Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 363567

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Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by SLS on July 6, 2004, at 23:27:27

In reply to Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Colleen D. on July 6, 2004, at 19:44:18

> This has been a surprising result of my taking Effexor. I had very painful sciatica and other joint pain as well as frequent headaches and they've gone away completely. Does anyone know why this would happen? Is it because of the extra serotonin in my system? Can anyone shed some light on this for me?


I can't explain exactly why they work, but some antidepressants are effective treatments for chronic pain conditions. Some of the tricyclics, Effexor, and the soon to be approved Cymbalta are particularly noted. All of these drugs inhibit the reuptake of both norepinephrine and serotonin.


- Scott

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS

Posted by flipsactown on July 6, 2004, at 23:59:59

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by SLS on July 6, 2004, at 23:27:27

Hi Scott,

Do you think Effexor would be an effective AD, as well as a pain med, for me considering I have taken nearly all of the SSRI's including Effexor? I had to quit Effexor in less than 2 weeks because of vertigo, nausea & vomiting? I would be willing to try Effexor again if it will help get rid of or reduce my chronic back pain. I had the greatest depression relief with Prozac or Zoloft with Desipramine lasting over 5 years. I am nearly 30 days in taking Lexapro. Although my depression has slightly lifted, I am still experiencing insomnia, loss of appetite (which is actually good for me in that I have loss nearly 10 lbs) and fatigue, causing an increase of my chronic back pain. How are you doing and what is your opinion concerning the above?

FST

> > This has been a surprising result of my taking Effexor. I had very painful sciatica and other joint pain as well as frequent headaches and they've gone away completely. Does anyone know why this would happen? Is it because of the extra serotonin in my system? Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
>
>
> I can't explain exactly why they work, but some antidepressants are effective treatments for chronic pain conditions. Some of the tricyclics, Effexor, and the soon to be approved Cymbalta are particularly noted. All of these drugs inhibit the reuptake of both norepinephrine and serotonin.
>
>
> - Scott

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by Rhapsody on July 7, 2004, at 0:37:06

In reply to Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Colleen D. on July 6, 2004, at 19:44:18

Hi Colleen,

How much Effexor are you taking and how long have you been taking it?

> This has been a surprising result of my taking Effexor. I had very painful sciatica and other joint pain as well as frequent headaches and they've gone away completely. Does anyone know why this would happen? Is it because of the extra serotonin in my system? Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Colleen
> PPD, GAD and OCD

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by Sad Panda on July 7, 2004, at 1:49:58

In reply to Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Colleen D. on July 6, 2004, at 19:44:18

> This has been a surprising result of my taking Effexor. I had very painful sciatica and other joint pain as well as frequent headaches and they've gone away completely. Does anyone know why this would happen? Is it because of the extra serotonin in my system? Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Colleen
> PPD, GAD and OCD
>

It is possible as Effexor is a close relative of the pain med Ultram. I had numb forearms when I first started taking it.

Cheers,
Panda.

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS

Posted by King Vultan on July 7, 2004, at 7:32:33

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by SLS on July 6, 2004, at 23:27:27

>
>
> I can't explain exactly why they work, but some antidepressants are effective treatments for chronic pain conditions. Some of the tricyclics, Effexor, and the soon to be approved Cymbalta are particularly noted. All of these drugs inhibit the reuptake of both norepinephrine and serotonin.
>
>
> - Scott


That has been my observation as well, that the ADs noted as being best for chronic pain tend to be the ones that block reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. In particular, the tricyclics amitriptyline and nortriptyline come to mind, as these are widely used by GPs for treatment of chronic pain. Out of the 10 or so drugs I've tried, nortriptyline did happen to be the most effective one in suppressing my chronic headaches.

Todd

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? Rhapsody

Posted by Colleen D. on July 7, 2004, at 7:41:59

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Rhapsody on July 7, 2004, at 0:37:06

I am taking 150 mg XR daily. I used the startup pack beginning May 18, 2004, which was one week of 37.5 mg and one week of 75 mg and then moved up to the 150 mg dosage. Overall, I feel better than I have in years. I gave up on chiropractic care for this pain in November 2002 because it kept returning a few days after each adjustment.

