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Avatar universal

Fetzima for Clinical Depression

I have been clinically depressed since late October.  I've tried three different combinations of medicines, three to four weeks each, with no results.  Today I went back to my dr and he started me on Fetzima.  He says it's new on the market but shows a lot of promise for Major Depressive Disorder.  I am his first patient on it.  It is so new, in fact, that I am having trouble finding forums such as this where I can ask others' experiences with it.  Even my pharmacist doesn't have any useful info on it; he has only had one other customer so far to get a script filled for it.  

If any of you have tried this medicine, how long did it take to take effect?  What type of side effects did you experience?  I am feeling very hopeless and desperate at this point because my level of despondency is worse than ever before.  
38 Responses
6726276 tn?1421130268
Hi. I had to google Fetzima to learn about side effects. What the drug targets ect.  Even if I had experience with this drug, you are different.
   Please take the medication with an open mind and a positive attitude. Give the pills every chance to work for you.
   Everyone knows cutting out sugar, soda & junk food helps depression.
    Exercise too.   Good luck!   Pamela
1110049 tn?1409405744
I do hope the new medication works for you.  You must give it time to take effect - up to 8 weeks before you may notice a difference.  

I hope you hear something positive from other people who have taken this anti depressant.

Let us know how you get on please.  Keep in touch
Avatar universal
Thank you both for your comments and encouragement.  The last ones I tried were Prozac and Welbutrin (together).  I went for almost 5 weeks, and wasn't feeling anything at all.  So yesterday when I went back to my dr., he said at that point I should have been feeling SOMEthing.  And my counselor had told me that, in his experience, Prozac was one of those that either works or it doesn't, no in between.  I should have been seeing at least small signs of improvement.  I'm really a tough case, as my pharmacist said.  From what little I can read online about this new med (mostly copied from the manufacturer's website), it shows a lot of promise for MDD.  I absolutely will take it every day; I'm religious about my anti-depressants because I so desperately want to get out of this hell.  I feel like I'm swimming in molasses, just trying to do everyday things.  It's terrible.
1110049 tn?1409405744
I have been on many different anti depressants over the years.  Some worked better than others.  I think it is trial and error unfortunately until we find the one that suits us personally.

We are all different, and what suits one person may not suit another.  It has always been said that we need to give anti depressants up to 6 weeks, maybe 8 weeks, before we feel any improvement.  It is so difficult when we want immediate results, because we feel so bad.  

I do hope you feel some improvement soon.  I remember my exact words when I got depression, were similar to yours, "swimming in  molasses" describes it exactly.  Oh, I do so hope you begin to feel better soon.  Depression is such a difficult illness to deal with.  

Keep in touch
Avatar universal
Hang in there.  I've been on just about every antidepressant on the market since the late 80's.  Before just starting Fetzima 3 weeks ago, I was on a combo of Cymbalta, Wellbutrin and Abilify.  Also, Valium up to twice a day as needed, AND Lunesta to help me sleep.  I'm a pretty major case!  Anyway, now I'm off the Cymbalta and on the Fetzima with everything else staying the same.  I'm feeling much better - more energy and a more positive outlook.
It's helped me a lot with a bad work situation in that it's given me more confidence and I stand up for myself more against a bullying co-worker.

I'm a firm believer that you WILL feel better with the right meds.  My doc is top-notch and on top of the newest meds and how to use them to their full potential.  He's not afraid of trying combinations - hence the Fetzima, Wellbutrin *and* the Abilify.  He lets me decide when/if I want to try a different approach.  This time, after crying for three days straight, I eagerly nodded my head when he asked if I wanted to try the Fetzima.  It's been great so far.  I'm only on 40 mgs right now, but have a feeling it will need to be increased in time.

I hope by now you are feeling better and are sticking with your treatment plan your dr. has determined is best for you right now.  Keep us posted and let us know how you are doing on the Fetzima.  What else did you say you are taking?

Avatar universal
Jenny,

I replied to your PM before I noticed your post here.  I am not taking anything with the Fetzima, but after reading your post I am eager to ask my doctor if he would recommend me adding Abilify, as it can sometimes boost the effect of other antidepressants.  
Avatar universal
I hope he thinks it will help, adding the Abilify.  I tell you, I've had major depression all my life.  It's a challenge, to say the least, to just feel like you can function daily, let alone feel "well."  But, if I can do it, I know you can, too!  Just hang in there and keep trying.  Try to find small pleasures in daily life, and be kind to yourself.  Treat yourself, too, to small things - even if it's just indulging in a pint of Ben & Jerry's :-)))  Also, make sure you have a good support system around you of friends and family who understand and are supportive of you and your struggle with depression.  Reach out when you need to, and don't hold it in.  Keeping in touch and having a good conversation and/or a laugh does wonders.

