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PMS and antidepressants (long)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey!
I need all the information I can get on this.
I went to the doctors today because I've been on birth control for about 10 years now, the most recent pill being for the last 3-5. I've never had PMS, even when I didn't take the pill...and over the last 6 months I have spent one to two days crying my eyes out...either JUST before my period or right after it starts. I'm blaming the hormones in the pill and wanted a new one.
*note* I have to take the pill because i have poly cystic ovarian syndrome and am using it as a treatment, not taking it is not an option.
Instead of giving me a new type of pill he gave me a prescription for an antidepressant (Effexor) and told me to take it 4 days before my period and 3 days after I start. I asked him a few times to try switching my prescription, but he assured me this is standard practice right now.
Now, I come from a family who are all involved in working in mental health, in fact I'm training to be a Therapeutic Recreationist with a specialty in the mentally ill. I went home and called dad...something seemed fishy. he agreed that it seemed weird because as far as he knew (retired psychomatrist) antidepressants took up to 3 weeks to get into someones system and could suffer major withdrawals when taken off of it. Wikipedia suggested the same, stating high rates of suicide tendencies as one of the symptoms of this drug.
Dad has put in an email to a psychiatrist who he knows asking about it. I don't want to take anything that could harm me, and am planning on getting a second opinion.


Any information you can share? Opinions?
post #2 of 12
I have no clue but i hope everything turns out ok!
post #3 of 12
Sorry your having a hard time

I used to take Effexor and as far as I remember I was told to not expect any effects for at least 2 weeks and I`m pretty certain it`s NOT a PRN med.

I`m on Sertraline(Zoloft) now and that IS a med that is prescribed for PMS symptoms and can be taken a week before your period ( I think).

Maybe you could try that one?
post #4 of 12
When I was on Ortho Lo I started having problems around that time of the month with my moods - my then boyfriend almost ended our relationship a few times over it (not the reason we actually ended things though lol) because I would snap horribly at him for no reason whatsoever and just go psycho... and the thing was I knew I was being a you-know-what and I knew it was for no reason but I couldn't keep it from happening... my gyno put me on something called Sarafem, which she explained to me as being a mild antidepressant (I don't know what all else is involved, I probably should have researched it but I was greatful for it "fixing" me)... she told me to take it the week of my period or if I was experiencing those moods swings the week before to take it then... for me, it worked like a charm and I didn't notice any personal side effects from stopping it at the end of my cycle each month

I've since switched BC to LoEstrin 24 (only 4 days off the hormones instead of 7 and I personally LOVE it) and I haven't had any problems... but I do have some Sarafem around just in case although it's probably expired at this point because I haven't had severe mood swings like that recently (although I am more prone to crying during PMS so sappy movies are a no-go that week haha)

Good luck and I hope you find something that works for you... I'd be interested to hear what the mental healthcare community has to say about such things....
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post

I used to take Effexor and as far as I remember I was told to not expect any effects for at least 2 weeks and I`m pretty certain it`s NOT a PRN med.
Yes that is correct. You don't just take Effexor for 1 week out of each month. You need to be on it for at least 2 weeks before you notice an effect, and to go off them you don't just stop taking them. You need to be weened off of them.

Go see another doctor if the one you are seeing won't change your medication.

I have polycystic ovary and there are other treatments other than birth control pills.

One is "metformin" and another is taking "progesterone" for 5 or 10 days out of each month.

Don't self medicate. Go see another doctor.
post #6 of 12
I looked up Effexor in my Davis's Drug Guide For Nurses, and one of the unlabled uses is Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD.) I've tried it for seasonal depression, but was unable to tolerate it. I think I only slept a couple of hours during the first 10 days of taking it, so (upon the advice of my doctor) immediately discontinued it. I've taken many different SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) over the years, and every one of them advises that thereputic blood levels take at least 7 to 10 days to achieve, including Effexor. I don't think it is usually prescribed for intermittant dosage though, I think it is probably meant to be taken daily, like any other antidepressant/SSRI.