Colleen

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown

Posted by SLS on July 7, 2004, at 8:05:59

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS, posted by flipsactown on July 6, 2004, at 23:59:59

Hi FST.

> Do you think Effexor would be an effective AD,

I can understand anyone being apprehensive about trying Effexor (venlafaxine) given all of the negative posts to be read here on Psycho-Babble. The fact still remains that it has demonstrated itself to superior to the SSRIs in the percentage of people who respond to it and in the quality the of response obtained (more people achieve remission).

> I had to quit Effexor in less than 2 weeks because of vertigo, nausea & vomiting?

I guess I don't have to expouse the virtues of the "low and slow" paradigm of dosage titration. What dosages did you use to begin trestment? Usually, these side effects are only temporary. That, of course, is the ideal explanation for your experience. I hope a slower titration will help mitigate these effects for you.

> as well as a pain med,

There are no guarantees, but there is some precedent for using Effexor to treat pain associated with depression and chronic pain disorders in the absence of depression (fibroneuralgia, diabetic neuropathy).

> I had the greatest depression relief with Prozac or Zoloft with Desipramine lasting over 5 years.

This might indicate that combining the reuptake inhibition of both serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) is important to treat your depression and perhaps the pain as well. Effexor, a dual-action drug, does both of these things at the same time at higher dosages. Did your pain remit during those 5 years? It might make sense to add desipramine now if you wish to remain on an SSRI and avoid Effexor. That's pretty much common sense, as desipramine is a NE reuptake inhibitor. Then, if that doesn't work, you could investigate the antidepressantes Effexor, imipramine, amitriptyline, and Cymbalta, all of these being combination 5-HT / NE reuptake inhibitors. Cymbalta might become available by the time you have competed your current drug trial (wishful thinking).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11230034

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12625792

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15162896

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14709757


From a totally different class of drugs, Neurontin has been used to treat pain disorders.

What are your feelings at this point?


- Scott

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by SLS on July 7, 2004, at 8:42:46

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown, posted by SLS on July 7, 2004, at 8:05:59

Sorry about the typos. It's too early in the morning.

Also:

"fibroneuralgia" should be "fibromyalgia"

Cymbalta = duloxetine as referred to in the last Medline citation.

- Scott

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? King Vultan

Posted by Sad Panda on July 7, 2004, at 10:42:11

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS, posted by King Vultan on July 7, 2004, at 7:32:33

> >
> >
> > I can't explain exactly why they work, but some antidepressants are effective treatments for chronic pain conditions. Some of the tricyclics, Effexor, and the soon to be approved Cymbalta are particularly noted. All of these drugs inhibit the reuptake of both norepinephrine and serotonin.
> >
> >
> > - Scott
>
>
> That has been my observation as well, that the ADs noted as being best for chronic pain tend to be the ones that block reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. In particular, the tricyclics amitriptyline and nortriptyline come to mind, as these are widely used by GPs for treatment of chronic pain. Out of the 10 or so drugs I've tried, nortriptyline did happen to be the most effective one in suppressing my chronic headaches.
>
> Todd
>

Most likely nort's 5-HT2A antagonism. A fair few of the drugs used in migraine prevention are H1 & 5-HT2A antagonists such as methysergide, cyproheptadine, pizotifen & ofcourse amitrip.

Cheers,
Panda.

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS

Posted by flipsactown on July 7, 2004, at 12:10:11

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown, posted by SLS on July 7, 2004, at 8:05:59

Hello Scott,

Thanks for the useful information. I will save this message and refer to it later on. Since I have only been on Lexapro for a month, it is probably best that I give it another month or so before I make a change. Also, when I was taking Effexor, another bad side effect was extreme constipation despite taking lots of fiber drinks. Not only that I remember the withdrawals were very similiar to the WD's I had experienced tapering off of Oxy after being on it for 2 years. I will be totally off Oxy in two days. It took several months to taper off the Oxy and at times I did experience dts withdrawals. It was extremely unpleasant and that is another reason why I am hesitant in going back to Effexor. However, if it will decrease my chronic pain or even totally get rid of it, I will surely give it another chance. I don't remember the exact dose of Effexor I started out with, but if I were to go back to Effexor I will titrate very, very slowly as per your recommendation.