Keeping you in my thoughts.  

Jen
Avatar universal
On day 3 of Fetzima. No real significant side effects yet, other than I feel kind of fuzzy headed and a little shaky. I am assuming this is my body getting used to the drug.
I have been on something for over 25 years, and I do know it takes time for the body to adjust to the meds and for them to start working. It's a slow but steady process. When I've switched meds in the past, unless I've developed nasty side effects at the onset, I've stuck with the drug until it supposedly has reached it's full efficacy (usually about 6 weeks or so...). So far, no nasty sides, so I will stay on this and give it its due time.
Because it is so new, the best info you'll get is through your doctor and through your own personal journey with the med. Even if you DID have every shred of info out there on this drug, you'd need to see how it effects YOUR body.
Sometimes the only way through something is through it!!
Avatar universal
Hi , I had depression since last 4-5 years and since last 6 months I am totally fine.I want to tell everyone  that I cured my depression with anulom vilom pranayam. It is really work but you have to do it every day minimum for 40 minutes ...you can increase the time as per your requirement ...so what are you waiting for ,start it from today for your endless happiness and inner bliss. Best of luck every one ! This is the best solution to cured it permanent .
Avatar universal
I just started with Fetzima this morning.  I have had severe depression and anxiety most of my life.  Along with adding the Fetzma at 20mg a day, I am also on Effexor (150mg), Trazadone at night for sleep(200mg), restoril at night for sleep(30mg), Klonopin for anxiety (1mg up to 3mg as needed.)

I have taken so many different medications and I can honestly say that none of them made any significant difference in my depression. I get so depressed that I don't even have energy to cuddle and play with my kitty.  Feeding her and changing her litter seems overwhelming most days. (Please do not worry . She is very happy and knows that she is loved and well taken care of.  I make sure of that!) Truly though, this depression thing has almost ruined my life. I do feel hopefull everytime a start a new medication regimen and my hopes up high for this new Fetzima.  It just came out mid 2013, so Doctors really don;t know much about its effecticy. That kinf of worrys me because all of us taking this drug are guinea pigs.  No one knows the long term effects this drug may have in the future.

But when you are desparate enough, you will try almost anything that promises relief from this horrible decease. Even when our heads tells us
that maybe caution should prevail and wait until there is more data on this
Medication.

I am afraid of seritonin syndrome since I am still taking my effexor.  I am wondering if I should continue with my Effexor regimen at this point.

I would appreciate any replies at all. I need support and validation on the symptoms I suffer through because of my depression. I stay in my home day on end isolated from my family and my friends.  I even strugle tremendously with taking a shower and brushing my teeth.  Somedays I don't even eant to get up and tkae my medications.

I sincerely thank anyone who takes some time to re-ply to me message!!

Sincerely and God Bless all of you with this struggle.
Avatar universal
I just started with Fetzima this morning.  I have had severe depression and anxiety most of my life.  Along with adding the Fetzma at 20mg a day, I am also on Effexor (150mg), Trazadone at night for sleep(200mg), restoril at night for sleep(30mg), Klonopin for anxiety (1mg up to 3mg as needed.)

I have taken so many different medications and I can honestly say that none of them made any significant difference in my depression. I get so depressed that I don't even have energy to cuddle and play with my kitty.  Feeding her and changing her litter seems overwhelming most days. (Please do not worry . She is very happy and knows that she is loved and well taken care of.  I make sure of that!) Truly though, this depression thing has almost ruined my life. I do feel hopefull everytime a start a new medication regimen and my hopes up high for this new Fetzima.  It just came out mid 2013, so Doctors really don;t know much about its effecticy. That kinf of worrys me because all of us taking this drug are guinea pigs.  No one knows the long term effects this drug may have in the future.

But when you are desparate enough, you will try almost anything that promises relief from this horrible decease. Even when our heads tells us
that maybe caution should prevail and wait until there is more data on this
Medication.

I am afraid of seritonin syndrome since I am still taking my effexor.  I am wondering if I should continue with my Effexor regimen at this point.

I would appreciate any replies at all. I need support and validation on the symptoms I suffer through because of my depression. I stay in my home day on end isolated from my family and my friends.  I even strugle tremendously with taking a shower and brushing my teeth.  Somedays I don't even eant to get up and tkae my medications.

I sincerely thank anyone who takes some time to re-ply to me message!!

Sincerely and God Bless all of you with this struggle.
1110049 tn?1409405744
Hello and welcome to our depression site.  I do hope you find support here.  We are all very caring people, and understand exactly how you feel.

I myself had depression for over 20 years and have been on many different anti depressantds.  Some suited me, and others gave me bad side effects.

Like you, I was on 150mg Effexor.  I do hope the Fetzma helps you.  

