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Anti depressants and chemo

13 REPLIES 13
SamanthaL
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Emelf,
Is there a psychiatrist at your hospital, so you can discuss the drug regime?
Chemo messed with my head, and I was prescribed amitryptylene, but I had to come off them pretty quickly as I am mildly bi polar and the amitryptylene made matters worse. I needed a mood stabiliser before taking any anti depressant.
I haven't gone back on any antidepressant medication, but I do get therapy and regular discussion with the psychiatric team. It's been a hard haul mind you and I have had what I call a psychotic episode after my first chemo as I went neutropenic.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Naunamh, thats great to hear! I think I lot of people would be able to get through without them. They should just believe in themselves and their own strength. Women are so much stronger then they think!

Dont get wrong though if it helps people then thats great. We are all different I guess.

ForumMember
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

I have had Venlafaxine since dx and before that was on Citalopram for two separate periods of approx 6 months - I have to say that the first day of both these I felt very spacey, with dilated pupils and lightheadedness. Each time though, I persevered and by day 2 felt much better than I had before taking them. I have found them very useful. However, I saw a psychiatrist after dx who specialises in people who have severe anxiety after dx of a serious illness. She suggested I take mirtazipine - it gave me very vivid nightmares so I didn't take any more and my GP was fine with that.
About a third of women with recently diagnosed BC are clinically depressed or anxious so I think GPs are (rightly) becoming more aware of our psychological needs, as well as physical needs. However, if people don't feel comfortable taking medication then they shouldn't feel pressured. Having agreed to take them you can always decide against it, and having decided not to you can always change your mind. Also if the drugs don't work they can be changed, or discontinued.
Irina

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Hi Emelf

I will not go into my own experiences of anti depressants. Just to say that I agree absolutely with you. I was pressured to take them during treatment for bc but knew that I could make it without. I was right.

Margaret

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Last night I took one and it was one of the worst experiences Ive had. It took me right down and made me feel more depressed then I ever have done, I couldnt sleep and I felt totally wired. I have been offered them before and always refused them as my mum and sister have been on them (my sis never wants to come off them) I dont feel like suppressing your feelings is a good way to deal with stuff. Im annoyed that I doubted my strength and feel like I can get through this now without them and maybe trying something more natural.

Its great that it helps for some people but I have realised that it really isnt for me. I know it takes a while to work but last night just made me realise that I can cope without them.

I am slightly annoyed with my GP as she did really persuade me. Doctors seem tho think that anti depressants and antibiotics are the answer to every thing. Antibiotics actually made me more ill in the end.

Thanks for all your posts though guys. I have realised you really do have to go with your gut instinct know matter what.

hazelmary
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Hello

Saw your post and thought I would tell you what happened to me. I was diagnosed 5 years ago this month and whilst having chemo I didn't cope too well. Every night my husband would walk in the door and I would burst into tears, The first time I got upset was when I arrived for my first chemo and was asked by the nurse if I was okay and I burst into tears. Anyway 3 FECs down the road I went to see my GP, and he suggested amitriptyline, a mild dose, just to keep me on the level and he said that it would also help with the pain in my arm from the operation which it did. And it worked, you might say that the dose was so mild that it wasn't really keeping the tears etc at bay but in my mind it was, I can't say.

So here I am, 5 years down the line, have just got back from my surgeons yearly appointment, I am fine still and I am still on the amitriptyline and with all doctors blessing plan to stay on it, all be it 50mg each night. I work fulltime in a demanding job and the drug doesn't affect me in any way.

In some respects I always against anti-depressants, I have seen what it did to my Mother but there are times when we have to accept a little bit of help and I am so glad that I did.

Take Care

Hazel

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Hi

I am on anti-depressants as I suffer from depression. This started years ago before BC got to me this year. I am on escitalopram which I believe is a form of citalopram. I had my first chemo 2 weeks ago (FEC) and have not noticed any problems related to taking the anti-depressants.

Hannah

rachy7
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Hello, when having chemo this year, i was on citalopram and amytriptelline. I had no untoward sideffects whilst having chemo with them. I could not have coped without them.

Rach

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Thanks everyone! Im quite an anti drug person so get nervous about taking new drugs.

Ruby1
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

I took them with no persuasion as I felt so awful - I've never had a problem before and had never imagined that I would need antidepressants. I was in so much shock though that my thoughts were if there's ever a time to take them, then now's the time. The first night I took them, I had a good night's sleep and really felt much more rested and able to cope than before. They did make me feel a bit odd - although I think some of it was probably the shock too. I felt a bit heady - like things were moving a bit and I was also more thirsty. These things settled down completely though although still get more thirsty than before as I'm still taking them. Your body will get used to them quickly.

ForumMember
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

I have taken citalopram. It is a very effective antidepressant and helps tremendously with anxiety/panic. The side effects you get are not much. YOu may notice feeling a little jittery or even a bit nervous for first few days, . I managed to start a new job when I first started taking them, so the side effects are minimal. They soon work and within about 10 days, I was feeling much much better.

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Thanks. Ive got Citalopram. 20mg. I was always so against them but now thought god why not. What did you feel like when you first took them? Did they make you feel strange?

Ruby1
Member

Re: Anti depressants and chemo

Hi there Emelf
My GP prescribed amitryptylene which I am still taking - it just took the edge of everything and helped me to sleep at night - in the beginning, I was in so much shock I couldn't eat or sleep and they really helped. I'll be weaning myself off them soon. I only took a very small dose either 10 or 20 mg per night before sleep.

Good luck
Ruby xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Anti depressants and chemo

Hi I was wondering if anyone took anti depressants while on chemo? Ive been prescribed some and start chemo in around 2 weeks. Im going back to my home town for a few days and so didnt want to start them straight away as they make you feel a bit strange at first. But then again I dont want to start them too late so that I have chemo side effects and the anti depressants.

Any advice?