I did feel a reduction of my chronic back pain when Desipramine was added to Prozac, especially in the beginning, but it did not last as my chronic back pain had worsen after a year or so.

Thanks again for your insight.

FST
> Hi FST.
>
> > Do you think Effexor would be an effective AD,
>
> I can understand anyone being apprehensive about trying Effexor (venlafaxine) given all of the negative posts to be read here on Psycho-Babble. The fact still remains that it has demonstrated itself to superior to the SSRIs in the percentage of people who respond to it and in the quality the of response obtained (more people achieve remission).
>
> > I had to quit Effexor in less than 2 weeks because of vertigo, nausea & vomiting?
>
> I guess I don't have to expouse the virtues of the "low and slow" paradigm of dosage titration. What dosages did you use to begin trestment? Usually, these side effects are only temporary. That, of course, is the ideal explanation for your experience. I hope a slower titration will help mitigate these effects for you.
>
> > as well as a pain med,
>
> There are no guarantees, but there is some precedent for using Effexor to treat pain associated with depression and chronic pain disorders in the absence of depression (fibroneuralgia, diabetic neuropathy).
>
> > I had the greatest depression relief with Prozac or Zoloft with Desipramine lasting over 5 years.
>
> This might indicate that combining the reuptake inhibition of both serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE) is important to treat your depression and perhaps the pain as well. Effexor, a dual-action drug, does both of these things at the same time at higher dosages. Did your pain remit during those 5 years? It might make sense to add desipramine now if you wish to remain on an SSRI and avoid Effexor. That's pretty much common sense, as desipramine is a NE reuptake inhibitor. Then, if that doesn't work, you could investigate the antidepressantes Effexor, imipramine, amitriptyline, and Cymbalta, all of these being combination 5-HT / NE reuptake inhibitors. Cymbalta might become available by the time you have competed your current drug trial (wishful thinking).
>
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11230034
>
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12625792
>
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15162896
>
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14709757
>
>
> From a totally different class of drugs, Neurontin has been used to treat pain disorders.
>
> What are your feelings at this point?
>
>
> - Scott
>

 

Re: extreme constipation flipsactown

Posted by Colleen D. on July 7, 2004, at 12:24:57

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS, posted by flipsactown on July 7, 2004, at 12:10:11

I am a bit constipated on Effexor, but I was before I started this med. Instead of adding fiber, try taking docusate sodium stool softener, if you have the constipation again.

Colleen

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown

Posted by Sad Panda on July 7, 2004, at 23:01:03

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS, posted by flipsactown on July 7, 2004, at 12:10:11

Hi FST,

Have you tried or considered Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline? I don't want to deter you from trying Effexor but these two have a pretty good track record for treating neuropathic(nerve damage?) pain.

Cheers,
Panda.

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? Sad Panda

Posted by flipsactown on July 8, 2004, at 0:24:56

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown, posted by Sad Panda on July 7, 2004, at 23:01:03

Hi Panda,

I did try Amitriptyline for nearly 2 months, but gave it up in favor of Prozac because of weight gain and the fact that I was still depressed. In retrospect, I probably should have added Amitriptyline to augment Prozac.

I have not tried Nortriptyline. I will keep it in mind should Lexapro fail. Another idea would be to ask my pdoc to Rx Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline to augment Lexapro. I probably will try this first before I try Effexor again because of my previous terrible experience with Effexor's SEs.

Thanks for the advice.

