Is It Depression or Your Medication?

Published: September 25, 2012
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Although CFS and fibromyalgia are not forms of depression, they don't make people immune from depression either.

The shocker? Depression may actually be caused by medications — in which case taking an antidepressant is not likely to help it. In fact, a common side effect of antidepressants is severe depression! Other common culprits include Ambien as well as the three FDA approved fibromyalgia medications: Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.

How to tell if you're depressed in addition to having CFS or fibromyalgia? Easy. If I ask you if you're depressed and you say yes, you probably are. If you say no, you're probably not!

Depression is not a Prozac deficiency and addressing its underlying cause (e.g., nutritional deficiencies or low thyroid) will often make the depression go away. A shocker? Your depression may actually be coming from your medication — in which case taking an antidepressant is not likely to help it. In fact, a common side effect of antidepressants is severe depression! Common culprits include:

  1. Most antidepressants
  2. Ambien (rare but severe. The depression oddly starts about 1 year after the Ambien is begun)
  3. The 3 FDA approved drugs for fibromyalgia — Savella, Cymbalta and Lyrica

So if you have persistent depression, read the article "How to Address Depression Naturally" and ask your doctor about a 1-2 week trial off of any medications that may have depression as a side effect. They may need to wean you off antidepressants, as stopping these suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms.

People are often (happily) shocked as their depression goes away when the medication clears out of their system!

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.  Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health. 

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