Anxiety medication for IBS

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has taken anti-anxiety medication to help with their IBS?

I suffer with anxiety, and I also suffer with fairly bad IBS. My stomach is pretty much on my mind all the time...then it plays up...which makes me more anxious...which makes my stomach worse...which then makes me more anxious. So just a vicious cycle.

My doctor did recommend a couple of years ago that he thought that I should go on anti-anxiety medication as he said that that would be tackling the route of the problem, but I said no. He said he thought it was strange that I was happy to take medication for IBS (imodium, buscopan etc) but not for my anxiety.

I think I'm just worried about taking something that is going to affect my brain chemicals etc. but I feel like I've got to the point now where my anxiety is getting worse, and I can't really deal with these stomach issues any more!

Just wondered if anyone else has turned to anti anxiety medication for their IBS and if it made a difference?

Thanks in advance.

Vicky

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  • Posted

    Hi Vicky103,

    A week  ago I started on Amitriptyline for my anxiety after too declining my doctors recommendation for the past couple of years. I hit a point where I just couldn’t cope with the IBS and reflux any longer so figured I have nothing to loose and hopefully it will improve the torture. I can’t say yet that it has made any difference besides helping me to sleep and it makes me a little tired throughout the day but I am only a week in. 

    I have one more week on  5mg dose and then i go up to 10mg. 

    No one can make your decision for you and you have to do what you are comfortable with but maybe it is worth considering a trial. I have tried behavioural therapies ect.. which help but just wasn’t enough for me, I was at my wits end! 

    I hope you start feeling better soon. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Vicki, 

      Thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear that you're suffering too, but it's quite comforting to know that someone else is going through a similar thing. I think these types of meds can take a couple of weeks to work. Have you had any bad side effects? I think that's the thing that's worrying me the most. My mum said she felt bad on them for a couple of weeks, but then she was okay. I've got an appointment with the doctor tomorrow, so I'm a bit nervous.

      Ive also tried CBT...3 times but didn't find it that helpful. Fingers crossed that we'll both have more luck with the anti-anxiety meds.

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    • Posted

      Hi Vicki,

      Yes, there is a small comfort to know that others are suffering the same way, and anxiety is a definite reaction to IBS,  My doctor recommended Clonazepam 0.5 mg, and I do find it does work (to a point). 

      IBS is horrible, and further complicated by anxiety - I definitely know from personal experience.

      My thoughts are with you.  Please let me know what your doctor thinks of this medication - I too, worry about the effects of the different medications on brain chemicals.  

      Bye for now,

      Meg  

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    • Posted

      Vicky I forgot to mention that the CBD is also good for inflammation which can help IBS. 

      I just started therapy again as I am having such a hard time coping with this illness and waiting for surgery is killing me. I’m thinking it might be time to look at medications again.

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    • Posted

      Oh the symptoms,

      lower left pain that is constant and radiates to my back almost constantly as well. Gets more intense after eating and before bowel movements, with the pain radiating to my left leg down to my toes, pain in my left testicle, and radiates to my left shoulder. At times the pain is stabbing and very intense, it burns occasionally, and lately I’ve been getting a weird trickling sensation. If I put pressure on my left side it causes me to become nauseous. Walking for about 1/2 hour brings on nausea and pain on left side.

      upper right abdominal pain is under ribs, constant dull ache, until I eat then intense pain. I get a trickling bubbling sensation as well. The pain can be stabbing and intense. When the pain is intense it radiates to my back under right shoulder. Pain goes to my center abdomin and I get chest pain.

      lower right side pain, constant as well, but feels more bloated and get worse with food and drink. This pain gets intense as well with radiating pain down right leg. Occasionally I get very intense stabbing burning pain.

      hope that helps, 

       

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    • Posted

      Could you let me know what CBD is?  I'm searching for ANYTHING that is good for inflammation.

      When I got IBS, I thought I was the only one in the world with this problem - talk about having a hard time coping with this illness!  Hospitals were the very worst, and specialists weren't any better.  Painkillers, not solutions seem to be their route!

       

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    • Posted

      Vicki not to cause you further distress but you need to be aware of  a serious potential side effect using Amitriptylin. 

