Aa
A
A
A
Close
Hepatitis C Community
13.4k Members
Avatar universal

I was wondering what is everyone's depression level in regards to your treatment?

We don't know anyone else who is on the treatment and I was wondering if severe depression is common.
29 Responses
Avatar universal
Depression, anxiety, and irritability are all fairly common side effects of treatment for Hep C.  I strongly suggest that you contact the doctor as soon as possible if there are symptoms.  These side effects can get pretty bad fairly quickly.  Can you share more information with us, so that we can offer suggestions?  My husband has been on an anti anxiety/anti depressant through all 3 of his treatments.  Exercise, fresh air, diet, and good sleep can also help to alleviate some of these symptoms, but I would recommend calling the doctor.
Advocate1955
163305 tn?1333672171
I'd say common is almost an understatement. We don't refer to riba rage for nothing, and it's actually the interferon which is to blame.
You are far from alone.

I was so irritable and though I didn't go on anti-depressants, many do and my doctor wanted to put me on them.
Even after tx was over, I remained grumpy for quite some time.
It wasn't until a good 3 months post-tx that I suddenly realized I was happy again.

This is from the pegasys ( interferon) web site under side effects:
http://www.pegasys.com/patient/index.html

Mental health problems and suicide. PEGASYS therapy may cause you to develop mood or behavioral problems including:

    irritability (getting upset easily)
    depression (feeling low, feeling bad about yourself or feeling hopeless), and anxiety
    aggressive behavior
    former drug addicts may fall back into drug addiction or overdose
    thoughts of hurting yourself or others, or suicide
2029713 tn?1373044704
This article discusses depression and interferon treatments in Hcv patients.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15697325/

Doctors can effectively use SSRI antidepressants. Personally, I started treatment without using an SSRI, but by week 8 or 9, the interferon induced anxiety/depression, coupled with anemia from the Riba, was too much for me, so my Dr. prescribed a low dose of Paxil, which took the edge off.

As the weeks of treatment progress, I'm in week 31 now, I feel more down, but it is still manageable. If it gets worse, though, I'm going to ask my doctor about it.

Anyway, yes, depression is common in Interferon therapy. Don't hesitate to ask for help.








http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15697325/
Avatar universal
It is not just interferon, though clearly it has a powerfully negative impact on the emotions.
Riba wreaks havoc with the central nervous system. In addition to meds, being ill. especially cirrhotic can cast a real pallor on one's life.
I didn't take anti depressants and since I am at the end of treatment, I won't bother, but considering how low I felt at times, I think it would have been wise to do so.
Everyone is different. I am not inclined to depression normally, but we are not in a normal situation, especially if you are taking the more hard-core meds.
1815939 tn?1377995399
As noted above, depression (and/or anxiety or irritability) can be a common side effect, but it comes in all degrees. I have a history of major depression and had already started on Wellbutrin for recurrent depression about 2 months before I was diagnosed with Hep C. I stayed on it during treatment (and I am starting week 47 in treatment). I have not been depressed at all during treatment. In fact, I seem to have had no mental/emotional side effects from the Hep C drugs ... no depression, no anxiety, no irritability, no anger outbursts, etc. As far as my mental/emotional state, I am feeling great.

If you have a history of depression it would be advisable to see your psychiatrist for an evaluation and possible anti depression treatment starting prior to Hep C treatment. It takes a few weeks for the antidepressants to reach full effect. Plus, you really do not want to be testing new antidepressants while on Hep C treatment if you can avoid it.

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
i am week 46 and was on triple therapy with incivek and experience cirrhosis.  at about week 10 the depression and fear hit me big time.  one aspect that, at least for me, that contributed to depression is isolation. i live alone and did not have contact with another human for days on end. i had too much anxiety to even leave the house. i managed to torch all my relationships including the wonderful people on this board.  during the darkest time, the first thought i had in the morning was "how am i going to kill myself today?" another contributing factor may have been the the prednisone that was prescribed for the rash.  prior to treatment i was not experiencing depression or anxiety.  i spoke the the treating PA and also my primary about it.   i found their attitudes to be very cavalier, and they were unwilling to prescribe a drug. if i had it to do all over again, i would have got a psychiatrist on board prior to treatment. please don't make my mistake of not seeking competent help either from your treating doc or a mental health professional.
blessings
eric
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
DC
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.