FST

> Hi FST,
>
> Have you tried or considered Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline? I don't want to deter you from trying Effexor but these two have a pretty good track record for treating neuropathic(nerve damage?) pain.
>
> Cheers,
> Panda.
>

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown

Posted by Sad Panda on July 8, 2004, at 4:27:09

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? Sad Panda, posted by flipsactown on July 8, 2004, at 0:24:56

> Hi Panda,
>
> I did try Amitriptyline for nearly 2 months, but gave it up in favor of Prozac because of weight gain and the fact that I was still depressed. In retrospect, I probably should have added Amitriptyline to augment Prozac.
>
> I have not tried Nortriptyline. I will keep it in mind should Lexapro fail. Another idea would be to ask my pdoc to Rx Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline to augment Lexapro. I probably will try this first before I try Effexor again because of my previous terrible experience with Effexor's SEs.
>
> Thanks for the advice.
>
> FST
>
> > Hi FST,
> >
> > Have you tried or considered Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline? I don't want to deter you from trying Effexor but these two have a pretty good track record for treating neuropathic(nerve damage?) pain.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Panda.
> >
>
>

Hi FST,

I am in the process of switching from Effexor + Remeron to Effexor + Nortriptyline. I'm trying to understand the P450 system since I don't think my pdoc spent too much time thinking about it when she gave me the script for Nortriptyline. Looks like Nort & Effexor raise each others levels somewhat, so I have to be carefull with the dosages. Prozac & Paxil look to be bad choice for combination with TCA's because they are inhibitors of CYP2D6 which is the enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of a lot of drugs.

Cheers,
Panda.

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by SLS on July 8, 2004, at 7:52:21

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? flipsactown, posted by Sad Panda on July 8, 2004, at 4:27:09

FST:

> Another idea would be to ask my pdoc to Rx Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline to augment Lexapro. I probably will try this first before I try Effexor again because of my previous terrible experience with Effexor's SEs.

I agree with you. I think augmenting the Lexapro makes sense, especially since you are expereriencing a partial response to it. If you opt for nortriptyline instead of desipramine, be sure to use blood levels to help determine proper dosing.


Panda:

> Looks like Nort & Effexor raise each others levels somewhat, so I have to be carefull with the dosages.

According to my reference, they do, but not to a large degree. However, since dosage is so critical with nortriptyline when treating depression, you should test for blood levels. It will make things easier.

> Prozac & Paxil look to be bad choice for combination with TCA's because they are inhibitors of CYP2D6 which is the enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of a lot of drugs.

I don't think they are necessarily bad choices so much as they are choices that require knowledge of pharmocokinetic interactions and appropriate adjustment of dosages. You can pretty much cut the dosage of the TCA in half. Prozac or Paxil + desipramine makes for a reasonable combination. I combined Paxil with desipramine with no trouble at all. Again, blood tests are available to make this a viable option.

I'm surprised that I found the following abstract so easily. It is important to consider that the blood concentrations of desipramine were controlled. Many previous reviews of such combinations offered as discussion the possibility that the increased rate of antidepressant response observed was due to increased blood levels of TCA produced by the CYP2D6 inhibition produced by the SSRI.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14744472

Good luck with your new combo!


- Scott

 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor? SLS

Posted by Sad Panda on July 8, 2004, at 10:28:04

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by SLS on July 8, 2004, at 7:52:21

> FST:
>
> > Another idea would be to ask my pdoc to Rx Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline to augment Lexapro. I probably will try this first before I try Effexor again because of my previous terrible experience with Effexor's SEs.
>
> I agree with you. I think augmenting the Lexapro makes sense, especially since you are expereriencing a partial response to it. If you opt for nortriptyline instead of desipramine, be sure to use blood levels to help determine proper dosing.
>
>
> Panda:
>
> > Looks like Nort & Effexor raise each others levels somewhat, so I have to be carefull with the dosages.
>
> According to my reference, they do, but not to a large degree. However, since dosage is so critical with nortriptyline when treating depression, you should test for blood levels. It will make things easier.
>
> > Prozac & Paxil look to be bad choice for combination with TCA's because they are inhibitors of CYP2D6 which is the enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of a lot of drugs.
>
> I don't think they are necessarily bad choices so much as they are choices that require knowledge of pharmocokinetic interactions and appropriate adjustment of dosages. You can pretty much cut the dosage of the TCA in half. Prozac or Paxil + desipramine makes for a reasonable combination. I combined Paxil with desipramine with no trouble at all. Again, blood tests are available to make this a viable option.
>
> I'm surprised that I found the following abstract so easily. It is important to consider that the blood concentrations of desipramine were controlled. Many previous reviews of such combinations offered as discussion the possibility that the increased rate of antidepressant response observed was due to increased blood levels of TCA produced by the CYP2D6 inhibition produced by the SSRI.
>
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14744472
>
> Good luck with your new combo!
>
>
> - Scott
>

