• The use of antidepressants with our BC remission journey.

    Asked by oceanblue24 on Saturday, March 16, 2013

    The use of antidepressants with our BC remission journey.

    My family Dr. just started me on Cymbalta as I'm a constant worrier of reacurence of my BC. I've been an anxiety sufferer for many yrs & have been on Klonopin but she felt the Cymbalta would help my mood while also helping the aches from the Arimidex? Anybody here on antidepressants & do they help? Many Blessings wished to all in your journeys!!!

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I'm a psychotherapist, but my remarks here are not in a professional capacity. Antidepressants are used for other things than depression; same with other meds. Cymbalta works with some people for anxiety, but I haven't heard about the aches - for that I've heard of Claritin. I'm on a daily dose of Clarinex, but it doesn't do the same thing as Claritin. As an aside, an article was published last year that showed antidepressants do not work to relieve depression (they keep someone from going deeper) because they do not reach "area 24" in the brain - think of a switch box with signals coming in from each area of the brain and brokered through the box. The researcher did well with an extremely low jolt of electricity to "area 24". Even people who are hospitalized frequently immediately were okay. They're working on an implant.

      over 6 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear oceanblue24,

      Hi, I'm Aliza and I'm a BC patient and a Medical Librarian (retired) but still actively research for people on this site and elsewhere. You ask an interesting question that has many facets to it: Does anyone here (on the site) take antidepressants and do they help moods (and possibly pain)? There are several things to consider before a good answer to that question could be made. One is whether a person had depression or anxiety before they had cancer or whether symptoms of depression/anxiety started after the diagnosis. Either way, the question still remains.

      I'll answer from a personal perspective. I've suffered from moderate depression for many years. I've been taking Wellbutrin for about 15 years. It works very well for me. I was considerably more depressed before I started taking it. I also take Klonopin for an anxiety disorder that I had before my cancer. It works well for me and continued to work well during my diagnosis and the time that I had to wait before I had my surgery (mastectomy). I'm ok now, and I'm cancer free and don't need chemotherapy which made me very happy. Re pain from the Tamoxifen I think I'm beginning to feel, well Monday is coming and my Oncologist is going to get a phone call from me re what she wants me to do re that as well as the fact that my IBS has flared and i'm not sure whether that's a side effect of Tamoxifen and I need her to tell me what to do - if she knows of anything pharmaceutical or whether a visit to my G.I. doc is in order. I hope that helped you. Btw, Cymbalta is also used to relieve pain from fibromyalgia. I don't know of any benefit however from it for use for bone pain.

      over 6 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      Oceanblue24 - I wish you peace. I was diagnosed in January. I have never had problems with depression. I did end up getting a low dose of lexapro and am very thankful to have it. While I was in the hospital after my mastectomy I was really struggling with some intense emotions. I would get really mad at nurses who came in with pink ribbon scrubs. I also got mad that they sent me an occupational therapist. All pretty irrational things for me. They offered my XANAX which I took via the IV. It knocked me out. They also sent me home with XANAX for severe anxiety. I took one after my port placement went horribly wrong... it just made me more emotional, sad and depressed. I recently threw the XANAX away and will never take it again. We're all different, right?

      My mother-in-law suffers from terrible depression. I have a lot of empathy for her situation.... personally I have never suffered with this before now... one thing I do know is that I will do all I can to make sure my BC never comes back (eating healthy, exercising, managing stress). What I refuse to do is worry that it will come back - I can't let it consume me. I wish you well. XOXO

      over 6 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I went through my fight in high school (Thyroid cancer). I was later diagnosed with a form of PTSD many years later. I take Lexapro daily (if I don't I get very emotional). I have trouble sleeping without an anti-anxiety and I have been looking for the one that will be successful and help my pain. These issues are not at all uncommon for all cancer patients / survivors and I really warn people to watch for. Take care - Tracy

      over 6 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I was on anti-depressants for a few years, but I struggle with side effects...finding the right one is helpful....hope this works for you....

      over 6 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      An antidepressant is good, but you have to remember that it will take 2 weeks before they reach a therapeutic level in your system, so you might not see results until then. As far as Cymbalta, it is one of the newer ones on the market and I see it prescribed more to lessen the side effects of Tamoxifen. One interesting note: Cymbalta was originally trialed as an incontinence drug, but failed. Then remarketed as an antidepressant. Good luck with it, Carm RN.

      over 6 years ago
    • staceyellen's Avatar

      I am taking Paxil and Klonopin and I feel without them I would worry daily. I have just finished chemo and am starting radiation but I am already thinking ahead to my next mammo and how I know my anxiety level will be through the roof until I get a negative result. So, yes, I am all for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds. Cancer is scary and anything that can make it less scary for us is worth our sanity. Best wishes to you.

      over 6 years ago
    • smlisboa's Avatar

      Hi oceanblue,
      I've never taken any anti- depressants before now, however I only take them if I really need them. I was given lorazepam while taking my chemo to help with nausea. Now I've been having problems sleeping cuz I've been grinding my teeth and I wake up with neck and shoulder pain. My doctor prescribed xanex. I've taken that maybe 5 xs since January. I did all the natural things to help.....cut out caffeine......drink warm milk at night before I go to sleep. I don't do anything physical bout an hour before I go to sleep. Try to sleep at the same time every night etc. and if I still struggle to sleep I take a pill to help me sleep. I don't want to be dependent on any drugs. I remenber looking at all my meds when I was going thru chemo and I vowed I would do whatever I could to bring it down to just my thyroid med. I know everyone is different and ppl need or do better taking meds. God bless you. Take care.

      over 6 years ago
    • MASALSA's Avatar

      I have been on Gabapentin since 2006, they gave it to me because of the neuropathy in my feet, but I later found out it helps with depression and anxiety. I did not like the side effects from the Arimidex at all. I feel the antidepressant does help along with a smart diet and excerise.

      over 6 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      It scares me to think that doctors are prescribing these things. Mediation, exercise and proper diet are the ONLY things that really help depression and anxiety. I believe they do more harm than good. I was put on an anti depression med once for severe PMS. I gained 50 lbs on it, which was hard to lose again, and I believe that and the weight gain stopped me from getting healthy by eating the right things then. Weight is linked to breast cancer.. why mess with this?

      over 6 years ago
    • oceanblue24's Avatar

      Thanks for your responses everyone. I've decided against the Cymbalta. From doing research this isn't a kind drug for me. To many side affects. Also many people go through this time after everything is over & we are told we are in remission with a bit of "what next". It's been a long hard winter weather wise here & I always experience some depression so this year it's been a bit more. Actually I'm also adjusting to the Arimidex as I go on. Thanks again for your input!

      over 6 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Only you know what's best for you.

      I've found Effexor has helped me a lot, in ways I could not help myself. There is no shame in getting help. You got chemotherapy for your cancer, why no antidepressants if you need them?

      over 6 years ago
    • mamakas' Avatar

      I am taking cymbalta, remeron, and buspar. Was having major panic attacks after my first mastectomy. The medication is really working. Doing much better now.

      over 6 years ago

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