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#518377 - 03/07/18 05:23 PM anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms?
Didier Offline

Registered: 01/12/12
Posts: 193
My doctor and psychologist notice that whenever I'm having anxiety and stress, it's often correlated with a rise in my AS symptoms. I mentioned in a previous thread and some agreed with me that it's hard to tell which comes first, the AS flare or the anxiety.

In any case they suggested I try going on an anti-depressant to reduce anxiety, but mainly to see if the reduction in anxiety also reduces my AS symptoms.

Has anyone ever had success with this? Anti-depressants are no joke, I've avoided them in the past because of side effects, etc. Curious to know before I take the plunge.

37M, mild AS and UC for 10 years, take blood thinners daily for blood clots and occasional celebrex for AS symptoms

Edited by Didier (03/07/18 05:23 PM)

#518385 - 03/09/18 01:24 AM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
brianinvanc Offline

Registered: 11/17/01
Posts: 278
Loc: n.vancouver-canada
Hey Didier Yes, 150 mgs amitriptyline ( elavil ) at bed allows me to sleep.It is potent for pain and depression.It is a Tricyclate anti-D.
Yours in the Battle
Brian in Vanc

Remicade IV- /6 weeks
Arthrotec- 50/200mcg
Oxycodone- 40-60 mgs/day
Tegretol- 400mgs 2x/day
Amitriptyline- 150mgs@bed
Lipitor- 10mgs/day
HRT Therapy

#518534 - 03/31/18 02:16 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
L33 Offline

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 147
Loc: South Africa

I took Prozac for my depression and noticed my pain go down any one else experience this?
HLA B27+
Have AS since the age of 13.
Diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 22

#518547 - 04/07/18 02:13 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
Lon Offline

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 8397
Loc: Gillette, Wyoming
Yes, pain brings on a sort of anguish.
A mild anti-d helps take abit of the edge off.
I keep the New Covenant,
when I fail....I am pulled
back into place by HIM.

#518549 - 04/08/18 06:01 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
EricaK Offline

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3827
Loc: Colorado, USA
Yep! I took cymbalta for years for both pain and anxiety. Worked great! Now I'm in a period of remission, but I would definitely take it again if need be.
ANA+ RF+ Rh- HLAB27+
Dx JRA 1967, GAD 1997, AS 2009, HMs 2010, CPS 2013
pulmonary edema w/ NSAIDS 2009

Movin' it so I don't lose it!

#518556 - 04/10/18 10:24 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
Sue22 Offline

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 21331
Loc: Upstate NY
For me, humira helps not only my joint and GI issues, but also my depression.

For me, depression is one of my symptoms, I guess caused by the inflammation, so when I get rid of the inflammation, the depression gets better. Its not due to the pain, but more of a systemic thing.

Also, when my GI is flaring, that makes me feel anxious. This morning I started peppermint capsules and it almost immediately calmed my GI and me. Weird, but it really seems pretty amazing.

So for me, by treating my disease, that makes my depression or anxiety better.


Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)

#518573 - 04/17/18 01:36 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
eleanthe Offline

Registered: 10/28/17
Posts: 4
I took Lexapro with Wellbutrin for a few years for depression and did not notice any pain relief. Eventually it stopped working for me and I switched to Cymbalta, which offered noticeable pain relief. I took it for about two years and the pain relief was great since I had nothing else at the time. I eventually felt I didnt need it any more and didnt like the side effect of constipation. I think its a good option if you are stressed/anxious/depressed. Just give it time to work because at first it can make you feel apathetic for a few weeks. You also have to taper off Cymbalta when ending it.

Edited by eleanthe (04/17/18 01:39 PM)

#518602 - 04/22/18 11:01 AM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
Robin_H Offline

Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Canada
When I was first diagnosed with "fibromyalgia" about 25 years ago I was prescribed low dose amitriptyline at 5 mg. It lost its effect and went to 10 mg, then 20 mg the 30 gm. Then I threw it out.

Frankly, coffee and exercise makes me feel much better!
HLA-B27 neg, vague AS symptoms in 20s and early 30s
1993:fibromyalgia (age 25)
2013.07:Scratched by a sick cat
2013.08:Reverse blockage in a SCUBA accident
2013.09:Strange sore throat then meningitis
2014:Chronic inflammation at the base of the skull
2014 to early 2015:excess NSAID use developed complete axial inflammation, included psoriasis
NSD helped well and but was not perfect
2018.07: weak +'ve tests for borrelia, babesia, bartonella and mycoplasma pneumonia using Armin Lab, ANA=equivocal

#518654 - 05/01/18 11:57 AM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
L33 Offline

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 147
Loc: South Africa
Tea makes me feel Awesome.....
HLA B27+
Have AS since the age of 13.
Diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 22

#518712 - 05/14/18 02:25 PM Re: anti-depressants to reduce AS symptoms? [Re: Didier]
ValsMum Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 1183
Dear Didier,

The side effects are scary, some are suicidal and homicidal thoughts . I heard a lot of folks that take them feel numb to many things in life including their choices and relationships.I have a close friend that ended up in ICU after being on them for several years , they tried to take their own life. It also seems like when the people I know on AD have big trials they can not handle them well since they have not figured a way to cope with anxiety by talking with a friend ,praying, meditating, exercising, talking with counselor etc.
Diet change has improved my RA. I feel best eating raw veggies and some fruits and avoiding grains, sugars, nightshades, beans and dairy. Sed rate dropped from 65 to 19, but it took over a year.

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