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  1. #1
    ICN Member jameson77's Avatar
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    Elavil vs. Lexapro

    Hey guys....just wondering if anyone has switched from Lexapro to Elavil and had success? I take Lexapro for anxiety and depression but was wondering if Elavil might be better. Thoughts?
    Dx's: Moderate IC, PFD, Infertility, Chronic Lower Lumbar Issues/Sacroileitis.
    Current Meds: Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Pyridium, Lidocaine/Sodium Bicarb/Elmiron At-Home Instills, Macrobid, Prilosec, 2% Lidocaine Gel, Ativan, Hydrocodone.
    Meds that Didn't Help: Ultram (Severe Retention), Tylenol 3 (Itch), Lyrica, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Elavil.
    IC Handbook Link: http://www.ic-network.com/handbook/

  2. #2
    Support Volunteer leelee88's Avatar
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    Elavil, DID NOT help with any anxiety or depression. But it did help with the pain..It also made me very tired..And I gained weight on it..
    Hugs
    Ronda

    ONE Second, ONE Bite, ONE Breath, ONE Pill, ONE Minute, ONE Teardrop, ONE Hour, ONE Sip.. ONE DAY! I will Prevail from this disease! IC Hoping for a Cure!


    Link to Patient Handbook:
    http://www.ic-network.com/handbook/

    Diet Reference Sheet:
    http://www.ic-network.com/diet/icndi...tsheet0909.pdf

    Meds For IC: Lyrica-25mg Glucosamine-500 MSM-500mg, Prosed Ds -When Flaring

    Other Meds: Levlite- Continious Birtcontrol, Micardis-40mg for High Blood Pressure

    Meds I have Tried:
    Topamax,Tofranil, Elmiron, Atarax, Cymbalta, Elavil, Enablex, Detral La, Prydium.
    Lexapro< Bad reaction to this med!
    Intstills, could not continue them due to some kind of reaction after 3rd instill. Tasted the lidocaine in my mouth, tongue and lips went numb then went into what seemed like a panic attack. Shaking, racing heart, tingling face/head, blood pressure shot up..

    Dx With IC in Nov 2006 with Hydro/Cysto
    Hydro/Cysto Caused Bladder to Rupture.

    Other Dxs-Vulvodynia,Fibro, Endo, IBS, HPV, Migraines, Spastic Colon, Mild Dysplasia.



    ICN Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

  3. #3
    Support Leader kadi's Avatar
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    Elavil was the first medication to help my IC. When I first started taking it, I was voiding 60x a day & completely unable to sleep more than 20 minutes at a time due to urinary frequency. The first night on just 10mg of Elavil, I slept 4 hours. I was so grateful I cried. Within a week, I was sleeping through the night with only 1-2 wakeups. Within several weeks, I was voiding 20x a day. Great improvement. I increased the dose to 20mg, and unfortunately at that dose, I did gain weight. However, if I had kept a food diary & been vigilant about what I was eating, the weight gain wouldn't have been so much.

    For me, the tiredness side effect went away. I honestly don't love the medication because it does make my weight harder to manage, but Elavil is a major part of my treatment plan, enables me to work fulltime & have a fairly normal life, so I'm staying on it.

    Good luck! I hope you find things that work & you feel better soon,
    Kadi

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.
    ------------------------------------------------------


    New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
    Source - Pinterest
    "


    Current treatments:
    -IC diet
    -Elavil 60mg at night
    -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
    -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills every morning and night
    -Pyridium if needed,
    -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
    -Antibiotic to prevent UTI infections from 2x daily catheter use
    -Colace & Senna to treat chronic constipation from meds
    -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
    -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
    -Managing stress= VERY important!
    -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!

  4. #4
    ICN Member jameson77's Avatar
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    Thanks....

    Thanks for the responses, ladies. I talked to some nurses whom i work with today and one is taking Lexapro as well as a low dose of Elavil. Ugh....i hate the fact that it causes weight gain....i had that same problem with the Lyrica....all that weight gain and the lyrica did absolutely nothing for me.

    I am going to see my doc next week to talk to her about it, in addition to talk to her about me keeping some backup pain medication besides crappy ultram since i got hit with a killer flare this past weekend and was TOTALLY unprepared!!!! Ugh......

    thanks!

    Meredith
    Dx's: Moderate IC, PFD, Infertility, Chronic Lower Lumbar Issues/Sacroileitis.
    Current Meds: Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Pyridium, Lidocaine/Sodium Bicarb/Elmiron At-Home Instills, Macrobid, Prilosec, 2% Lidocaine Gel, Ativan, Hydrocodone.
    Meds that Didn't Help: Ultram (Severe Retention), Tylenol 3 (Itch), Lyrica, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Elavil.
    IC Handbook Link: http://www.ic-network.com/handbook/

  5. #5
    ICN Member
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    Although Elavil is an antidepressant, that is not the main reason it is prescribed for IC sufferers. If you did not have IC and were to go a psychiatrist looking for help with anxiety or depression, it would be very unlikely you would be put on Elavil, since there are many many other drugs that are usually considered front-line for mood disorders.

    Like Lexapro Elavil has a sedative effect, and so might help with anxiety, but it also has some side-effects that are helpful in relieving some of the other symptoms of IC. Elavil may interfere with nerve pain and it may also help with frequency, since it appears to have some anti-cholinergic properties.

