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  • medications for depresion

    I suffer from Dry eyes for 2 years now (contact lens use+ computer) and from another chronic and very painful medical condition (Interstitail Cystitis) also with no cure. If have to chose one, I'll say Insterstitial Cystitis is worse than dry eye but before having Interstitial Cystitis, I thought my dry eyes was the worse thing it happened to me ...anyways. On top of it, these two conditions are "invisible" so you look like a complte healthy person althought you may be going throuhg the worse of the sufferings.
    Since all of this is fairly new to me I'm starting to accept the fact that no one around me will understand and I just have to take control and do the best to manage the symptoms, and try to put a smile on my face even on bad days and this is hard.
    With all this, I've been depressed for a while and my GP has prescribed SSRIs, antidepresants, zoloft and/ or wellbutrin but I've declined. I would LOVE to take it but I'm just so concerned that it'll make my dry eyes worse! Then I'll have to stop them and end up worse????!!!!
    I know tryciclic antidepresants can cause dry eye but how wbout the newer: SSRIs???
    Again, I'd love to take antidresants I know it'll help me cop with these 2 awful medical conditions, but I don't knwo if that's an option for me....
    Any comments? Anyone out there on antidepresants? and which one.
    Dr eyes caused by long term contact lens wear

  • #2
    If I had to pick one I'd go with Wellbutrin. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall any reports here of it worsening dry eye, and I've heard a number of reports about its low side effect profile overall for us eye-challenged folks.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Foundation


    • #3
      wellbutrin and blurred vision

      I took Wellbutrin several years ago and while I don't recall my dry eye being bothered, I had severely blurred vision that cleared up after stopping the drug.

      I take Prozac and while it may not be the best for my dry eyes, I have tolerated it better and it has been more effective for me than any of the other SSRIs. I have clinical depression, OCD, panic attacks and bipolar, so not taking my Prozac is not an option at all. I do find I don't tolerate the bipolar meds at all, so I just try and manage that part the best I can. Prozac helps OCD, panic attacks and the depression.

      Of course, everyone's reaction to any certain medication will possibly be different. I would recommend something (consulting a physician ASAP first)for anyone with severe depression though, as that can be life threatening.



      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. In my case dealing with different chronic illnesses has affected me emotionaly a great deal. But again, medication for depresion won't do any justice to me if it end up making my eyes worse.
        I took Welbutrin for 3 months 2 yrs ago and that's when I showed the first symptoms of dry eyes. Of course I probbaly was going to get it anyways it is just that the antidepresant made it worse.
        I was wondering if there's one antidepresant that's better for dry eye patients, but we are all diffrent.
        I just notice that my mood is so dependant on my physical well being .
        I'm trying other things in the meantime, like meditation, therapy and prayer.
        I'll propbbaly enrol in Yoga class since I can't do aerobics and such. That may help too.
        Dr eyes caused by long term contact lens wear


        • #5
          to Maria

          I can certainly relate to your physical well-being affecting your level of depression. Although I've had clinical depression forever, if I am in pain, the depression is worse. I'm glad you are trying prayer. It helps me. I am unable to do exercise at this time, too, so I know how frustrating that can be.

          Hang on, please.



          • #6
            My experience with anti-depressants

            Hi all,
            Since I was in high school I have been taking anti-deppresants. As some of you will no doubt agree, some of the side effects certainly do not help you feel better, and in some cases worse! I can tell you with certainty that because of AD's I have experienced tremendous weight gain, gone prematurely bald and have had my libido severly stunted. Does that help make you feel better? Well that depends largely on one's attitude. I have played around with different meds over the years, and am currently taking Lexapro and Welbutrin. Thankfully that helped the weight problem, which resulted from taking Depakote. As Rebecca pointed out, Welbutrin does have a pretty low side effect profile as does Lexapro. But it cannot be overstressed that different people react differently to the same medication. Its important to ask your doctor about the most prominent side effects of a medication before you start taking it. Don't just hold out your hand and swallow a pill-educate yourself first or you may regret it later. Having said all that, proper use of anti-depressants can work wonders for people that are really in a slump. I know first hand that they helped pull me out of emotional purgatory on several occasions. And probably will again. As far as dry eye exacerbations go, in some cases it's hard to say. Generally speaking (and this is coming from two doctors) anything that can cause dry mouth (like Welbutrin) does have the potential to reduce tear production too. That is not to say that it will however. I have been taking Welbutrin for almost 10 years and i do not believe that it plays a significant role in my dry eye. Good luck to everyone.


