Fibromyalgia Community
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Avatar universal

Antidepressants related to Fibromyalgia

I had an interesting conversation with someone who writes articles for a fibro. website.  My question to my friend was: "Have they ever done any type of study to see if taking antidepressants at an earlier time may have upset our dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine balance and could that potentially have any relationship to our dx now?"  Her response was "They won't go there."

Were you ever on antidepressants or any medication that would effect dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine levels, prior to being dx'd with Fibromyalgia?  If so, what was your age and approximately how long did you stay on the medication.

Thank you for your response to this poll.  Have a nice day.
21 Responses
Avatar universal
I voted on this one, despite having CFS instead of Fibro, but yes, I was on Ritaline and later Dexedrine for ADD for many years.  The purpose of both (at least as far as ADD is concerned) is to increase your dopamine levels.
Avatar universal
I'm glad you responded.  I should have included CFS here and would also appreciate responses from those individuals as well.  Thank you Robin.

Avatar universal
Not only did I want to thank you for responding  yesterday you really helped me to feel better.  I saw this poll and could not believe it.  Back in 2004 the doctor decided I needed antidepressants, well I took them without question.  She kept increasing the dose and I ended up on 450 mg of Effexor.  I finally came to my senses and got off of them.  To this day I wonder why she did that to me.  I may have been slightly depressed. You know a few work problems.  I use to just do what the doctor said without question.  The pharmacy pulled me aside one day and told me that I was being used for a guine pig.  I started to research the drug and dosage. I immediately called and told her to get me off of the medication.  She did not want to but I insisted.  They started taking the dosage down and it took me over a year to get through the side effects.  It was terrible. I could not drive for over a month.  I read that the highest dose given should be no more than 350mg to a severely depressed person and believe me I did not fit into that category.  To this day if a doctor gives me any pill I will research it fully before I put it in my mouth.  My family history is very prone to heart desise and the last doctor gave me a pill for headaches that plainly said DO NOT TAKE IF YOUR AT RISK FOR HEART DESISE.  May cause sudden death. This was a new doctor that I had been passed to  through many trying to diagnose what turned out to be Fibro and Sjogren’s.  I hope this helps.
673940 tn?1232411764
hi all, i tried three different antidepresents i was at the stage of not careing or bothering about anything when i was on them(not to mention i did not no what i was doing half of the time whilst on them} my seratonin levels where low the doc said and these will help!! yeah right!!! all they did for me was mask what i was realy feeling, i think i rather have the pain than resemble a zombie ! wich is what i look like most of the time ha ha
Avatar universal
Omg Barb that is awful they did that to you.  That particular antidepressant can cause serious side-effects.  One of my physicians had placed me on that, along with the Ultram, and I had seizure activity from it.  I discontinued it immediately.  Like you, I now research every medication beforehand.  We have to protect ourselves and it's sad that we can't depend on those who take an oath to live up to it.  I'm sorry to hear about that incident.  Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words.  They are very much appreciated and i'm glad you feel better.  

Simmy - thank you for your response.  I think some physicians are to eager to give out antidepressants.  If you were taking one and it produced an effect of 'not caring or bothering about anything', that medication was having an adverse effect on you.  When I took the Effexor I had that same reaction.  I became apathetic and I realized it was the medication doing it.  

