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johnhans
@johnhans

Posts: 95
Joined: Oct 12, 2016

Return to Anti-depressants that Stopped Working

Posted by @johnhans, Oct 12, 2016

Has anybody tried returning to an anti-depressant that stopped working and then tried to go back to it many years later to see if it would work again? I have been on just about every anti-depressant there is. Some never worked, others gave bad side effects such as Cymbalta, and others stopped working after a while such as sertraline. I was on this many years ago and since I have been on most all anti-depressants, my doctor decided to try sertraline at a higher dose of 150 mg. I have been having trouble with insomnia, but still have depression. It works to a degree, but not enough to take away the fog and tiredness. Of course insomnia can be contributing to that. I am also taking 150 mg of trazodone. I have had depression since a child. Depression and anxiety has run in my family for generations.

REPLY

Welcome to Connect, John.That’s a great question. I’m tagging other Connect members who have been managing depression for a long time. @pj1959 @blooms44 @djabber @lorrainechavez @klaymom @jbyrd @daisydextermom @jay_baruch have any of you returned to an anti-depressant that had stopped working to see if it might work again?

JohnHans, you may be interested in reading this related discussion on Connect
– I have been on so many anti depressants over the past 35 years http://mayocl.in/2cWL7JP

What are you doing to help manage the insomnia?

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, John.That’s a great question. I’m tagging other Connect members who have been managing depression for a long time. @pj1959 @blooms44 @djabber @lorrainechavez @klaymom @jbyrd @daisydextermom @jay_baruch have any of you returned to an anti-depressant that had stopped working to see if it might work again?

JohnHans, you may be interested in reading this related discussion on Connect
– I have been on so many anti depressants over the past 35 years http://mayocl.in/2cWL7JP

What are you doing to help manage the insomnia?

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The doctor gave me an hypnotic medication, but it does not work for me. It still takes many hours to get to sleep or if I do get to sleep, I wake up after 5 hours and cannot get back to sleep. Eventually I get so tired I sleep a full night’s sleep. I see my doctor again next week so I will see what he has to say.

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, John.That’s a great question. I’m tagging other Connect members who have been managing depression for a long time. @pj1959 @blooms44 @djabber @lorrainechavez @klaymom @jbyrd @daisydextermom @jay_baruch have any of you returned to an anti-depressant that had stopped working to see if it might work again?

JohnHans, you may be interested in reading this related discussion on Connect
– I have been on so many anti depressants over the past 35 years http://mayocl.in/2cWL7JP

What are you doing to help manage the insomnia?

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I imagine you’ve tried many of these tips, but for what it is worth here is information on things you can do to help insomnia http://mayocl.in/1kFm8NZ

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect, John.That’s a great question. I’m tagging other Connect members who have been managing depression for a long time. @pj1959 @blooms44 @djabber @lorrainechavez @klaymom @jbyrd @daisydextermom @jay_baruch have any of you returned to an anti-depressant that had stopped working to see if it might work again?

JohnHans, you may be interested in reading this related discussion on Connect
– I have been on so many anti depressants over the past 35 years http://mayocl.in/2cWL7JP

What are you doing to help manage the insomnia?

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Yes I have tried everything but the valerian. I was taking melatonin, but long-term use causes headaches as another article in the Mayo Clinic articles points out. As what you posted said, melatonin is meant for a few weeks use only. I do not use any kind of stimulant as I am chemically sensitive to them. I tried getting up when I could not sleep, but found out I was up all night that way. Too much anxiety. Thank you for thinking of me with the suggestions. It may just be that my body is losing its natural ability to control my sleep cycle now that I am old. I am getting used to not getting much sleep.

@johnhans, I certainly have sympathy for your sleep issues, as I, too, am plagued with difficulty in getting to sleep and/or sleeping through the night. As I have gotten older, this problem has become more difficult for me, and I just put up with it to a degree; like you, also getting a full night’s sleep eventually when my body is too tired. Taking 100 mg of Trazodone will help me get sleepy, but it doesn’t necessarily keep me asleep throughout the night, and a higher dose makes me too disoriented when I wake up to use the bathroom. Sometimes reading for an hour will let me go back to sleep, but often though awake I’m too tired to comfortably read. It’s a pickle. I have not gone back to an older medication after a long period of time to see if it works, but for me the combination of Abilify with Lexapro seems to be working much better than anything alone in the past. Like you, I was unable to tolerate the side effects for me while taking Cymbalta, just FYI. I wish you as best of a set of outcomes as possible in your treatment and for your sleep. – Jay

