Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How long did it take you to find the right meds?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    How long did it take you to find the right meds?

    My partner was diagnosed with depression a little over a year ago. He has tried Citalopram, Venlafaxine and is now on Teva-Escitalopram (120 mg/day) since January. All have had adverse effects on his sleep (he averages about 2 hours' sleep/night with lots of nightmares and night sweats). His doctor prescribed Buspirone and Prazosin 3 months ago to help with the nightmares and the ***ual side effects, but the effect has been minimal. He's better than he was a year ago but still struggles to get out of bed at least one day a week and is not able to work full-time, and perhaps even worse, finds it impossible to sleep without graphic and horrifying nightmares.

    His family doc is wonderfully supportive and he saw a psychiatrist in January for a medication review. He got off the waitlist for a psychologist last week and will begin seeing one next month.

    I'm in this for the long haul and have his back no matter what. He has a very positive attitude about the whole thing but we're both exhausted by this *very* long road to finding the right combination of meds that work. How long did it take for you or your loved one? Is it still too soon to tell if this particular combo of drugs is working properly?
    Last edited by nm88; May 20th, 2020, 11:26 AM.

    #2
    Hi nm88 and welcome to the forum. Your partner is so fortunate to have someone like you, 'in it for the long haul". Over the years I've been on many different medication combinations. I've been on my current cocktail for several years now. Occasionally a few doses need adjusting, but otherwise it's stay the course.
    AJ

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, AJ. He is special to me and I am very fortunate to have him in my life as well. Thank you for your answer. If you don't mind my asking, have you had a cocktail of drugs that just didn't seem to be doing the trick for you? If so, how long did you manage on them before you and your doctor decided to try something else?

      I'm still trying to get the lay of the land as far as what's an acceptable amount of time to spend on a drug before deciding "this isn't working the way it's supposed to". I'm also trying to figure out if my/his expectations for what an AD should do for him are realistic. We feel like, if he can't work and has regular days where he can't get out of bed, they're not working correctly, but maybe we are wrong?

      I have read that around 8 weeks the drug takes full effect. So my assessment of the situation is that at its most effective, Escitalopram isn't working for him. But it's not my body so I can't push a change in meds, just be supportive if he gets the idea in his head all on his own.

      Also wondering how regularly he should be seeing his psychiatrist. His family doc is knowledgable and keen to help but I do wonder whether he's just prescribing him random SSRIs/SNRIs in the hopes that one will take, without the in-depth knowledge of the drugs that his psychiatrist has. Should he be requesting another psychiatrist appointment? Or is it more polite to wait until the doctor sends him back there himself?

      Comment


        #4
        Hi nm88. As a general guideline, I usually give a drug about two weeks to see if there's ANY improvement. For example, it does take several weeks for antidepressants to reach their full effect. (The time frame depends on many factors especially drug half life). If things aren't improving in two weeks, I will have a chat with the doctor about changing drugs, or in some cases adjusting the dose, if it was started at the lower end of the dosage range. Keep in mind that there are many factors that effect how well, or not, a drug may work. Sometimes a combination of drugs that have a different mode of action can be beneficial.

        To be honest with you, finding the right drug or combination of drugs is a long and tiring road. However when you do, it can make a huge difference in the quality of life, including the lives of family or significant others.

        As long as a request to see the psychiatrist again is asked for politely (sometimes assertiveness is a good asset here), your partner has every right to ask to be sent back to the psychiatrist. They do know more about treatment of mental illness then family doctors. It's his life and his health on the line.

        His pharmacist can help advocate for him as well. Some doctors are open to a call from a pharmacist and some are not.
        AJ

        Humans punish themselves endlessly
        for not being what they believe they should be.
        -Don Miguel Ruiz-

        Comment


          #5
          Hello nm88 and welcome. In regards to how long. Some people get lucky and find out quickly what works. Others like myself it could take years. I agree that if he isn't getting satisfaction he should try something else. If the psychologist is any good he will be of great help with the nightmares etc. Take Care. paul m
          "Alone we can do so little;
          Together we can do so much"
          Helen Keller

          Comment


            #6
            Hi all, just back with a little update. My partner is doing a LOT better now even just compared to a couple of months ago. His night sweats have stopped, his nightmares have almost completely stopped, and he expresses that his non-depressed days outnumber his depressed ones consistently in the last month or so.

            After a month of dealing with a VERY unprofessional counsellor at our local (provincially-funded) mental health centre, he now also has a dedicated counsellor that he sees every 2 weeks for an hour-long appointment. He feels positive about the impact that seeing a counsellor will have on him and we are both SO relieved that he finally has access to one: the cost was very prohibitive if he went privately to a psychologist ($200/appointment, not covered by his insurance) and it had been over 6 months sitting on the waiting list to get one via mental health services.

            In short, things are looking better for my wonderful partner. I am so proud of him and hopeful that this turn towards the sun will continue, though I know there will continue to be peaks and valleys. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and reassurance. It meant a lot to me.

            Comment


              #7
              Hello nm88. Thx for the update. Good for your partner. Congrats to you too. It must have been a very difficult time for you too. Take Care. paul m
              "Alone we can do so little;
              Together we can do so much"
              Helen Keller

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the update nm88. The right kind of help at the right time in life can sure make a difference.
                AJ

                Humans punish themselves endlessly
                for not being what they believe they should be.
                -Don Miguel Ruiz-

                Comment


                  #9
                  That is good news nm88. Thanks for sharing it!
                  uni

                  ~ it's always worth it ~

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X