Thanks Scott! :)

I get a lot of my info from http://www.psychotropical.com/
The pdoc that has that site, Dr. PK Gillman, like to prescibe Zoloft + Nortriptyline or Desipramine. His site has recently been updated & it looks prettier, but half the info on it has gone.

Cheers,
Panda.


 

Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?

Posted by starlight on July 8, 2004, at 17:40:24

In reply to Re: Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Buckeye Fan on July 6, 2004, at 23:10:16

It's very common for pain management specialists to prescribe antidepressents for neuropathic pain, so it's not surprising that you would have positive results for your pain with effexor. Congrats!
starlight

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions

Posted by Cairo on July 9, 2004, at 21:42:59

In reply to Disappearance of chronic pain with Effexor?, posted by Colleen D. on July 6, 2004, at 19:44:18

I have Fibromyalgia with atypical depression/HPA axis hypofunction and SSRIs make me worse. At very low doses they disrupt my already unrestful sleep and my muscles start to feel like I have a severe case of the flu! Effexor is supposed to work for some people with FMS, but I've never been able to up the dose to get past the SSRI action to the norepi reuptake inhibition component.

Would Strattera or another NRI make sense? I use Desyrel for sleep, but I don't think the quality of my sleep is good and it probably worsens the sleep apnea that you get with HPA dysfunction. I use a CPAP machine.

I need something for depression and pain, but as I've said, I can't up the SSRI doses. Neurontin works a bit for pain and muscle relaxation, but poops out after awhile. I used Elavil years ago when I was first diagnosed and it did help with pain and sleep, but that was before my symptoms worsened. Weight gain has been a problem on Elavil, Neurontin and Remeron, so that's why I was switched to Desyrel.

A trial of low dose Risperdal (0.125mg)for a couple of weeks successfully aborted a Fibromyalgia flare awhile ago, but a repeated course for the next flare did not seem to work as well. Upping the dose to 0.5mg or higher made symptoms worse (muscle aches, flushes, nervousness).

At this point, I don't care about weight gain. I need to help the pain and depression. My doctor won't touch narcotics, so I use only aspirin. NSAIDs cause elevation in BP.

How would you rate Elavil compared to other TCAs for pain? Would it help the atypical type depressive symptoms? How about med combos? I think that if some of the pain and muscle tightness could be controlled, some of my depressive symptoms would improve.

Thanks!

Cairo

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo

Posted by Sad Panda on July 10, 2004, at 9:40:23

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions, posted by Cairo on July 9, 2004, at 21:42:59

> I have Fibromyalgia with atypical depression/HPA axis hypofunction and SSRIs make me worse. At very low doses they disrupt my already unrestful sleep and my muscles start to feel like I have a severe case of the flu! Effexor is supposed to work for some people with FMS, but I've never been able to up the dose to get past the SSRI action to the norepi reuptake inhibition component.
>
> Would Strattera or another NRI make sense? I use Desyrel for sleep, but I don't think the quality of my sleep is good and it probably worsens the sleep apnea that you get with HPA dysfunction. I use a CPAP machine.
>
> I need something for depression and pain, but as I've said, I can't up the SSRI doses. Neurontin works a bit for pain and muscle relaxation, but poops out after awhile. I used Elavil years ago when I was first diagnosed and it did help with pain and sleep, but that was before my symptoms worsened. Weight gain has been a problem on Elavil, Neurontin and Remeron, so that's why I was switched to Desyrel.
>
> A trial of low dose Risperdal (0.125mg)for a couple of weeks successfully aborted a Fibromyalgia flare awhile ago, but a repeated course for the next flare did not seem to work as well. Upping the dose to 0.5mg or higher made symptoms worse (muscle aches, flushes, nervousness).
>
> At this point, I don't care about weight gain. I need to help the pain and depression. My doctor won't touch narcotics, so I use only aspirin. NSAIDs cause elevation in BP.
>
> How would you rate Elavil compared to other TCAs for pain? Would it help the atypical type depressive symptoms? How about med combos? I think that if some of the pain and muscle tightness could be controlled, some of my depressive symptoms would improve.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Cairo
>
>

