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favorite anti-depressants?

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  • favorite anti-depressants?

    Question out of curiosity, on a topic I often get asked about:

    Does anyone have a "favorite" dry-eye-friendly antidepressant, i.e. having tried more than one and settled on one that seemed to least disturb eye comfort?
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Foundation

  • #2
    Celexa. I'm not on it anymore, but my therapist and doctor did a check on all the anti-depressants and thought that one would not affect dry-eye. And, it didn't.


    • #3
      Is Lexapro a newer version of this? I've thought about using an anti-depressant but so far I haven't taken the step to go to my doctor and talk about it. I'm really afraid that anything I take will dry my eyes out horribly.


      • #4
        Lexapro is the "next generation" of Celexa and is supposed to be cleaner in terms of side-effects. If I'm not mistaken, it's more efficient in the sense that you take a smaller dose of medicine for the same effect. I recall being surpised at the much lower mg dosage of Lexapro vs Zoloft. Both were nearly equal in terms of effective, though I might vote that Lexapro has the edge.

        I've taken both in the past and honestly didn't see any change in my eye issues. They were horrible when I started and they were no more horrible when I was treating the depression. The difference was that I could actually face the day.

        Please know that although I did find it imperative that I manage the anxiety and depression in my post-LASIK travels, I have always managed to wean off of them and cope rather well on my own. I do know I will hit lows again, but I'm certain I can effectively treat the "dip" and move on. I'm like a Phoenix.

        Best of luck, Missy.
        Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.


        • #5
          I've already spoken with Missy about this, but just incase anyone else is reading....I pretty much broke down at around 3.5 months post-op and finally decided to take the plunge with an anti-depressant, even though I was scared of the drying effects. My doctor put me on Lexapro, and started me off on 5 mg. I was on it for two weeks, and the second week, my dry eyes were worse than they had been in my experience so far. So, even though my doctor didn't think that it was causing my problems, I decided to stop taking it . I felt that always wondering if my anti-anxiety/anti-depression medicine was adding to my dryness, was actually adding to my anxiety! So, it may have been the Lexapro, or perhaps it was just the weather starting to get colder, and the heat being on or something that added to my dryness and not the Lexapro?? Since stopping it, I have had a few REALLY bad days like I did that week when I was on it, so who knows?? I guess I'll never know. I still have several refills left, but I'm afraid to get it filled. If I don't learn to deal with this better soon though, I think I'll probably try to go back on it. Anyway, just my experience with it. Since everyone's body reacts differently to these medicines anyway, I guess it is hard to tell how yours will until you actually try it yourself.



          • #6

            I am using 5HTP in the evening and have found that it is OK with my eyes. I am unable to take SSRI s as they make me hype up even more with increased agitation. They have terrible side affects and I was very thirsty.
            I decided very quickly to go without. I am a lot better now than before - it took me 9 months to start coming better but these things helped a lot: company, exercise (I started at the gym and walk lots - put on the sunglasses/goggles and go for it!!) voluntary work at school with literacy and music. The little kids readers have big print but mainly I would get very involved with what I was doing and it is a case of mind over matter. I spend 3/4 hour each day with a special needs youngster and I needed to plan what we were to do each day. I would feel terrible before going down to school - it took a lot of effort but I was much appreciated there. My eyes hurt etc to read music but music is good therapy, when playing for group singing. I would list jobs I had to do and push myself to get through them. I had terrible unmentionable thoughts but I would think of something else I had to do before..... Then someone would ring up etc and I would come better. Logging on to this BB was a real boost. It got me through a lot of bad evenings. I also felt I had to write up the history of my life - haven't finished yet!!!! I set little things as goals. Also visiting someone elderly, sick or lonely. I then realised that there are so many others with awful problems too. I had to get over the self punishment feeling for getting myself into such an awful situation. I must admit though that painful eyes is the pits - making it very difficult to concentrate on other things - especially when I couldn't do the things I loved like reading and craft and reading music at the piano. I did find though that with my sister's encouragement that I could do a lot of things - kayaking, mountain bike riding etc and now I am a lot fitter. My garden was another sanctuary. I couldn't see my plants properly for the first couple of months but now I take the radio out, put on my goggles and dig away my bad feelings.
            I also tried St Johns Wort but stopped it when I read that it could cause dry mouth etc. I'm not sure if it helped. I was put on low dose Propranolol too (a beta blocker) which my Lasik Dr said was OK but I stopped that too when I read otherwise. Magnesium is supposed to help and I take Omega 3 and other vitamins too.
            The main thing is to "hang in there!!" My eyes seem to be very gradually getting better (13+ months since Lasik). The dryeyezone drops are helping too. Always think that there is something else that could help - and I love my goggles and spa pools and the shower!!
            When the going gets tough - the tough get going!


            • #7

              Most recently, someone recommended Holy Basil to me. It is supposed to produce natural calmness, inhibit inflamatory responses (which is so much a part of dry eye) and as a bonus, help maintain normal blood sugar. Sounds like a lot for one small capsule, but I am giving it a try. 5-Htp was also one of my favorites along with Theanine.


              • #8
                When considering a new drug, it's usually a good idea to Google the drug name, along with "prescribing information."

                Usually, this will bring up a .pdf file that is the manufacturer's online version of that tiny, tiny print insert that comes with the drug.

                Once you've opened that file, use the search feature and look for words like "eye," "eyes," "vision," "dry," etc.

                If you do this with Lexapro, for example, you see that dry eye is listed as a side effect. See (you can play the home game ):


                If you find something like this in the prescribing information, it might be a good idea to discuss this with the prescribing physician. There may be an alternative, equally effective drug that does not have the same side effects.

                Good luck!