Last year my doctor suggested I come off the Effexor.  I said I would give it a try as I felt better.  I didn't know if this was because of the medication.  It took me 10 months to withdraw, and I have now been drug free for 6 months.  I am 73 years old, so not easy at my age.  

I know how you feel, because for many years I felt like you do.  Life such a struggle.  When I joined this site in 2009 I was in a very dark place.  I have had support, and given support to others, since then.  

Did your doctor mention you might get serotonin syndrome?  Do you think he/she would have prescribed all those drugs to you if there danger of that?  Did you discuss this with them?

I too love cats, and over 40 years have always had a cat to love, and love me.  I have had a tabby rescue cat for 3 years now, and he has honestly been a life line.  He calms me and loves me as much as I love him.  I am so pleased you have the companionship of a cat, I am convinced a pet helps with depression.

Keep posting here, and I do hope you find other people to "talk" to.  I offer you frienship if you wish to accept it.  

Please take care and God bless you.
Avatar universal
Been Depressed and Anxious for 10 years been on a lot as sensitive to medicine but tired of the dark hole and not feeling like I am apart of the world as I live in darkness.

I'm giving it a try with Abilify

Dave
Avatar universal
Hi anyone has any updates with fetzma? i jst started i was wondering if anyone has been on it longer seen any side effects or if it actually works better for you.  I was switched to this from lexapro due to weigh gain.. i gained 20 lbs within a month it was crazy.. lol and i never gain weight like that my entire life, even when i was prego.. so i was wondering if fetzma makes you gain weight as well...
Avatar universal
Tomorrow morning I begin Fetzima.  I am terrified that it will not work, or that I will once again get seratonin syndrome.  It is such a frightening thing to go through.  It seems no meds over many years have really worked for me, and I can only pray that this is effective.
Avatar universal
Just wanted to say I started on fetzima 40mg on tuesday july 8. So far so good, no noticable side effects yet. I also take buspar 30mg 2x a day. Taking and weaning off pristiq 100mg too.
Avatar universal
My situation is almost exactly like yours, verbatim.  I just went through the seratonin syndrome after my doctor took me off Effexor, but I didn't know there was a name for it.  It was horrible.  I am really reluctant to start taking Fetzima.  I don't have much hope that it's going to be any different than everything else I've tried over the last 30 years.  And I don't ever want to experience the withdrawal symptoms again after going off of a medication.  It's not a good place to be in.  Wanting to feel better, but afraid to take the medication.  
Avatar universal
Hi. Serotonin syndrome is awful. Going on fetzima this week, scared due to med sensitive. 27 years of so many. Effexor and cymbalta were tops until they work no longer. Any feedback I'd appreciate. I have anxiety panic.
Avatar universal
I have had depression for over 25 years. I have taken so many combinations of medicines that I can't remember. I also have migraines and some doctors have told me I was just depressed because of the migraines. I have been lucky that I have been able to come out of the deep depressions a few times. But this is by far the worst. Every time I think about leaving the house my heart starts beating so fast and I start shaking. I can't leave. I just want to stay in bed. I don't care if I eat, shower, or even talk. I just feel some how safer in my room. My family doesn't really understand it. Their solution is to just get up and go on like everything is normal. Then I will feel better they say. So when I have to do something it takes a few Xanax to be able to keep me calm enough to get out of the house. But even then my heart is pounding and I rush home as soon as possible. I have no idea what I am afraid of. I can't handle the thought of the grocery store. But why? These are places I have been before.  

I am on Fetzima, Zoloft and Xanax.  I have been on this combination for about 1 month. I have had my Fetzima increased twice.  I have noticed that I think it makes me irritable or angry.  But I really can not get to the doctor again. I live over 2 hours away from a specialist.

I really feel like a crazy person being trapped in my house. While the whole world can just go on with their day to day activities and enjoy them. I see people who are fighting cancer, etc out there living their lives to the fullest with all they have to face and here I am seemingly healthy but am to stressed or will panic when I think about going out and living my life.

I am missing so much of my daughters life. And since my husband doesn't understand it, well I don't know how this will go. I have begged him to read about depression.

I also have found a very weird thing. I would much rather sleep all day and be awake a couple hours at night. Something about the daytime makes it so much worse. Has anyone had any problems like this?

