Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 03-05-2010, 09:22 PM   #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
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Default Emsam/Eldepryl

I wanted to share a bit of info on the anti-depressant I'm on - it's a pretty non-standard one - because I found no info on a search of the forum. You can PM me if you have any questions about it; I'm always happy to share my experiences and help others get out from under their depression. I thought I'd document a bit in case someone comes along looking for info on this particular med.

I've dealt with depression, at varying levels of success, from age 12 until now at age 37. About 10 years ago, after having had a number of SSRIs stop working after a few years each, my Dr. switched me to Eldepryl, or selegeline. It's a sub-class of MAOI (mono-amine oxidase inhibitor), which probably freaks out Drs that aren't as familiar with it, but because it's not the standard class I haven't had any food interactions with it. I do avoid certain OTC meds, though, to be safe (if it says "don't take this with an anti-depressant", it's probably because of MAOIs). At some point I needed a higher dose of Eldepryl, which started causing a few side effects, so he switched me to Emsam, which is a patch version of the same med. Because it goes through a different intake method I don't get the same side effects while getting a higher dose. It's a daily patch. (the pills have generics, but the patch is absolutely a killer in terms of cost - mine right now is over $1000 a mo at Walgreens; make sure you've got good insurance before going that route!)

I really like selegeline for a number of reasons. It doesn't seem to stop working after a number of years, which in my experience multiple SSRIs have done for me (my doctor says they're still figuring that situation out, but it seems to be not particularly uncommon with people on them for years at a time). My understanding is that's because it's an MAOI instead of an SSRI. Also, I find it really boosts my energy. My sister had been on it for a time too, and found the same thing. It's been a really good medicine for stabilizing my somewhat anxious depression, as evidenced by the 10ish years of almost continuous success I've had on it (just occasional down times). As far as I know, too, it wasn't responsible for any of my weight gain (I have a handful of other meds through the years that helped with that).

So, I have to avoid decongestants and cough suppressants (at least; there may be others), and I have to be careful about interactions with other prescriptions, but this has definitely been a life-saver of a drug for me.

So just to be clear - I'm not a doctor and I'm not trying to play one. I'm just offering my experience. If you're struggling to find an anti-depressant that works, especially if you've had others stop on you over the years, it might be worth managing the food and med interactions that come with this particular MAOI to give it a shot. (note - I think they're also going to need a 2 week span between starting/stopping an SSRI and any MAOI; another downside of changing to it) Really - it's saved my life, or at least my job and my sanity. I don't know how many more of those periods of depression I got when my meds stopped working, while we tried to find another med that would work, I could have handled before losing it completely. The panicked fear that I wouldn't find something - and the urgency to find something REALLY QUICK BEFORE I FELL APART - was something I'd like to never repeat.

So, that's my depression story in a nutshell. Hope it helps someone who comes searching along! Hang in there until you find the right medication for you - it's worth it, and it's possible!


PS - the short version of why I'm here is that I'm getting back into exercise after about 65lbs of loss through Weight Watchers; 40 to go. I love Turbo Jam and am planning on starting ChaLEAN within a week or so. My latest big weight gain med was Lyrica for Fibromyalgia - about 35 lbs in under 3 months - ACK!
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