I would suggest you try Nortriptyline, it is a NRI type TCA. It is an active metabolite of Elavil(Amitriptyline) & has a lot less of the side effects while retaining most of the good things.

Amitriptyline & Nortriptyline, besides being effective antidepressants, are good at treating neurological pain, preventing migraines & treating IBS.

Cheers,
Panda.


 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo

Posted by King Vultan on July 10, 2004, at 11:12:28

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions, posted by Cairo on July 9, 2004, at 21:42:59

I quite agree with Panda. I've tried this med myself and found it the most effective of the ten or so I've tried for my chronic headaches, and I think it is an effective antidepressant. It is not as sedating as amitriptyline, but it has much more mild side effects.

Todd

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions

Posted by SLS on July 10, 2004, at 11:30:24

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo, posted by King Vultan on July 10, 2004, at 11:12:28

> I quite agree with Panda. I've tried this med myself and found it the most effective of the ten or so I've tried for my chronic headaches, and I think it is an effective antidepressant. It is not as sedating as amitriptyline, but it has much more mild side effects.
>
> Todd


I also like the idea of using nortriptyline. It's a great suggestion.


- Scott

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 14, 2004, at 13:33:31

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions, posted by Cairo on July 9, 2004, at 21:42:59

Hello Cairo,
We are in the same boat. I have fibro, HPA axis dysfunction, have sleep apnea and depression (actually bipolar disorder). I also have hypothyroidism. I had a thorough workup and found that my hormones were malfunctioning, which is typical with HPA dysfunction. I am menopausal and was already on natural hormones, but tests showed they were way off. Getting my estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA balanced helped my pains alot. Another thing is thyroid. If your thyroid is even a little low your fibro pains will be increased. Some theories say that fibro is really an undertreated hypothyroid condition. Your TSH scores should be under 2.0.

I still get depression, anxiety, and insomnia, but since getting the hormones balanced, at least my muscle pains and flares are greatly diminished. In fact, I recently went back on lithium because my bipolar disorder just wasn't getting better. Lithium can make hypothyroid worse. I started feeling the old muscle cramping, aching, tired sluggish feeling again and sure enough, my TSH values were 8.5. Upped my thyroid and the pains went away.

When the pains get bad I take oxycontin. It doesn't really get rid of the pains. Not much will get rid of that drawing pulling ache. But it helps me to not care so much about the pain. I take just one pill. There's no fear of addiction, I can take or leave opioids. But it does help.

You may need to find a progressive doctor who is willing to look at a more comprehensive picture for you. I go to a naturopath have an appointment with an Environmental and Functional Medicine MD next week for this thing. Let's keep in touch. I will let you know what I find out. - BarbaraCat

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions

Posted by ravenstorm on July 16, 2004, at 16:29:57

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo, posted by BarbaraCat on July 14, 2004, at 13:33:31

When I was on paxil I had muscle pain and worsened headaches which I didn't reallize were from the SSRI until I got off of it.

I'm a massage therapist and based on client information (I see a lot of people with chronic pain) it seems to be the norep. not the serotonin that helps with pain. I have clients who have gained relief from Wellbutrin, nortriptyline, desipramine and effexor. Non of the SSRIs on there own have helped with pain relief. Again, totally anecdotal.