I would seriously consider a second opinion.
post #7 of 12
To give another point of view, I suffer from moodswings & depression before my period & don't take any kind of oral contraceptives at all...the other day I mentally just felt horrible. But I knew it was just my period coming & rode it out, dealt with it. Even though it feels awful I won't go to a drug salesman..oops..I mean doctor about it because the anti-depressant drugs & the side effects just scare me to death.
There might be a way to help yourself through diet & excercise, I havent personally done much research on it, but it could be something to look into before getting into a drug regimen.
PMS is a part of being a woman & for some of us, it just stinks.
Good luck with your treatment & I hope you feel better.
post #8 of 12
After doing some research, could you do some sort of herbal theraphy?
post #9 of 12
I take effexor xr every day, and if I remember correctly just like most antidepressants it does take at least 2 weeks to take affect. I've been on it before, and there are withdrawls from it when taken in large doses for prolonged periods of time. What is your dosage? I do not know if 4 days is long enough to produce withdraw affects, that is a question for a psychiatrist. With all of the birth control on the market I am not sure why your doctor won't switch you? I have heard of other women becoming emotional on some b.c. It makes sense all of our systems are differnt and what works for one woman won't work for another. If I were you I'd think about a 2nd opinon.
post #10 of 12
i dont like that hes telling you to take it just a few days like that. That is not right. That is going to make you feel terrible. Going onto antidepressants makes you feel sick and so does coming off of them. They have to be an everyday thing. I suggest you INSIST on a different BCpill. and if he wont perscribe, switch doctors. To perscribe antidepressants like that? thats just silly.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I have polycystic ovary and there are other treatments other than birth control pills.

One is "metformin" and another is taking "progesterone" for 5 or 10 days out of each month.
Please be careful taking the progesterone. I also have polycystic ovaries. The gynie took me off the pill after being on it for almost 20 yrs and changed me to progesterone. I went back after 6 months to demand he change me back. I told him if he didn't take me off the progesterone, I wanted a note in my chart that when I killed someone it was all HIS fault. I would feel the mood coming on and couldn't do anything about it. I finally made a note that I hung on my door "Don't bother the animal, you'll loose an arm". I threatened to take someone's head off with a butter knife if they didn't leave me alone. There are organic progesterones that are easy on your system.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, so overall, you have all said exactly what I thought, and thank you for that! Like I said, something seems fishy about being on it for only 1 week total, not to mention the fact that I didn't want antidepressants, but new BC pills.
I will be getting the second opinion, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I have polycystic ovary and there are other treatments other than birth control pills.

One is "metformin" and another is taking "progesterone" for 5 or 10 days out of each month.

Don't self medicate. Go see another doctor.
I have been to 3 different Gyno's over the 8 years I've been on the pill, and they have all agreed the BC pill is the way for me to go. Metformin has been suggested on top of my BC pills, but I haven't done it yet. My BC pills are straight progesterone anyway, so that's covered

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopCat View Post
To give another point of view, I suffer from moodswings & depression before my period & don't take any kind of oral contraceptives at all...the other day I mentally just felt horrible. But I knew it was just my period coming & rode it out, dealt with it. Even though it feels awful I won't go to a drug salesman..oops..I mean doctor about it because the anti-depressant drugs & the side effects just scare me to death.
There might be a way to help yourself through diet & excercise, I havent personally done much research on it, but it could be something to look into before getting into a drug regimen.
PMS is a part of being a woman & for some of us, it just stinks.
Good luck with your treatment & I hope you feel better.
Thanks for the holistic point of view. I understand dealing with bloating and being short with people and general moodiness, but I just can't handle loosing an entire day or two every month to sobbing.
You're right though, I will contact my friend who is involved in holistic methods and see if she has some exercise and eating suggestions.

Thanks again guys, I'll be sure to let you know how things progress.
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