OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Monday, January 6

#5684

QUESTION: Have you ever been on any antidepressants? If so, what kinds, and how did it affect you?

21 comments

  1. I took effexor for 4 months, it made me more relaxed and better in social situations. But not that much I guess since I was too anxious to go get a refill.

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    1. I should say I was very lucky in that I faced no side-effects at all. Going off and on and changing dosage did nothing to me.

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  2. I've been on antidepressants for about 5 years. I've tried sertraline, Effexor (current), and two others I forget the name of. I didn't really notice a difference between the different antidepressants, but they have reduced my social anxiety a lot. Though I still struggle with general anxiety and chronic depression. My two least favourite things about the antidepressants are that they make me drowsy and this annoying brain-zap withdrawal symptom.

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  3. I was on celexa for 1.5-2 years for depression. I found it helpful in making my mood more "normal", (before I felt sad or indifferent no matter the situation), but I was also regularly attending counselling and actively working to fight it. If you're asking about side-effects, the only one I noticed was that I had a lot more vivid dreams.

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    1. oh god I heard celexa makes you gain weight like crazy. Is that true?

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  4. I've been on Cipralex for a year. At first I felt very sleepy and kind of like my whole day was a dream. Once that wore off, though, I felt SO much better. I hadn't realized how terrible I'd been feeling, or that for the last few years I hadn't felt normal. Little things didn't bring me down as far, and I felt like I could manage some of the more serious symptoms of depression.

    I went on a few before I found Cipralex to work, don't worry if it takes you many trial and error periods with meds. It's pretty discouraging but in the end it's worth it :)

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  5. I am currently on Venlafaxine (also known as Effexor) to treat severe depression. It has made me significantly less depressed, I would say the treatment is going well. I do feel some loss of mental activity which is both good and bad. I am hoping the positive and productive mental activity returns when I stop taking Venlafaxine.

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    1. You could try a coffee or tea to help increase productivity. I find it works for me with my effexor.

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    2. 5a: I just did start drinking coffee regularly last term and, yes, it is helpful when it comes to productivity and motivation. Good suggestion, thanks.

      :)

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  6. I had been on celexa for 6 years and cipralex for one year (the switch was because celexa can raise risk for heart problems, and my father has a heart problem). Cipralex is basicily the same drug as celexa, but with opposite chirality.

    Anyways, it helped me quite a bit. I went from having full blown panic attacks every day to not having them at all for long streches, then never having them. I was also in CBT, though.

    In terms of mood stuff, I no longer get as depressed as I once did, but I still do sometimes--enough that it can be a problem academicly. But most of the time, my emotions are completely flat--neither happy or sad but neutral.

    In terms of side effects... I have gained sixty pounds since and my diet hasn`t changed at all and has always been healthy.

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    1. I'm surprised chirality can affect heart disease risk

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  7. Another who's been on cipralex for a bit over a year and a half now. Horrible dizziness, nausea, drowsiness for the first week and a half or so, and every time I changed the dosage. It's worked pretty well - enough that I've been able to function like a normal human being for the most part. Like other people I've had times where my emotions just disappeared instead of being normal, but it's an on-off thing for me. It's not perfect, but it's enough for me to know how much not being on antidepressants was fucking me up for school.

    Worked wonders for anxiety, though.

    I'm bp ii, so one problem I did have with cipralex is that when I went from a 15mg to 20mg dose it kicked me into a several week long manic state which was /not/ fun, but ymmv here. Withdrawal symptoms are also a bitch. Accidentally went off antidepressants for a few days that stretched into weeks before I realised why I'd been feeling like shit.

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  8. I have been on Zoloft for about a year. The side effects were terrible in the first few weeks but it eventually gets better. It does make me drowsy, so I tend to take it in evening. I feel it has helped me with my depression but I am still struggling with my social anxiety. Being off the meds for about a week was definitely not fun, the withdrawal was unbearable. I felt constantly dizzy and disoriented and my depression and anxiety symptoms were getting worse.

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  9. I was on Prozac for 6 months until I decided I was completely against any type of chemical drugs. It made my anxiety go away for the most part and I didn't feel as down all the time. After 6 months, I tapered off verrrrryyy slowly (took a smaller dose every day for about 2-3 weeks) because I knew the withdrawal symptoms would be horrible if I did otherwise. I felt no withdrawal because of how careful I was coming off, and when I went off I realized that all the drugs had done is numbed my emotions completely. They did help a lot with anxiety, but most of all what helped me is changing my mindset. I wish you the best of luck!

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  10. As I wrote in a post that curiously disappeared, Celexa is the racemate, Cipralex is only the S- enantiomer (which appears to be responsible for most if not all of Celexa's antidepressant effects). My guess is that both enantiomers contribute to cardiotoxicity (long QT interval due to accidentally gumming up a Potassium channel known as hERG - it's a depressingly common issue in drug design and working around it while keeping the other properties of your drug can be remarkably frustrating) and thus by sticking with only the active enantiomer you can take a lower dose (since cardiotoxicity *does* seem to be dose-dependent).

    Unfortunately a literature search doesn't say anything about the relative binding affinities of the R- and S- enantiomers to hERG *or* their relative prospensities to lengthen the QT interval, so this is just speculation.

