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Topic: What antidepressant worked best for you?

Forum: Relationships, Emotional Crises, Anxiety, and Depression — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around breast cancer fears, diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Dec 21, 2011 12:56PM

Baxter wrote:

I know we're all different, but I need some help with this decision. In the past I had been on Zoloft with Wellbutrin (to offset the side effects of the Zoloft). I've tried several SSRI's over the years (fto also help with migraines) and they haven't been a great success.

I hate the thoughts of going back on something, there are so many side efects with the newer drugs, and with cancer, the last thing I want is to aggrevate the condition, .but I'm stuck in sadness too often.  I think so much of the depression relates to how well the rest of your life is going. We are struggling financially and vocationally. I know I've lost a lot of confidence these last few years and the smallest task just feels like a big event. I know this isn't me.  

My dr. suggested trying Effexor XR, but what I read on forums about those side effects concerns me. I guess it's a decision between two evils.

If I could ask, what has worked for you? It would be a big help.

Thank you

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Dec 21, 2011 02:53PM momoschki wrote:

Everyone is different, of course, but for me, Wellbutrin seems to be working.  I have been on it about a month now, and I can say that at least I don't feel on the verge of hysteria all the time, like I did previously.  I was hesitant to try an SSRI because of side effects.  The Wellbutrin is not associated with weight gain or sexual SE's.  So far, so good.

ADH dx 3/11

Surgery 03/11/2011 Lumpectomy (Left)
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Dec 21, 2011 09:16PM mdg wrote:

I am on Lexapro and that works well for me.  It even helped reduce my hot flashes from tamoxifen!

Maria Visit my BC Blog at http://breastcancerwontdefineme.blogspot.com/

Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/23/2010 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 01/27/2011 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 03/03/2011 Cytoxan, TaxotereHormonal Therapy 05/19/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 06/22/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 12/10/2011 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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Dec 24, 2011 04:58PM flash wrote:

lexapro worked well for me.  It is annoying to try to figure out what will actually work.  I hope all goes well foryou.

multifocal multicentric IDC, DCIS, pagets et al. - er+,pr+ her2+++, mast,chemo, ooph, hyst

Dx 10/10/2007, Paget's, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 24, 2011 05:11PM CharB22 wrote:

I've been on Lexapro for 5 years having started it waaaay before BC. The only SE with that has been weight gain. But it's been a huge help. After the BC dx, I started on Xanex to help with the anxiety of it all. That's been great too -- the tears and doom/gloom outlook has finally subsided.

Lumpectomy - 12/9/11, 4 AC, 4 Taxol; Chemo done - 4/26/12

Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 12/09/2011 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 01/06/2012 Adriamycin, Cytoxan
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Dec 24, 2011 05:25PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I used to take Celexa to help with moodiness and hot flashes during menopause, before BC. Shortly after dx, I began taking Effexor and have used it for 10 weeks. No SE's so far.
Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur

Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 09/07/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Radiation Therapy 11/15/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex
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Dec 24, 2011 06:50PM marilyn113 wrote:

I switched to Effexor XL a couple months ago along with Wellbutrin.  (My old anti-depressant wasn't working well anymore.)  It's working good for me.  If you hope to go off anti-depressants some day, I would ask your doctor about Effexor withdrawl symptoms.  I've struggled with depression and PMS since I was a teenager so I'll never go off them.  I don't know how anyone handles cancer without happy pills!

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 08/31/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 11/08/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy 12/13/2011 ExternalSurgery 08/01/2012 Mastectomy (Both)
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Dec 24, 2011 07:02PM, edited Aug 10, 2012 08:13PM by SunflowersMA

This Post was deleted by SunflowersMA.
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Dec 24, 2011 10:56PM kayb wrote:

Baxter - You didn't mention whether you're doing hormonal therapy, but I see you are ER/PR+. If you're on Tamoxifen your choice of antidepressants is limited because most of them inhibit the Tamoxifen. Effexor, Pristiq and Celexa are the only ones reccommended if you take Tamoxifen.

If you take an AI, you can take any antidepressant. I take Wellbutrin and appreciate the lack of sexual SEs and no weight gain.

DX May/2010, synchronous bilateral cancer, triple positive

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Dec 24, 2011 11:12PM Moderators wrote:

There's an article at the main Breastcancer.org site that talks about antidepressants, as well as considering the possible causes of depression, and some of the complementary approaches to managing depression.

Judith and the Mods

.

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...