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions ravenstorm

Posted by BarbaraCat on July 16, 2004, at 19:29:59

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions, posted by ravenstorm on July 16, 2004, at 16:29:57

This is very interesting because I was having a very similar discussion with m/husband yesterday who has recently stopped smoking. The class he went to said that nicotine acts primarily on dopamine but there's a very close tie between dopamine and endorphins as far as pleasure seeking and reward is concerned. The lines are a little blurred with the question, is it pleasure enhancement or pain relief? Narcotics act on dopamine as well as the opiod system.

Since dopamine is in the same pathway as NE, and if there's some correlation with dopamine and endorphins, then sounds logical. - BarbaraCat


> When I was on paxil I had muscle pain and worsened headaches which I didn't reallize were from the SSRI until I got off of it.
>
> I'm a massage therapist and based on client information (I see a lot of people with chronic pain) it seems to be the norep. not the serotonin that helps with pain. I have clients who have gained relief from Wellbutrin, nortriptyline, desipramine and effexor. Non of the SSRIs on there own have helped with pain relief. Again, totally anecdotal.

 

Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions BarbaraCat

Posted by Cairo on July 19, 2004, at 15:19:54

In reply to Re: Chronic pain -best med and weird reactions Cairo, posted by BarbaraCat on July 14, 2004, at 13:33:31

Hi, Barbara Cat!

When my TSH started creeping up past 3, I was started on T4, but it has not made any difference with pain, muscle tightness or any other symptoms, despite my TSH coming down to .86. A trial of estrogen/progesterone replacement therapy didn't do anything and the progesterone days made me feel like I had the flu. I'm not a candidate for estrogen only as I still have a uterus and a family history of breast cancer makes me nervous about the estrogen anyway. Testosterone level was OK.

I'm convinced that I'm a candidate for a CRH augmentor as I look and feel like Addison's disease: I crash and burn in the afternoons after ANY stressor as small as making dinner. I'm waiting for my latest cortisol levels, including an 11pm salivary cortisol to see how low they are. Last time the 4pm was lowish, but that really doesn't show if I can mount a response to stress.

Me thinks I will ask for nortriptyline, as Elavil was the only one that seemed to help, but that was quite awhile ago.

I went to a holistic doctor who gave me nutritional IVs. Because my magnesium was probably low at the time, I did feel better. But I think that is treating the problem downstream; nutritional deficiencies can be caused by stress, so I've taken supplements, but this only helps minimally. The root problem goes higher, I think.

Also, while I've not been diagnosed with BP2, my Fibromyalgia doctor says that Lamictal has helped many of her patients. I've read posts on this forum about the similarity of atypical depression (which I think I have) and BP2. I'll be talking to my psychiatrist about this. I went off all meds except for the Desyrel in anticipation of trying something new, but unfortunately my doc broke his leg and had surgery, so my appointment got cancelled.

I also am prone to neck injury due not to disc disease, but those #*%% tight muscles! I went to Universal STudios with my daughter and went on the Mummy ride which I didn't know was a roller coaster. I grabbed my neck and thought I did OK, but two weeks later went on the Cat in the Hat ride and had what looks like a whiplash injury. Everything went downhill from there and my FMS flared big time. The only think that consistently helps is a wonderful physical therapist that I go to that does hands on work on my back and neck. Far better than trigger point injections or myofascial and spray and stretch massage therapy. But, alas, the effects don't last as long as I would like.

Back to the TSH, my endo will not try T3 or higher dose as she says that while I may feel better short term, feedback inhibition will shut the thyroid down. I have wondered, however, about what is suggested in the book, The Thyroid Solution, about substituting some of the T4 that I take with T3 in an amount that approaches the "natural" ratio in the body (forgive this approximation as I cannot recall exactly). I dunno, maybe I'll try what Larry Hoover suggests in another post about supplementing with selenium, tyrosine, etc.

Let's do keep in touch as the FMS road is a difficult one and we've got to keep everyone on their toes.

Cairo


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