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I am a 54 year old male and have suffered depression on and off for 20 years. A recent event seems to have triggered the latest episode (the collapse of a business venture that I had worked hard at for 3 years) and the depression, which is now in its 8th month, is absolute hell. A visit to the A&E department of my local hospital, a 5 hour wait and a referral to the mental health crisis team later, I was prescribed Mirtazapine and duly took the prescribed dose and suffered not too badly with the side effects. After 8 weeks I was only slightly better, and went back to the Consultant psychiatrist where the medication was changed to Citalopram. The next 4 weeks were a living nightmare! The side effects were terrible - nausea, headaches, muscle spasms, sweating, nightmares, brain zaps etc. With only a slight improvement in mood but catalogue of side effects I returned to the consultant only to be told that he was reluctant to prescribe one of the older type of anti-depressants (i.e. a tricyclic) as they were contra indicated due to a mild heart attack I had suffered 4 years prior. I then spent several weeks (having stopped taking the Citalopram) with all the side effects again on the way out! I returned again to my G.P. and was prescribed a third generation tricyclic
(Lofepramine) at the dose of 70mg at night. The side effects I had were similar to other peoples reports here that of dry mouth, constipation, trembling, difficulty urinating, sleeplessness etc but the worst for me is the waves of despair and sadness followed by uncontrolled crying which occurs several times a day. The strangest part of which, is the calm that follows, and the feeling of detachment it brings. I am now taking 140mg a day and, after getting over the worst Christmas of my life I do feel slightly better and intend to stick at it. It seems to me that despite the claims on the fact sheets and not to mention the confidence of consultants in the “latest” anti depressants, not all remedies suit everyone. Have the courage to go back to your healthcare professional and tell them how you feel and ask if there is an alternative medication. Take a written list of side effects you have had, and a diary of how you have felt during the last week or so. It’s so easy to miss out or forget something during a 5-minute appointment and it can make all the differences in how you are treated. Remember you have felt better than you do now, and you CAN AND WILL feel better once again. Good luck. DaveF.
The site I found very helpful and the comments and experience page VERY GOOD.
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