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Dec 24, 2011 11:24PM mrsnjband wrote:

I've been on Lexapro for 2 years & it has made a big difference.  I tried zoloft but it didn't work for me, actually made me worse. Hope you find something that works for you. NJ

Norma June, Bi-lateral MX 2008, Bi-lateral DIEP 2011

Dx 1/10/2008, IBC, <1cm, Stage IIIb, ER-/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 01/25/2008 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 03/10/2008 TaxolChemotherapy 05/29/2008 TaxotereSurgery 07/10/2008 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 08/11/2008 ExternalSurgery 08/15/2011 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 08/15/2011 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Left)Surgery 12/12/2011 Reconstruction (Left)
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Dec 26, 2011 08:25AM SyrMom wrote:

Why can't you take an antidepressant if you are on an Al?  Where could I find out more information on this?

Dx 9/22/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 26, 2011 09:04AM TheDivineMrsM wrote:

This is such a great topic.

Over about a seven month period, I tried four different antidepressants, prozac, zoloft, remeron, and effexor. They left me what is called "flat" which means I just zoned out and all I could do was sit on the sofa and do absolutely nothing.  They also increased my anxiety. 

It sounds weird, but it took me a number of months to pinpoint what exactly I was feeling emotionally.  I realized it was my great anxiety (not because of the antidepressants) that needed addressed, not necessarily depression.  I would physically be trembling and had difficulty functioning due to the anxiety. I was given a prescription for Buspar, an anti anxiety med.  It has been wonderful.  I only wish I'd received it sooner.

What I especially love about Buspar is it does not make me tired in the least, which Ativan does.  It just calms me.  But I am not 'zoned out' at all.   It is not addicting, either, which I'm told Ativan is, and the doctors I have simply won't continue to prescribe Ativan due to its addictive properties.

Also, I was prescribed a small dose of Buspar, with the option to  have it increased if necessary as it seemed that I was rather sensitive to these types of medicine.  I found taking 15 mg a day seems to help most.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~ radiation~arimidex~~Enjoy life more because of the uncertainty not less.

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Dec 26, 2011 02:42PM, edited Aug 10, 2012 08:13PM by SunflowersMA

This Post was deleted by SunflowersMA.
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Dec 26, 2011 03:08PM Reality wrote:

I find that Prozac has worked well for me. I honestly feel no side-effects, except that I absolutely cannot cry, no matter how sad I am. That was hard to get used to at first - in fact, my oldest grandson said that he was glad I do not cry all the time anymore, but that it must hurt when you need to cry and cannot. In addition, Prozac actually helps me curb my nervous eating tendancies.

Sherry

Dx 5/23/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 09/28/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)
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Dec 28, 2011 08:03PM vivirasselena wrote:

Prozac.......4 dollars a month. I've been on it without any problems for years.

I am loved. I am safe. I am healed.

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Dec 29, 2011 08:59PM SyrMom wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. Have you had any skeletal pain with the Al's?

Dx 9/22/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 3, 2012 01:51PM Baxter wrote:

 Thanks for the info ladies. I'm not taking Tamoxifen so I guess I can take any AD. I started Prozac about 6 days ago. I know that's an SSRI as well and I've tried several of those before, but I guess they must all be a little different.

I really hope this works for me. I know it takes weeks before you see any results. Hoping for no side effects. I just really need to start feeling better and be part of life again.

10/17/08 mastectomy with DCIS, second diagnosis and mastectomy 11/09

Dx 10/19/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 8, 2012 02:34PM Sierra wrote:

Celexa

taken some years ago

Sierra :)

The Time is Now!

Dx 1/2000, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Jan 12, 2012 01:22PM mamalu13 wrote:

Sierra
I just recently started taking Xanax and they just put
Me on celexa. Do you know anything about any
Of these. I hate taking any kind of meds but I am
Really hoping these work. I feel like I will never
Feel like myself again. The Zanex males me very tired.

Dx 11/25/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2012 01:30PM Ellie1959 wrote:

Cymbalta is my drug of choice - I have mad chronic pain as well as other issues and it is a Godsend. I think it might interact with tamoxifen - you might want to check that out- Good Luck!

Dx 12/27/2005, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2012 01:43PM Wren44 wrote:

I have recurrent Major Depressive Disorder and have been on many anti-depressants. I'm currently taking Wellbutrin, which has been the best. I took Effexor for a couple of years and was able to wean off without any side effects. You do have to go off gradually.

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, stage 1b, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-/HER2-. Lumpectomy and SNB 1/4/12. Reexcision for better margins found 2nd IDC >1cm, stage 1b, grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-. Mastectomy 2/22/12. Arimidex.

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Jan 12, 2012 03:34PM flannelette wrote:

I think Prozac's great. But you have to move upward slowly or you might feel really speedy at first - like wayyy too much coffee. when I was really low, had been on remeron, it wasn't working, my pharmacist, who I think knew way more about this stuff than my doctor, suggested I take 40 mg prozac per day (tthat's 2 times the standarrd 20 mg pill) plus Risperdel, which is an atypical antipsychotic. risperdel "boosts" the Prozac , it has been found. I told my dr her suggestion, dr did what she said. Rocketed me out of very deep depression in about 2 weeks flat. ZOOM! hang on for the ride.

