RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Use this section to discuss your experiences with prescription drugs, iron injections, and other medical interventions that involve the introduction of a drug or medicine into the body. Discuss side effects, successes, failures, published research, information about drug trials, and information about new medications being developed.

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:43 pm

Well that was a rather dumb thing I did. There have been a variety of mushrooms in the yard, some of them did look poisonous. Not doing that again. You do weird things when you are desperate. I did go to the store and got a mushroom blend for immune support. Helps a lot with the allergies.

Feet are doing better with reflexology and I also found out one of the hormones I was taking for sleep (I'm doing HRT) can cause muscoskeletal and joint pain. So I got the hormones switched. I am cautiously optimistic.

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:26 am

OK I found a very safe natural antidepressant that should be okay with anyone's RLS. l-methionine. This is an amino acid that produces natural sam e in the body. Sam e has been used for depression. However, I tried sam e over the counter and it activated my RLS. I also know someone with major depressive disorder who stated methionine helped take the edge off the depression.
https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/nu ... methionine

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:04 pm

I have recently been needing an antidepressant, but can't find one that will work with my insomnia and RLS. The one I took 30 years ago was a tricyclic (pamelor) and I had a terrible time with sleep when getting off the medication. That was when my sleep was pretty darn good. And that drug is one of the more friendly RLS drugs. Wellbutrin is one I thought about, but the side effect is insomnia. According to my doctor (Dr. Ondo a world renown specialist on RLS) I have 2 sleep disorders, one being severe RLS and the other one he stated he couldn't help me with. I know the depression would skyrocket if I started getting 2 hours a night due to something I took for depression. So I think I'm going to opt for an antianxiety med as I've been on that and it actually helped the RLS a bit.

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:08 pm

I am happy to report that I got the heel surgery in June and the doctor did one FANTASTIC job. No more scooter!!!! Likewise, Dr. Ondo has helped me get the sleep under control with an iron transfusion and decent medication so I am sleeping. The depression is not as chronic as 2018 when I had it for 6 months straight, but have times where it rears it's ugly head and it would be great to get on something for an as needed basis.

Rustsmith
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Location: Pueblo, Colorado

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby Rustsmith » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:59 pm

There is one very natural anti-depressant that only occasionally gets mentioned - exercise. I totally "controlled" my depression for about 26 years by becoming a runner. The only time that exercise did not work for me was when the side effects of some of my meds overwhelmed the benefits of running.

I stopped running last year when I switched from methadone to Tramadol. I stopped running partly because I was getting bored after all that time and partly because Tramadol also has chemical characteristics that are similar to SNRI anti-depressants. I did fine for a year without running at all. Unfortunately, my depression started to grow again this fall, which I suspect may have been an indication that I was starting to experience Tramadol augmentation. Regardless of what caused the depression and the nightmares that have ensued, I have started running again and feel much better emotionally when I can go out for a run. Getting back into running is hard work since I have lost almost all of my running fitness. But I am running now for my emotional health and not for the physical benefits or for competition (like I used to).

If you do decide to try exercise to help with depression, the key is to not to try to do too much too fast. You need to do enough to work up a little bit of a sweat, but not so much that you get to the point where you cannot talk to someone next to you. My running used average 30 miles/week, now I have to push myself just to complete 1 mile (with stops). I am trying to slowly reduce the number of stops I have to take and will then try to slowly increase the distance that I run each day. I expect it will take at least a year before I will once again feel comfortable going out for five or six mile runs. But the emotional benefit that I am getting combined with the fact that I cannot take anti-depressant medications means that I just need to relearn the joy of running and watching nature along my routes and enjoying the changes that occur with the seasons and the simple beauty of nature.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

ViewsAskew
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:07 am

Peanut1 - great news!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:43 am

Rustsmith/Steve,

I'm curious as to why you can't take an AD and if so, which ones you tried that activated the RLS or insomnia. I would opt for tramadol, but I have tried it and got sick as a dog.
I do some exercise ie walking, swimming, stationary or regular biking which helps a LOT. However, I can't really run anymore due to arthritic knees and I still have feet that can't take the pounding. But when I get into one of my depressive episodes the exercise does not seem to help much. Thankfully those episodes tend to only last a few days or 2 weeks at the most. But depending what's going on, they can come back frequently. My hope is to find something that can help me get a break from it even for a few weeks. I have no intention of staying on an AD and would only take an anti anxiety as needed. I found one class of antidepressants under Wellbutrin and trazadone that may be worth a try. Apparently these are the best ADs for RLS. Wellbutrin has insomnia as a side effect, but Trazadone does not. I also have little hope that a doctor would prescribe me an as needed anti anxiety medication when I'm taking a pain pills (Horizant or Gabapentin) and a sleeper (Belsomra) but one can only hope.

