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Best antidepressant for sleep?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by EMilo, May 19, 2013.

  1. EMilo

    EMilo Elizabethmilo.com

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    Hi everyone,

    I've been sick for 19 months and, in all this time, I have stubbornly refused prescription drugs because I am scared of the side effects/allergic reactions. My sleep is and has always been terrible. It is making me worse the longer I try to treat it with lifestyle changes and OTC supplements; it's time for an Rx. I would prefer an anti-depressant to a hypnotic or traditional sleep drug so I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone (I just realised what a horrible expression that is!). Sleep is definitely my worst issue ~ more so than depression or even pain at this stage.

    Every doctor suggests something different. Can you experts please tell me what the best anti-depressants for sleep are? I'm scared to take the leap, so I want the first one I try to be a really smart option.

    Thank you so very much! I appreciate your help!
  2. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Elizabeth, I take surmontil, an old AD, which is, I understand, the most sedating of them all. I do find though that it is not sufficient on its own (I have 'weapon-grade insomnia) and use other meds as well.

    I hope you manage to find something to help you as the insomnia is misery.

    Best wishes,

    C.G.
  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    Desyrel works great for me, 25mg. You would not "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" with this small dosage though, it would just put you to sleep.

    Take with food. The absorption of the drug may be up to 20% higher when it is taken with food rather than on an empty stomach.
  4. Hugocfs

    Hugocfs Senior Member

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    I take remeron 7.5 mg (recently reduced from 15mg after being on deplin for a couple of months) and 400 mcg of melatonin. That combination seems to work well for me. Btw, it is called remeron because it induces r.e.m. sleep. If you decide to go this route, be careful. Take your first dose on a Friday night, because it will knock your socks off. Your mind is starved for sleep and you will dream like crazy and be very groggy half of the next day. Titrate up slowly to find the right dose. If you go up too quickly like me, it gets to be too drying and you could run into problems. Eventually you will find a dose that works good and doesn't leave you hung over the next day. Good luck.
  5. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    Tundras of Europa
    Amitriptyline.
    jeffrez likes this.
  6. Adster

    Adster Senior Member

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    I'm guessing you've tried 5htp?
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    doxepine is another good old style antidepressant used for sleep. The low doses used for sleep probably arent enough to help with depression directly but then again a good night sleep can make u feel quite good.
    jeffrez likes this.
  8. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Elizabeth, My experience with Amitriptyline was a disaster. Not only did it not help with sleep but it left me feeling poisoned and like a zombie. The effects got worse rather then better over time. The effects on my gut was so severe that it has never gone away.

    When I need help to sleep I try different things and change every few days. Baclofen (which was prescribed for restless legs), Benadryl and many allergy or antihistamines make me sleepy, some OTC painkiller drugs as well. I do appreciate that you have probably tried all of this.

    Some people with CFS are reported as having high serotonin so it's controversial even taking an AD drug. I'm not depressed and the AD's I tried were purely for sleep and pain. They didn't work for me for either.

    I'm sensitive to drugs and all the AD's I tried were a disaster. It may be trial and error for a while to find something from any group that will work for you. Hope you are lucky though.
    Valentijn likes this.
  9. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    I take Remeron also (MIrtazapine) of 30mg I have only had to increase to this point in over 3 years of usage! I was on Trazadone (went up to 150mg) before and tried Doxepin, did not work at all for me (male).

    GG
  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I think it would help to figure out why you aren't sleeping first. Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you wake up and can't fall asleep again? Is there any pain or tenseness when you can't sleep? Is your body exhausted but your mind running around in circles?

    I take hydroxyB12 for the pain, and NAC - N-acytlcysteine for my mind not shutting down properly ("wired but tired"). And 3 grams of fish oil daily to shut down the otherwise constant headache.
    dannybex likes this.
  11. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    I found it produced nasty side effects too. It made my BP crash when I tried to remain on my feet and i kept passing out. The effects on the gut were worse and many years later I am still plagued by the damage it caused.

    C.G.
    Valentijn likes this.
  12. caledonia

    caledonia

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    If you haven't had one already, I suggest getting a sleep study. I had one done and found out I my legs were twitching all night long, waking me up many times per hour. I had no idea this was going on. I declined the medicine they offered (since pulled off the market for some horrible side effect - whew - dodged a bullet there), and instead I'm taking large amounts of magnesium. This works great for me.