Dx 7/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIb, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 7/20/2012, 0/6 nodesSurgery 07/30/2008 Mastectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 10/01/2008 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracilRadiation Therapy 01/10/2009 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/15/2009 ArimidexSurgery 07/20/2012 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
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Jan 12, 2012 05:01PM mamalu13 wrote:

That's my problem . The xanax is to controll my
Anxiety which gives me major shaking where I canNot
Even sit still for 5 min and I can't stop crying. It seems
To help but it makes me so tired. I may have to switch to
Something else. First day on my celexa and no
Side affects yet. But they don't me it will take 4 weeks
To start working. I'm just curious if these meds alter
The way you feel like a zombie. That's what I don't want.
I just want to feel like my old self and laugh again.
Everything I can think about is gloom and doom and
Whether this will come back. I'm a complete basket case
I have a great support system and I feel quilty for taking
Them along for the ride.

Dx 11/25/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Jan 12, 2012 06:19PM flannelette wrote:

I did nt like Xanax either - found it just womped me, let me sleep, have a short period of normal - like an hour, then wore off. I like clonazapam MUCH better. Seems to be more gentle yet lasts longer - but I haven't had the major anxiety your'e having while on clonazapam. Xanax was effective ut th zombie thing was awful...when i needed all those drugs in a big way I also had massage, talk therapy, and took a class for 12 weeks called Stress Reduction and Relaxation - the couse devised by Jon Kabat-Zin. The guided body scan was the BEST, also slow, gentle , simple yoga postures before sleep. At that point I couldn't drive a car, be alone at night, or go outside at night, and it was sheer hell, except I thought if I had to pick one, it would be anxiety over depression any day. I had them concurrently and was incapacitated for close to a year.

I got a copy of Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-zinn and it was so fu of compassion, it understood me so well, it had such love to offer, I would fall asleep with it in my arms. It was my lullaby. ps is there anyone to rock your feet, get your whole body gently rocking while you lie down, and sing you a lullaby? 

Dx 7/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIb, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 7/20/2012, 0/6 nodesSurgery 07/30/2008 Mastectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 10/01/2008 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracilRadiation Therapy 01/10/2009 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/15/2009 ArimidexSurgery 07/20/2012 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
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Jan 12, 2012 08:19PM TheDivineMrsM wrote:

flannelette, the book you mention: Full Catastrophe Living, sounds intriguing, and I am going to get it from my library and read it.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~ radiation~arimidex~~Enjoy life more because of the uncertainty not less.

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Jan 15, 2012 02:03PM mamalu13 wrote:

I don't think I can handle Xanax it makes me so tired I can function and I only took celexa for two days cause it made my heart race really fast . Now back to doc.. What side affects have you all experienced with the Wellbutrin ? I just want the shakes to go away. Then I can deal with the depression. But the anxiety seems to be worse for me.

Dx 11/25/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2012 07:29AM TheDivineMrsM wrote:

mamalu, 

One main reason I like the Buspar, which is an anti-axiety medicine, is because it does NOT make me tired.  I have found it to be VERY effective in helping me with my anxiety.

It doesn't make my heart race, or make me feel like sitting on the sofa all day doing nothing.  It helps me go about my day in a regular kind of way. 

Last summer, my anxiety levels were so high, my whole body trembled every day.  It was similar to the way your body would shiver if you were out in the freezing cold without a coat on.

If you read my 1st post on this thread, it explains more, and sounds similar to what you're experiencing.

The Buspar does NOT make me feel like a zombie.  It just helps with the anxiety.  I still laugh about things, bitch about other things.  And the buspar began helping aleve the anxiety the first day I took it.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~ radiation~arimidex~~Enjoy life more because of the uncertainty not less.

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Jan 22, 2012 06:58AM carcharm wrote:

Klonapin is a long acting xanax. It does not make me tired or have a racing heart. I am also on cymbalta. I haven't been taking it long enough to decide if it works well.

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Jan 22, 2012 11:27AM mamalu13 wrote:

Do you know if klonapin is addicting like Xanax . I hate Xanax. I only take it when I really need it but I'm suffering all day with the shakes and anxiety.

Dx 11/25/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Jan 24, 2012 06:15AM carcharm wrote:

Unfortunately it is addictive but I take it under watch by a psychiatrist. I take it for anxiety but I also take it to realx my muscles. Since chemo I have horrible muscle cramps, twisting, daily and it does help me not to get panicky when they come on. I can't take xanax. It makes my heart palpitate and I get even more restless. It sounds like you could use something even for a short term.

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