One last thing my grandfather was bipolar.  I have not been diagnosed with that but I wonder sometimes if they are missing it.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get through this? What steps I can take. I have got to get my life back. Please anything you have would be so helpful.
Thank you.
Avatar universal
I have experienced everything you describe, including sleep all day and stay up at night. For me, I think it may have something to do with the fact that during the day is when the world is going around without me and I am most aware of my misery and isolation. At night, I guess I don't feel so much like I missing anything. I have long term MDD and severe anxiety disorders that are considered nonresponsive, basically because no treatment has worked. I was on the verge of pursuing electroconvulsive shock treatment or magnetic Transcranial stimulation when my doctor tried me on Fetzima with Wellbutrin, taking me off Prozac. After a couple of months, I can actually say it has helped. Nothing miraculous, but enough of the lift that I am no longer at this point considering the electronic treatments. It's done nothing for the anxiety or panic attacks, but I just don't feel quite as dark. I still sleep too much during the day, but not as much as before, and I seem able to get out of the house a little more. The only side affect I have had is decreased urination, which they list as a side effect. In my case, because I ran to the bathroom too much, it's been a good thing! I have also suffered fairly severe memory loss and problems with cognitive functioning along with my depression and anxiety. Has anyone else experienced those?
Avatar universal
Diagnosis= MDD & BD!
Years= 6

    I was titrated off Effexor with other Medicines (Viibryd, Brintellix, Fetzima) sending me to the hospital with Serotonin Syndrome. It has been two months now and I am no longer on the Effexor and currently taking the Fetzima 60mg. The agitation for myself and depression just has been impossible to get rid of since experiencing Serotonin Syndrome. I was very happy on the Efffexor LOVED IT but the weight gain was so bad they weened me off it since then life with MDD & BD1 has been aweful!!
    To come off Effexor is hell in its self. All I can say is Titrate extremely slowly to avoid Serotonin Syndrome. It's rare but very serious and more obtainable on these Serotonin Medicines takin together. I am not trying to scare you just let you know that it is possible and 10 times more possible with these medicines takin together........
     Everyone responds differently and I hope the best for you. I would hate to read about someone going through what I have with these new marketed medicines and doctors and pharmacist not knowing the test run results on these medicines......

Avatar universal
Today I went to my psychiatrist and he prescribed me Fetzima 40 mg's, I have been taking Topiramate 100 mg's twice daily and Lexapro 20 mg's once a day and Wellbutrin 150 mg's along with .5 mg's of Clonazopan twice a day. I had to sleep during the day which caused more depression and anxiety. So, now what I will be taking is the Fetzima 40 mg's and Topiramate 100 mg's in the morning and the Lexapro at night with the hopes of having energy and being able to focus more during the day and to not feel depressed in the afternoon. I will take the Clonazopan as needed for anxiety. I hope this works for me because something has to give. I am so darn sick of being depressed and anxious all of the time, it has ruined my whole being. Does anyone take this combination of medication and has it worked for them? I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
Avatar universal
I too have started to take Fetzima and am on 40 mg's.  I am eager to see if this medication works for me.  I also take 150 mg's of Effexor which will be tapered down to 75 mg's starting tomorrow and eventually eliminated.  I take 15 mg's of Abilify which my new doc says is way too much and it will be tapered down as well eventually to 5 mg.  I take Wellbutrin 200 mg's and Xanax as needed which is only 3-4 times per week.

I have battled depression for over 30 years and have been on a variety of medications, some helped temporarily - which could have been a couple of years before they became I guess neutral.  For the last 4-5 years, since I have been on the Abilify, I have been staying in bed as much as possible.  I can get up if I HAVE to, like to go to work, but feel like there is a lead blanket on me otherwise and I stay in bed.  Days off it is not uncommon for me to stay in bed 20 of 24 hours (or more).  As I write this I feel like someone is saying " if you can get up to go to work you can get up anytime" but it is just not like that.  Anyway, I had a mood swing while writing this and have no more to say at the moment.

Please give feedback!
Avatar universal
hi everyone. i just joined this forum. i can relate to some much of what has been said here. major depression is a horrible disease. i am blaming myself, as if i somehow did this/caused it. but i'm trying to let go of that with help of a good therapist. I met with new psychiatric np saturday and, thank god, really loved her. she knows i can't work now and am having financial problems, and OFFERED to waive the copay and see me every week. has that ever happened before? not to me. anyhow, i've been on zoloft and lamictal now for several months (zoloft since april and lamictal about 2 months). xanax at night and as needed during day. prozac helped me for many many years, BUT i had never been severely clinically depressed, as I have been since February. the psychiatrist i was seeing for past 2 months just kept upping zoloft and lamictal, then added wellbutrin. i kept getting worse or at least not better and she dismissed me, saying you're just not on enough. i finally decided that she was not right for me. she actually was dismissive when my husband  called her to say i was worse. so, the new NP has recommended fetzima. she's going to keep me on the lamictal and wean me off the zoloft (I really think the zoloft may have had opposite effect on me, but the old psychiatrist said it's not possible. from what i've read, it is. So, I would love to hear more positive experiences about fetzima. I am SO medication phobic, but as many of you said, living like I am is torturous. i have to try anything. blessings to you all.
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