    I've since had further improvements in sleep by pursuing methylation. See the link for the Methylation Made Easy videos in my signature below.

    Controlling the light can also be helpful if you have an advancing sleep cycle. You want to get some blue light in the morning, but block the blue light at night (from computers and tv) with amber colored blue blocker type glasses.

    I'm currently tapering off my antidepressant. It's going to take me 3 years total to do it safely, so think long and hard about going down this path.
    dannybex and Valentijn like this.
  13. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Damn, I'm glad I stopped it after two (horrible) days. I'd been second-guessing whether I should've stuck it out to see if it was just a start up effect and things would get better ... but best not to risk it.
  14. Lala

    Lala Senior Member

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    Elizabeth, have you ever been tested for bartonella? Bartonella causes horrible insomnia...
    Lithium Orotate can help with sleep, though it is OTC med.
    Mirtazapine (Remeron) caused me severe worsening of neurological symptoms and brought me a range of new symptoms as well. I would be careful.
  15. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Elizabeth, I completely feel for you. When I first got sick all I wanted to do was sleep, but that switched over into pure no sleep insomnia. It was an awful time and I went nuts. I had to go on an antidepressant. I completely understand your plight. None of us are experts and we are so different in what works for us. A sleep study can be very difficult and I have yet to do one because I don't want to! I want to be in my bed.

    I went on Tofranil, an old antidepressant in the beginning. It helped me for sleep. Trazadone is one of the more tiring antidepressants, otherwise known at Desyrel. Problem with that for me, it made me sick to my stomach. See why I am saying none of us are experts? It works differently for everyone.

    I went on Sinequan at one point and Remeron. Both of them put 20 pounds on me and I was rolly polly. It took me forever to get the weight off and Remeron..I still have the 13 pounds extra it put on me!

    5HTP gave me nightmares...bloody, killing nightmares.

    SSRI's make me vomit. They give me horrible reflux and gerd.

    See? We are all so different.

    You need to try them out and find out for yourself. I hate telling you that. I would, if you can find a good psychiatrist, go to a good psychiatrist. I am not a fan of shrinks, but I will say this; they know their meds for the most part if you get to a good one and they can really help you. Some psychiatrists, all they do is prescribe meds. They are experts at it and they don't do therapy or talking. You are in and out.

    I completely understand how daunting this is.

    After you get a medicine that works and get some sleep, try to really help the CFS. It wasn't until I got sleep that I could think about methylation protocols and treatments for this thing, because I was just too strung out and needed SLEEP.
    helen1 likes this.
  16. undcvr

    undcvr Senior Member

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    try Lithium ? In its orotate form it is somewhere in limbo btw a prescription drug and a natural supplement. Read up on it before you try it and u will realise that it has alot of benefits to the brain.
    maryb likes this.
  17. LisaGoddard

    LisaGoddard Senior Member

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    My Mum is a chronic insomniac and I have ths same problem and have always needed medical help for me to sleep.
    I found most antidepressants helped but perhaps the best is mirtazapine (15mg).
    I sympathise - it is horrible when you can't sleep!
  18. liquid sky

    liquid sky Senior Member

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    I have tried TCAs and SSRIs and could not tolerate any of them. I would second the idea to get a sleep study done if you can. I use Remeron 15 mg. and have no side effects from it. If you decide to use Remeron, remember that the weight gain associated with it usually occurs when starting the drug. If you can say no to food then, weight gain concerns should not not be an issue later. Remeron tends to increase the appetite when starting the drug. Also, the smaller dosage is more sedating than the larger dosages.
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    No antidepressants helped my sleep.

    Wow.. I cant believe so many of us with ME have been permanently damaged by Amitriptyline, Im the third to reply on this thread to say Ive been left with permanent damage from that drug, its the ONLY drug which has given me permanent damage. (I noticed that all of us who got damaged from it are those who have ME rather then CFS, maybe those who dont have ME go better with it). Not only did this drug damage me but it didnt help my sleep at all either. **Someone needs to do a serious study on that drug and the damage its doing in ME (not CFS) patients!!!

    SSRIs, none of those helped my sleep at all and all of those gave me side effects.

    doxepine didnt help my sleep at all either

    Ive left a long message on your other thread. If you have ME I recommend you try over the counter antihistamine doyalamine succinate for sleep (just dont take it all the time)
    Valentijn likes this.
  20. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Isn't ME the same thing as CFS? I am confused. Did I miss something?

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