@guener

@johnhans, I certainly have sympathy for your sleep issues, as I, too, am plagued with difficulty in getting to sleep and/or sleeping through the night. As I have gotten older, this problem has become more difficult for me, and I just put up with it to a degree; like you, also getting a full night’s sleep eventually when my body is too tired. Taking 100 mg of Trazodone will help me get sleepy, but it doesn’t necessarily keep me asleep throughout the night, and a higher dose makes me too disoriented when I wake up to use the bathroom. Sometimes reading for an hour will let me go back to sleep, but often though awake I’m too tired to comfortably read. It’s a pickle. I have not gone back to an older medication after a long period of time to see if it works, but for me the combination of Abilify with Lexapro seems to be working much better than anything alone in the past. Like you, I was unable to tolerate the side effects for me while taking Cymbalta, just FYI. I wish you as best of a set of outcomes as possible in your treatment and for your sleep. – Jay

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I am sorry that you have issues with insomnia too. Yes insomnia is a pickle. Cymbalta does give bad side effects for some of us. My psychiatrist says that is the way it works for some. The trazadone does nothing for me anymore. It used to make me sleepy but then it stopped. I used to take Lexapro and then that gradually stopped working as well and I was getting very depressed. I am glad that you have found something that has helped your depression. They have not tried Abilify with me since it can cause problems with blood sugar levels and I am insulin resistant. Wishing you all the best.

Hi Johnhans, I am new to this site but unfortunately not new to mental illness. I am back on Wellbutrin (generic) after a 6 year hiatus. I am also taking fluoxetine after a 12 year break. Finslly i am also taking lithium since i had my first ever manic episode at the age of 61. Yep, 61. Anyway, I had stopped Fluoxetine due to health issues i was having that could have been caused by it. Not having a problem now and it seems to be working. With Wellbutrin, I took it for many years along with another, Effexor. When Effexor stopped working, i was put on pristiq. Well that was a bad combo. A couple months later i had a total emotional collapse accompanied by short term memory loss. I was told Pristiq can stop working suddenly and that long term use of Wellbutrin can cause the memory problem. ..thank god memory returned when it was stopped. So I am taking it again with caution and only on it due to loss.of job and insurance. While i was still covered during my manic phase, Abilify was working great. Don’t know how it would have done with my depression phase.
So, yes I have returned to prior meds. i am not familiar with dosing of sertraline, but it sounds like your doc put you on the higher level? Given your level of insomnia, it sounds like it might be too high. But how are you feeling otherwise? Do you feel better on that dose? if so, you might look for additional sleep solutions. I can take klonopin if i need it and a small dose works well for me. Don’t know if you’ve tried that already? I know that’s miserable to not be able to sleep. I wish you the best at your appointment!

@cathy615

Hi Johnhans, I am new to this site but unfortunately not new to mental illness. I am back on Wellbutrin (generic) after a 6 year hiatus. I am also taking fluoxetine after a 12 year break. Finslly i am also taking lithium since i had my first ever manic episode at the age of 61. Yep, 61. Anyway, I had stopped Fluoxetine due to health issues i was having that could have been caused by it. Not having a problem now and it seems to be working. With Wellbutrin, I took it for many years along with another, Effexor. When Effexor stopped working, i was put on pristiq. Well that was a bad combo. A couple months later i had a total emotional collapse accompanied by short term memory loss. I was told Pristiq can stop working suddenly and that long term use of Wellbutrin can cause the memory problem. ..thank god memory returned when it was stopped. So I am taking it again with caution and only on it due to loss.of job and insurance. While i was still covered during my manic phase, Abilify was working great. Don’t know how it would have done with my depression phase.
So, yes I have returned to prior meds. i am not familiar with dosing of sertraline, but it sounds like your doc put you on the higher level? Given your level of insomnia, it sounds like it might be too high. But how are you feeling otherwise? Do you feel better on that dose? if so, you might look for additional sleep solutions. I can take klonopin if i need it and a small dose works well for me. Don’t know if you’ve tried that already? I know that’s miserable to not be able to sleep. I wish you the best at your appointment!

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Yes I am on a very high dose of sertraline which my doctor says I need because I weigh so much. I do take 1.5 mg of clonazepam-generic for Klonopin. I do not think that I do feel better on the higher dose. Wellbutrin never helped my depression and increased my anxiety. My doctor tried it again and I only took it for a week and then went off of it. I have never taken fluoxetine. Zoloft is the one that worked the best for the longest time for me. Thank you for your wishes for my appointment. I am glad that you have found something that is working for you. All the best to you.

@johnhans – Hi, I’m Susan, ID sistergoldenhair, I haven’t posted on the Mental Health page before; I happened to see your post & saw your mention of a family history of depression. My doctor & I have tried several different medications; however, in my family we’ve noticed that certain antidepressants seem to work better for us than others. Maybe it’s the way our brains are wired. I think it’s also important to have a psychiatrist who is willing to work with me on trying out new medications when another stops working. For me, at least, it seems that upping dosages sometimes just increases the side effects.