Ann,

Thank you!

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:53 am

One more quick thing on ADs. I read where problems can happen getting off the AD, but this is usually when someone has been on it longer than 4-6 weeks My solution for this is to only take the AD for 4-5 weeks, get off for a few months, and then take it for another 4-5 weeks or whenever I need a break. sometimes you just need to get a little creative.
Last edited by peanut1 on Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:54 am

The "problems" being insomnia of course. And none of use need that side effect around here!!!!

Rustsmith
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Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:14 am

peanut1, a few days before Thanksgiving, my psychiatrist prescribed Wellbutrin to help with my mildly depressed mood. On the first day, I felt a bit odd. It is hard to describe other than I just didn't feel right. I figured it was the Wellbutrin and knew that it takes a few days to become effective, so I went ahead and took the second dose the next morning. MAJOR mistake!! My RLS went into hyperdrive. My RLS has never been anywhere close to being that bad, and my RLS rated as very severe by the IRLSSG. I could not even manage to sit for more than about 2 minutes at a time and sleep was totally out of the question in spite of the fact that I was taking 900mg gabapentin and 1mg clonazepam each night. The Thanksgiving holidays were a non-event for my wife and me. I never took the third dose of Wellbutrin, yet the severe insomnia and RLS continued for six days. My lower legs and feet become so fatigued that one night I tried to sleep on my hands and knees. That didn't work, but at least it gave my feet a bit of time to recover. I tried contacting my doctor's office on-call neurologist, but he couldn't suggest anything even though he is a professor at a major med school.

I finally got relief when my doctor returned from the long holiday weekend and added methadone on top of the Tramadol that I had been taking for the last year. I was also told to resume running, which I did. For the next couple of weeks, my moods would swing some, but not too much until both my mood and my RLS turned sour one night just before Christmas (the nightmare of my Christmas non-holdiay is covered in a different thread and was something that no one should ever have to experience and has me currently discussing possible actions with my attorney).

After the Thanksgiving experience, my psychiatrist entered a notation on my charts that I am "allergic" to Wellbutrin. (I haven't seen her yet since my Christmas nightmare). Maybe another AD would work, but after the absolute disaster that has been my life for the last six weeks, there is absolutely no way I would willingly allow a doctor to experiment on me since they do not have a way to "turn off" the effects of an anti-depressant and any other AD could cause even worse problems than the Wellbutrin.

So, running is going to have to be my one and only anti-depressant for as long as I have any control over the matter.

One final comment: I have found that most physicians are not aware of the fact that although Tramadol is normally used as a mild opioid medication on Sch IV instead of Sch II like the other opioids, it has chemical characteristics of an SNRI type anti-depressant and is the only non-dopamine agonist that can cause augmentation. It is also used for treating a specific type of male sexual problem found mostly in younger men and this specific side effect may very well have been contributing to my down moods. Although Tramadol is an attractive option for treating RLS, it has some side effects that many doctors are not familiar with, so they are not able to recognize that Tramadol could be the source of the problem when a patient comes in with a complaint that does not seem to be related to RLS.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

peanut1
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby peanut1 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:17 pm

Steve,

I don't think there is anyway I can even try Wellbutrin or possibly any AD after reading about your horror story. Thankfully, the doctor stated they take RLS very serious since there is an increased rate of suicide among severe RLS patients. She wanted me to try the mood stabilizer topiramate or lamictal. Topiramate can cause increased nervousness, but Lamictal can cause insomnia so I may just start with a half a dose in the morning on a Friday and see what happens. Dr. Ondo said either medication is worth a try. I also read about your Christmas story, what a friggin nightmare! So happy your are getting profession advice from an attorney about that type of barbaric treatment.

badnights
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Re: RLS, Depression and Anti-depressants

Postby badnights » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:21 am

Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression (https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and ... depression)

Exercise is as effective as drugs in some cases.
One in 10 adults in the United States struggles with depression, and antidepressant medications are a common way to treat the condition. However, pills aren't the only solution. Research shows that exercise is also an effective treatment. ...

The exercise effect
Exercising starts a biological cascade of events that results in many health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and diabetes, improving sleep, and lowering blood pressure. High-intensity exercise releases the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the "runner's high" that joggers report. But for most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better. "In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression," explains Dr. Miller.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.


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