      I was on same dose for neck pain issues. It did wonders for me and calmed my anxiety. It was the only antidepressant that actually worked well for me. Then I came down with a urinary tract  infection, ( not related to the meds) which I minimized for 5 days which ended with a rescue call and me in the ER. I found out they were concerned with the progression of infection and my irregular heart waves. Which the doctors told me are a direct side effect of this med! I was told never to take it again. Due to “Prolongation of the Q-T interval when prescribing antidepressants Patients may be at a greater risk for developing fatal arrhythmias when taking many of these drugs.”  I clearly discovered I’m one of those at greater risk. My advise is have an EKG to see if any abnormalities show up since you’ve been on the meds. Again this doesn’t happen for everyone, hopefully not you. But my doctor was adamant in my case.  I know it provides great benefits and am sorry I can no longer use it. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Vicki word of caution using Amitriptylin. It can cause;” Prolongation of the Q-T interval when prescribing antidepressants Patients may be at a greater risk for developing fatal arrhythmias when taking many of these drugs. “ this happened to me. Ended up in ER due to having a Urinary Tract Infection and doctor discovered Q-T wave issues with my heart. I was tgere for 3 days. Doctor told me never to use Amitriptylin  again. I’d suggest your doctor run an EKG. It will show any abnormalties since taking the med. not everyone gets this but aim at a greater risk. Too bad as I really benefited taking the med. it was prescribed for neck issues but helped overall. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Vicky

    I'm feeling exactly like you at the minute I'm a bit of a vicious circle. I've had my IBS issues for 10 years now and suffer from IBS-D so always panicky about leaving the house, wondering if there's a toilet nearby, worried about having a sudden urge and I rely heavily on Imodium.

    I've recently been back to the doctors as since my Mam and dog passed away in August, my symptoms have been worse which has then worsened my anxiety and panic attacks. She has prescribed me Buscopan and peppermint oil tablets, been on them a couple of days so far so hard to tell if they're helping yet. I do worry that they might set off my symptoms though and give me a sudden urge.

    I thought my doctor would suggest some kind of anti-anxiety meds but she didn't. I've seen a counsellor through my work about my bereavements and funnily enough she has the same kind of IBS as us. She takes Kalms as and when she needs to as well as Imodium. I've bought some to try but not had any yet. I'm always weird about taking meds but at the minute I'm open to any thing!

    I don't think there's a right or wrong thing to try, as long as it might work or make you feel better. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum and your dog passing away. It must be tough, and not surprising that it's making things worse for you. 

      I worry about taking new meds as well, but I've got to the point now where I feel like my stomach is taking over my life, and I can't deal with this anxiety anymore...so like you,I'm feeling like I'm open to anything  now.

      I did think about kalms a while ago, but it kind of males me more nervous taking something that the doctor hasn't prescribed.

      Hope things improve for you.

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    • Posted

      How awful for you - my thoughts are with you.. how unbearable to lose both your mom and your dog,  and trying to cope with this AWFUL IBS.

       I rely on Lmodium and Laxatives (viscous cycle).  And, when I have a good day or two, I used to think, "oh, maybe this is the end of it".. then I get hit with it again…  hate to take meds.  When I used to go to the hospital, I'd get dosed with 10ml of morphine and sent home.  Not the solution to say the least.

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. Yeh it's been tough and made me take around 100 steps backwards when I thought my IBS-D was becoming more manageable. It's so hard as I'm a really positive person but IBS really tries me and gets to me sometimes, such a horrible thing to have isn't it? Why did you end up having morphine? Was it for pain through IBS?

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    • Posted

      Hi Moongazy,

      I can identify with everything you're saying and yes, it does get to you some days.  After a year of various (really various) prescriptions for pain, starting with mild painkillers, such as Tylenol, and when Tylenol 3 didn't work (after a year, and every diet you can imagine), my doctor prescribed Morphine.  I hate it, but it does take away the pain for a few hours.  It's the very worst in the morning, for some reason.  I'm not taking much morphine, 2mg, twice per day, but am trying to get off it by applying to take Medical Marijuana  - my appointment is next week, so I'll see what happens.  Like you, I'm a very positive person, but don't hold out too much hope for the marijuana.  After the hospital visits, which were too many to count, they diagnosed me with IBS (this took over a year and a half.  I won't  even comment on the treatment I received in Emerg., arriving doubled in in unbearable pain!   Really hard to keep a positive attitude!

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