This is turning out to be a rather interesting poll.  
Avatar universal
Eager is not the word for it.  When I started having attacks and became ill at last count I had seen seven different doctors and checked myself into the ER on three different occasions.  I have not even had the flu in 20 years.  Every doctor that I saw told me that I needed to be put on antidepressants.  The doctors continued to pass me around, it got to the point that I would walk into a new doctors office and say "Look, before we start I want you to know that I'm usually a very happy person.  I'm never sick, I don't complain, Under normal conditions I'm always laughing and playing jokes on people. DO NOT tell me that I need antideressants, I'm sick and NO one will tell me what is wrong" Don't you know by time the visit was over they all would say "Now I know you don't want to here this but I think we should put you on an antidepressant"  I started thinking that all the Doctors were self medicating with antidepressants so they though everything was fine if you just take this little pill.  I know in some cases people do need antidepressants.  But I can't believe that was the opinion of every doctor that I saw.
673940 tn?1232411764
hi, have you tried amitrpyline? i was on 200mg for 2 years and to some it is a godsend for me it had opposite effect , i lived in a world of my own,the docter that had me on them would rather i sat in a corner drooling than be bothered helping me manage my pain , a sympathetic docter that knows your condition and understands is priceless,after years of searching i have found mine good look finding yours barb. tc xx
Avatar universal
I have never been on an antidepressant until I was diagnosed with FM. The doc started me on amitryptoline 25 mg. I am now taking 200 mg & it helps sometimes. I am taking it about 1/2 hour before bed so it will help me sleep. Before I was diagnosed I was averaging about 3-4 hours sleep a night & then I had to travel 1 1/2 hours to work, work 9 hours then drive home 1 1/2 hours & make supper, do dishes, make lunches, have a shower & then it left me with about 1 hour to relax before I had to go to bed. I did this for about 6 months before the doc finally put me off of work & put me on the amitryptoline just to help with my sleep. It helps me about 4 days a week but I find the 4 days is better than no days for sleep. It doesn't effect me in any other way than to help me get some sleep.
549511 tn?1271775930
I was put on anti depressants and wasnt told what they were,i ended up not knowing what i was doing half the time so i stopped taking them.they didnt do anythinng for me except i slept  way too much.
662361 tn?1225334507
Yes, I had been on various different anti-depressants (Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin) at different times in my early 20's to mid-20's as a result of "situational depression" (I was in a Domestic Violence marriage at the time.)  The Effexor and then later, Wellbutrin (along w/ Ambien) was Rx'd after a BAAaaaaaad reaction to Prednisone. Each time I've been on anti-depressants, I've suffered pretty awful side-effects (Lucid nightmares and full-blown night terrors, cold sweats, worsening of the depression, suicidal thoughts that I'd not had prior to the meds, restless/agitation/panic/anxiety feelings, heart palpitations, the list goes on and on.) It is for this reason that I am seeking a homeopathic approach to my condition at this time.
Avatar universal
Yes, I was on that before.  I think that was the very first antidep. I started on.  I don't recall having any serious side-effects from it, but it can happen and i'm glad you got off of them.  I think i've tried about every one of them out there.  I've noticed that sertraline works best for me (zoloft) so i'm going to continue with it.  
549511 tn?1271775930
I have the same as Kenderyl except no depression,but its not from medication.I had severe asthma attacks last year,so bad that i was in and out of hospital from june till september.they gave me morphine in the oxygen mask WOW it sent me nuts!! but it got me breathing!! Predinsone took away every bit of pain that i had,but i went into a drug induced physosis as they weaned me off too fast.Then the fibro came back really bad.
I have been put on so many different anti depressant for fibro and all they do is make me dopey.(dopier) LOL I have even had anti seizure meds for fibro.
662361 tn?1225334507
I found this article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/08/31/depression-treatment-part-two.aspx to be VERY helpful in supporting my own decision to steer clear of drugs and only use them as a last resort - not a "quick fix" like many doctors tend to do. Hope the information proves useful to others here.
662361 tn?1225334507
Also this one: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/medications_depression.htm
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the information Kenderyl.  I agree that they are not a quick fix and should be taken with caution.  I'm going to check these out.  Thanks again.
Avatar universal
Oops.  I just thought about another important note regarding antidepressants.  If you have never heard of seretonin syndrome, it's worth checking out.  
606078 tn?1247264553
I was never on any type of anti-depressant until after my diagnoses. My internist put me on Zoloft 100mg a day and it has been a lifesaver for me. Every time someone as much as looked at me I would start bawling like a baby, I hated it! and I knew that I had to do something. It took about 10 days and I started feeling so much calmer, my nerves settled down and I found myself smiling more.

I have been on blood pressure meds since before my first knee replacement, and my blood pressure was even acting up. Now my blood pressure stays down and that's another plus for me. My cousin is helping me with more Native American remedies as far as cfs, and IBS, she knows how badly my body hurts me and she doesn't like the idea of taking so many different pills. She sent me a balm to rub into my muscles, and Lord it stinks to high Heaven, but I can actually feel the muscles in my legs start to settle down.

This balm has also started making my knees less painful. Having osteo in my left knee
has left it bone on bone, and the doctors said that if I had it replaced now the pain would hit me with a vengeance. That was enough to make me stop and think.

OOps, sorry, lost my train of thought. Sorry for stealing the thread.

gentle hugs
479581 tn?1317757488
I have been on a bunch of different AD's over the years.   Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta and Elavil.  I also took adderall.

I agree that too many docs are giving these drugs out like candy and, worse, they don't  monitor their patients who are on them.  I took the generic wellbutrin for several months and had a terrible experience with it....when I called the docs office they weren't surprised. They knew about the problem with the generic.  So why didn't the doc write "brand necessary" when he gave me the script?  
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for taking part in this poll.  From the results (50-50), it appears there is no relationship between those who took antideps. prior to their dx than from those who did not.  

It was good to hear about your individual experiences with antidepressants.  Some have had horrible side-effects, while others have had great relief.

Take care and stay safe.
630173 tn?1234278714
My GP started me on anti-depressants after I started going for B12 shots and they were doing no good.  The anti-depressant trials were a nightmare.  I was renting rooms from a lady about my own age at the time who was still working.  One day after a friend came over in the afternoon to pick me up, she found me passed out on my bed with my winter boots and coat still on...I could not move anything, not even my mouth or my eyelids.  I was fully conscious, could hear everything that was said and could feel touch etc., but could not move.  They took me by ambulance to emergency where they removed all my clothes and left me on a bed for over 4 hours, I was freezing cold and one of my arms were pinned against a bar, but I was not able to move it away.  They wheeled me into get a scan of somekind and the technician got mad at me because I wouldn't stay sitting up!  After a few more hours they came and put a pill under my tongue and I heard them tell my friends that my blood pressure was low.  When I was able to talk again they sent me home.
There were other times on other anti-depressants that I remember absolutely nothing that happened.  I had a bad few years with them.
553995 tn?1332018840
I was put on Prozac when I first tried to get sober back in 95. So I drank and took the med.

I finally got sober 14 years ago but have been on antidepressants 18 years.

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