changing it.

If you've seen any of those commercials for antidepressants and listened to their myriad of side effects it's probably b/c many of those patients were given one when they didn't need it. If 2 out of 3 people being treated for depression still have it that definitely says something- that perhaps these people were misdiagnosed to begin with.

I was put on antidepressants before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it only made me numb and eventually I felt worse. Once I was diagnosed properly and put on thyroid meds my depression was gone. I was not "depressed" I was sick and the sickness made me depressed. It baffles me that docs can sometimes be so quick to give out antidepressants to patients. I knew someone who lost her husband and was given antidepressants b/c she was depressed from his passing. Sometimes depression is normal in cases like that- she should be able to grieve and get it out rather than having her emotions made numb.

I do know that antidepressants do help some people in certain circumstances with thyroid problems- especially if they have anxiety. I've heard it more in cases with hyperthyroidism which I'm wondering may have to do with the effect it has on the thyroid. Some studies I've seen show it reduces the effect of thyroid medication so it could be lowering thyroid levels in those people which helps them feel better. Everyone is different. Hope you feel better.

Chel
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Avatar_f_tn
I was prescribed Xanax after a heart attack at the age of 34 (tachycardi and Bradycardia...basically irregular heartbeat caused by heart murmur at birth)
The xanax took the edge of the anxiety for me to the stage that my panc attacks were under control and didnt go into 'overdrive' causing high uncontrollable heartrate.
They also gave me back my life after RAI to start learning techniques to be able to conquer Agoraphobia from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (my hubby was charged with attempted murder against me).....so sometimes xanax or an antidepressant are needed at extreme times of stress.
Now I look back on it, I wonder if the accelerated heartrate was caused by Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism.
I never even knew what a thyroid was then....only that it was in my neck lol
Talk about ignorant lol.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thyroid disease is far too complex to have a one-size-fits-all fix. I lost my thyroid 10 months ago to cancer. I also have Hashimoto's. I was never depressed until I began having other thyroid symptoms. My doc recently referred me to an endo. His first suggestion was antidepressants! He told me that "reading all that stuff on the internet was terrible". My surgeon had suggested I read, read, read! I know that educating myself and learning as much about my illness  as possible is helping me understand and deal with this. But my new doc says no. He also says that Armour is out of the question in treating my condition. He won't even entertain the idea. He says that my T3, T2, & T1 are "insignificant". Imagine that!!!? I say, for me personally, treating my illness should be the first line of defense. If, and only then will I consider taking any type of antidepressant. I tried it once and the side effects were terrible for me. Others on this forum certainly have benefitted from these meds, but it is a complex situation. Individuals must be treated according to their own needs and not grouped into one category. I plan to stand my ground and if necessary, drop my doc and search for someone who will treat me with the respect I deserve. Thankfully my family is behind me 100%.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, there is no question that you can get some bad information on some sites on the internet; however, when a doctor categorically condemns such information, he is obviously including a lot of scientific studies that are on the internet as well.  In fact, the info that is given here is very consistent with those scientific studies, and members carefully guard against bad or confusing information being given to members.  So I suspect that your doctor is a bit insecure about you asking questions that he may not be able to satisfactorily explain, or else, he is adamant that he knows best and don't waste his time with questions.

If you will please post your thyroid test results and reference ranges shown on the lab report, members will be best able to assess the adequacy of your testing and treatment.

Also, if you will tell us your location, perhaps a member might be able to recommend a good thyroid doctor in your area.
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