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Have to Stop MAOI - Suggestions on 2nd Choice?

Posted by Judy on May 8, 1999, at 14:09:09

I've been being treated for severe depression for 12 years now. My patient records look like a large city's Yellow Pages they are so thick with all the AD's I've tried and failed on. Only Nardil (an MAOI) works - and WORKS WELL- for me; however the side effects (water retention leading to serious edema, major difficulty at urinating, total anorgasmia, etc.) are so terrible that I eventually have to give it up and disappear into my black hole again.

I have just recently weaned off of Nardil for the third time and tried Serzone. Serzone was my worst nightmare - trying to wake up in the morning was like coming out of anesthesia and I never achieved total alertness at any time during the day. (This is bad for me - one of the symptoms of my depression is hyposomnia, so I don't need an AD that causes it.) I've had similar experiences with the other SSRI's (had similar fatigue problems that never abated). I've also tried the tricyclics, lithium, and eldepryl (an MAOI-Type B). My doctor won't prescribe Moclobemide (MAOI-Type A) because it's not approved by the FDA.

My doctor has now suggested Effexor, claiming it is totally different from all the others. Is there anyone out there who only responded well to MAOI's but has since found something else that worked well without such severe side effects? My doctor's only other suggestions are to combine two or more AD's and try for a good balance - or ECT which scares the heck out of me!

I have to make my decision on Wednesday. Do I try something new or go back to Nardil again just to get my had on straight?

I realize (especially after reading almost all of this website) that everyone is a "snowflake" (totally individual) when it comes to the efficacy and/or side effects of AD's; but I'd still like to hear from someone who's been where I am right now.




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