            • #7
              Thankfully that helped the weight problem, which resulted from taking Depakote.
              Eli, I just want to comment on that statement. Boy, everyone sure is different, huh? My daughter has taken Depakote for about 20 years for a seizure disorder and is thin as can be. She was a young teen when started on this and I was aware weight gain could be a side effect, but fortunately it did not happen to her.

              We thank you for posting about your experiences. It seems that more and more the benefits of taking an antidepressant for those needing it does outweight the dry eye problems. I wish you continued luck with your Wellbutrin medication!
              Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

              The Dry Eye Queen


              • #8
                Thank you

                Thank you Lucy,
                The Welbutrin does seem to be a good match for me at the moment. As far as the Depakote goes; the beer and pizza college diet probably didn't help my weight at the time either! But what can you do? Life is short and sometimes requires beer and pizza!
                Best wishes


                • #9
                  I think anti-depressants are WAAYY overrated. There are many studied that suggest that each of the following is at least as effective as anti-depressants:

                  * regular exercise
                  * (sun)light
                  * omega 3 fatty acids (also good for dry eye!)
                  * meditation

                  And those don't have any side effects if done properly.

                  Anti-depressants are only popular because of the marketing of the money-hungry pharmaceutical companies.


                  • #10
                    Don't you think though that choosing the right antidepressant can be as difficult as choosing the right eye drop? Information leaflets outline some of the possible side effects but you still cannot really predict how antidepressants might affect you. They can make you nauseus, worsen insomnia or just make you feel like a zombie.

                    You can take a certain antidepressant for weeks and still feel low - or you might have to try out several different types over a period of time to find one with the fewest side effects. My body has never reacted well to them although well intentioned doctors have prescribed short term doses to get me through a bad patch. Anti-depressants have a place in all this.

                    Antidepressants may facilitate a more rapid initial therapeutic response than exercise but I find exercise to be more effective in lifting my mood. (I don't suppose many people would admit that they go to the gym to help their eyes!) From time to time, I fall into the habit of dragging my feet to get started but I always feel better for having done something.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by irish eyes View Post
                      Antidepressants may facilitate a more rapid initial therapeutic response than exercise
                      I very much doubt that. They typically take a few weeks to show some effect. After exercising, you immediately feel better. Also, it's free and has no negative side effects (if done properly) but many positive ones.

                      Prevalance of depression and anxiety have multiplied during the last decades. And I think drugs are not the answer for that.


                      • #12
                        I said they may facilitate a more rapid initial response. It would depend on the severity of the depression.

                        I agree that depression seems to be more prevalent but it's an illness that has been around for a long time - references to it can even be found in the Bible. This is a disorder that is hard to understand but many people suffer with it at some stage of their lives. For some, medication is the answer.

                        In `mild' cases, drugs can help (in the beginning) by getting a person to a point where they can start thinking about exercise or engage in some kind of therapy. It can be hard to get into all that positive thinking and and all those things that you're supposed to do, if your mood is so low you can't even think at all.

                        Working in a university, we have to be ever vigilant to the mental health needs of students affected by depression. (This is a national initiative). Sadly, student suicide brought on by depression is not uncommon. It is known that some of those who died thought taking antidepressants was stigmatising - and thus their depression spiralled out of control. Medication, along with a range of lifestyle factors, all have their place.


                        • #13

                          I tried Celexa and thought it made the dry eye worse. Doctor suggested Prozac. I filled prescription but afraid to take it for fear of aggravating dry eyes and photosensitivity. Has anyone tried it? I feel like I am in a catch 22.

                          Any antidepressant experience would help me. Please post.



                          • #14
                            Hi Claudette,

                            I had some low level depression at the beginning of the year, along with anxiety; it made me feel aimless and unproductive, and I would wake up very anxious most mornings.

                            My doctor offered anti-depressants, but I decided to try St John's Wort (hypericum) first. I found it helpful, taking one 2000mg tablet morning and evening. I didn't notice any drying effect on my eyes. I also find yoga very beneficial.

                            The other thing that helped me was a comment my doctor made that depression/anxiety sometimes comes from repressed anger. I was able to identify someone who I was deep down intensely angry with, a family member who was always critical of me, and I decided to tackle them head on and basically cut them out of my life. It made a huge difference. Rage can be very empowering - just don't direct it at yourself.

                            All the best, hope you find something that helps.


                            • #15
                              I've not managed to hit on an anti-depressant that helped me. They do have their place -it's just that I didn't have much luck with them.

                              It's strange you should mention St John's Wort though because I was looking at a pack of them yesterday and wondering whether or not to buy them. I resisted but wouldn't rule out buying them at a later date.

                              Exercise is certainly beneficial for me; the hardest thing is getting out the door and into `the kit' but once there - I'm flying! What you say about rage is so interesting - perhaps this is a good way of me venting it.