I take a combination of EXTENDED-RELEASE generic Wellbutrin 360 mg daily, along with 20 mg Prozac every other day, & they’re working. I capitalized the E-R because the other formulations, such as sustained-release made me jittery & irritable; there’s also the problem of insomnia that you well know. Anyway, the extended-release seems to do it for me, at least for now. I take it once in the morning. I’ve gone on & off Prozac over the years; right now, it helps me. Maybe it’s the combination of the two drugs.

A couple of ideas on insomnia relief for your consideration: I take a muscle relaxant, Tizanidine for an unrelated condition. One-Half of a 4 mg tablet puts me to sleep. I’d just suggest taking it early in the evening if you have to be up at a certain time in the AM. I feel a little groggy when I get up. Another is Twinings ‘Nightly Calm’ herbal tea concoction of camomile, spearmint, & lemongrass. It tastes good, & sometimes I drink it over ice.

I saw a post referencing Lithium; although it’s known primarily as a medication for bipolar disorder, it can help some us of who have just the depression. I stopped taking it when my hair started to fall out & caused hand tremors, but it may not necessarily do that to everyone.

I’ve been hoping science will come up with THE treatment or even a cure for depression; if not in our lifetime, hopefully in time for our children & grandchildren. There are a lot of us who’ve been hanging in there a long time. I remember when only tricyclics were available, & they didn’t do me much good. Many other drugs developed over the years are now available; they help some more than others. I believe it’s important to keep our hopes up as much as possible – not an easy thing to do when you have an illness like depression. Best wishes to you & to all.

Hi Susan,
Yes we need to keep our hope up. My great-great grandfather spent the last 25 years of his life in a mental hospital with the same thing I have. Now with the advances we have, I am able to live and take care of myself without hospitalization. I was told by a psychiatrist I had years ago that without my meds I would be where my g-g-grandfather was. We can all be thankful for the advances in treatments for depression and anxiety. When I was young all they had were tranquilizers. I do have some chamomile tea bags that I forgot about and you are right about it being a calmative. I’ll have to go back to drinking it. I will talk with my doctor about Tizanidine. I do get tight muscles and my legs tend to jerk at night. Thank you for these suggestions.

Thank you for posting for the first time. I am glad that you have found a combination that is working for you. May you continue on in good mental health.

I’m just curious. I was treated for depression( CITALOPRAM 20 MG) years ago, and then stopped taking the medication when I didn’t seem to need it. I was fine without it for years. It seems that aging and dementia is bringing it back. Should I try it again?

Yes I was placed on Prozac back in 1993. Being a military spouse as their pharmacies would change from time to time. I was lucky they all worked on me. Just recently I was put back on Prozac and after all these years I’m doing good on it!

@shotsie

I’m just curious. I was treated for depression( CITALOPRAM 20 MG) years ago, and then stopped taking the medication when I didn’t seem to need it. I was fine without it for years. It seems that aging and dementia is bringing it back. Should I try it again?

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That would be up to you and your doctor. I only asked because I know that some doctors are retrying medication that stopped working in the hopes that after a long period off of it that it would work again. I was interested to see if it had worked for others. My doctor tried re-prescribing sertraline that had stopped working effectively for me. You can always ask your doctor about retaking citalopram and see what your doctor says. Certainly if you are feeling depressed I would suggest talking with your doctor about it.

@cowboy1997

Yes I was placed on Prozac back in 1993. Being a military spouse as their pharmacies would change from time to time. I was lucky they all worked on me. Just recently I was put back on Prozac and after all these years I’m doing good on it!

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Thank you for your reply. I am glad that you are getting relief with Prozac. An earlier entry to this discussion also mentioned going back to Prozac and it worked for them. It seems to be a developing theme. I have never been prescribed it. Take care cowboy1997.

@johnhans

Hi Susan,
Yes we need to keep our hope up. My great-great grandfather spent the last 25 years of his life in a mental hospital with the same thing I have. Now with the advances we have, I am able to live and take care of myself without hospitalization. I was told by a psychiatrist I had years ago that without my meds I would be where my g-g-grandfather was. We can all be thankful for the advances in treatments for depression and anxiety. When I was young all they had were tranquilizers. I do have some chamomile tea bags that I forgot about and you are right about it being a calmative. I’ll have to go back to drinking it. I will talk with my doctor about Tizanidine. I do get tight muscles and my legs tend to jerk at night. Thank you for these suggestions.

Thank you for posting for the first time. I am glad that you have found a combination that is working for you. May you continue on in good mental health.

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Hi, John, I was reading over your post, and saw you mention your legs jerking at night. I take the Tizanidine I mentioned for RLS – Restless Legs Syndrome and it helps.
Was trying not to cross-post my ‘syndromes’.
I hope you get some relief – you don’t need that on top of depression.

Also, I’ve jumped off & back on the Prozac wagon different times over the years.
Best, Susan
@sistergoldenhair

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