    Also, at most prescribed dosages, the risk of QT interval prolongation seems to be minimal. That being said, I'd get an ECG just to be sure - it's free and only takes a few minutes at Lifelabs, and it certainly beats possible cardiac complications that can basically occur out of nowhere and be very life-threatening.

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  11. Er, damnit, that was supposed to reply to 6/6a.

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  12. Been on Cipralex or over a year. The first time I was every one it, the first 2-3 days were a blur. I had dizziness (but didn't feel like a typical dizziness) and everything was in a haze. It kind of felt like being drunk but without all the giddiness and high, mainly just seeing through a drunk lens. After that, I was fine, even with the increase of dosage.

    Something I've noticed though: I typically take it with food because if I don't, it makes me a bit nauseous or makes my acid reflux add up. I'm also on 15mg but I split it so I take 5mg in the morning and 10 at dinner, since it sedates me. If I take the full 15 mg at night, I end up having a really hard time waking up the next morning and tired all day. It just has a sedation effect.

    I did my full 8 month treatment (which was really 10 months since I went on vacation) and during that time it really helped with my depression. I saw my anxiety improve a lot first, as I had social anxiety and can now interact more freely. However, the depression comes and goes and mainly helped kept at bay with regular counselling work. But like someone mentioned, for the first time I felt "normal" and realized how much the depression was affecting my life. Once I went off though (slowly weening down the dosage, took about a little over a month), the depression came back. I had to go back on Cipralex and I feel slightly back to normal. At least I'm not severely depressed and now need to be on for 18 months (double the 1st treatment time). Doctor told me sometimes a small percentage of people need to go back on the medication and its normal. My family also has a history of mental illnesses so can be biological, hence the need to go back on medication.

    Also as a student, just mentioning, they do not recommend you drink alcohol with this antidepressant. You shouldn't drink alcohol in general if you're depressed since it's a depressant but I adhered to that quite well in the beginning (didn't gave a sip for 6 months). But like any student, it's really hard when you're the only one sober at all the parties, especially when you used to drink before. I tried it out slowly, was fine... only effects is it gets me drunk quicker. I also need to watch how much I consume and moderately. However, if I drink too often while on it, I do end up experiencing the depression and anxiety more after.

    Also, missing a dose (I've missed one dose before, and sometimes the 5mg dose) sends the next day in a fit of anxiety and tiredness for me. I just feel really out of place, a bit hazy, and just really anxious. So definitely take them as instructed!

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  13. Cipralex, for about a year: felt marginally better but not amazing. Had really weird dreams. I also gained about 35 lbs on it.. ouch, I know.

    Then I went on Zoloft for about a month, and that caused me to sleep like 15+ hours a day. No better and didn't work.

    I'm on Wellbutrin now. It's the only thing that's come close to working. I do feel better, more motivated, etc.

    One other thing... it took me almost 6 months to get off the Zoloft. I had horrible, horrible withdrawal symptoms
    It was for that reason I didn't try Effexor before Wellbutrin, as the former is known to have worse withdrawal side effects than SSRIs.

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  14. I took Wellbutrin for six months. The main thing was that it relaxed me and helped me feel okay enough to sleep more than 2 hours every night, which really helped in getting better.

    I started to feel better after being on it for a couple weeks, but I have no idea how much of that to attribute to the drug as opposed to everything else I was doing to get better (exercise, counseling, etc.)

    When I went off it, I felt no withdrawal symptoms at all, and didn't experience any severe side effects. I had hair loss, dry mouth, some increased sex drive, but who knows if those were the drug :)

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  15. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to reply. This definitely helped me to make an informed decision! -OP

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  16. Cipralex (escitalopram) for about a year at 20mg and then I found like it wasn't working as well anymore. I found a lot of dizziness/sleepiness starting it as well as upping the dose. Additionally, for the 20mg dose at least, it was over $100 for a 30 day supply. I know that most people have insurance, but if you should become uninsured for some reason or require a longer-term treatment beyond being covered under the university plan or a parent's plan, cost is definitely something to keep in mind.

    Zoloft (sertraline) followed, and I'm pretty sure I just switched outright between them without a problem. It was generic, so it would be a much more cost effective option than Cipralex, but because I was at 150mg, the pharmacy considered it TWO prescriptions, do I had 2 co-pays of the dispensing fees every month. The Zoloft has a bit more "kick" to it than Cipralex. If I sat around for too long, I would get this urge to get up and do something.

    After about 6 months, I was switched to Effexor (venlafaxine) by simultaneously increasing my dose of Effexor and decreasing my dose of Effexor. My doctor chose Effexor over Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) because of concerns around insurance and Pristiq not yet being available in generic. I'm up to a 187.5mg (technically off-label) dose. I find it works best in combination with some caffeine to be fully effective.

    I haven't been off any so I can't talk to full withdrawal, but I can get headaches when I don't take my Effexor on time. I always seem to reach a plateau as far as effectiveness goes with antidepressants, but overall, I'm more stable than I was without. I have had a lot of vivid dreams on all 3 of these medications, but I've always had more vivid dreams overall, so I can't say if it's necessarily a side effect.

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