    If Elavil helps you with your IC symptoms but doesn't do enough for your anxiety or depression, I would suggest talking to your doctor about what combo of meds might be best for you. I could see how two downers like Elavil and Lexapro might interfere with your waking life.

  6. #6
    ICN Member vm's Avatar
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    Are you asking if Elavil would help the depression and anxiety more than the Lexapro does? They are two different types of antidepressants - Elavil isn't prescribed very often anymore for depression b/c it has a lot of side effects. It is prescribed in much higher doses for depression than when it is prescribed for IC. Even at a small dose for IC the weight gain and grogginess can be too much for some patients.... I would think it would be even worse at the dosage level for depression.
    Kim

    Diagnosed August 2001

    Current IC meds: Elmiron (since 2001), Levaquin (one pill after intercourse to prevent UTIs), Effexor (for depression & anxiety)


    Past IC meds: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Detrol LA, Lexapro (for depression & anxiety, but also helped my IC) (They all helped, but I was able to discontinue them.)

    My IC story: http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/kim.html It's very outdated now. I've been virtually symptom free and able to eat & drink whatever I'd like for about 8 years now.

    *****************************

    “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

    “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” ~ Brian Tracy

  7. #7
    ICN Member Briza's Avatar
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    Meredith
    My questions are the same as VM's regarding what kind of relief you are expecting, wanting, needing from an antidepressant, whether it be Elavil (a tri-cylcic) or Lexapro (I believe it is an SSRI...or is it an SNRI? whichever, they are pretty similar... and in a much different class than the tri-cyclics such as Elavil, Tofranil, etc.).
    And like Goldy posted, if you are needing help for depression/anxiety, then the more modern antidepressants (like Lexapro) such as the SSRIs and SNRIs are the usual go to meds these days and have been for many years now. Some of these have been reported to help with pain as well as dep/anx (namely the widely advertised on TV commercials Cymbalta)...tho I think the jury is still out on that, at least here on this board, as it seems that for the most part the SSRIs and SNRIs have historically helped much more for dep/anx than they do for their more recently touted pain relief.

    As for low dose Elavil, there are MANY posts here reporting symptom relief for IC...whether it be for pain, burning, frequency, urgency, nocturia (and getting a good night's sleep!). I personally have gotten only frequency and nocturia and sleep relief....but great relief for those symptoms. Luckily I have had pyridium and a pain med to help me with burning and pain. But for the other symptoms Elavil has worked great! Others report different, but still good, results with Elavil, particularly for pain relief. And Elavil is often rxd for other nerve and chronic pain issues that have nothing to do with the bladder! BUT at the low doses it is rxd for IC symptoms or other health pain issues it does not seem to be effective for most patients for dep/anx. Of course that it helps me sleep thru the night without nocturia helps me a lot, but not directly for my anx issues that have other underlying causes. And I do not feel comfortable with taking the high doses of Elavil that are reportedly needed for treating anx/dep....as the side effects of Elavil can be heavy and it is widely reported that side effects of Elavil are directly related to how high the dose.

    And then there are many who use a combo of an SSRI or SNRI along with Elavil...to treat both dep/anx symptoms plus their IC symptoms (like me...I take prozac and elavil). Prozac has never caused me sleepy or groggy effects, and the 10 mg Elavil I adjusted to very quickly. So the combo of the two work fine for me without ill effect.

    Did you feel that Lexapro was helping for dep/anx/any of your symptoms? I ask because if you felt any good results from it but are wanting to discontinue b/c of any untolerable side effects then Celexa might be an antidep to consider. Lexapro is the second generation of Celexa, from what my dr told me, pretty much the same with just a few changes but some may tolerate Celexa better from what dr told me. Also Celexa has a generic and so is much more affordable...I don't believe there is a generic version of Lexapro as of yet.
    Sorry for the ramble, hope any of this helps???
    Favorite quote: "Moderation kills." ~ Dr Caldwell Esselstyn

    I've been remission since Aug 2009! My apologies but I will no longer respond to private messages regarding my IC and VV symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, remission, lifestyle changes including my diet or stress management techniques, etc. I am simply too busy. If you have questions please refer to my remission thread as well as the other 6000 something posts I have made on this board....they pretty much cover it all from beginning to end.

    My remission story: Healing from the Inside Out
    http://www.ic-network.com/forum/showthread.php?75536-My-remission-healing-from-the-inside-out
    What helped me get to and stay in remission? stress reduction, diet, time, meditation, stress reduction, stress reduction, stress reduction!--I no longer take medications for IC, PFD,VV, anxiety, or depression. Making career and lifestyle changes to reduce stress and learning techniques to manage anxiety set the stage for my bladder to heal.
    My history: No history of bladder issues***Onset of IC and VV sxs Nov 2003***Diagnosed Nov 2004 based on symptoms and hydro/biopsy results***Cysto-Hydro did not give therapeutic relief, I had complications and long recovery ***Hunner's Ulcers found and removed during hydro***Symptoms: the usual~pain, burning, spasms, frequency, urgency, nocturia, lower back and upper thigh pain, very bloated "IC Belly"

  8. #8
    ICN Member Briza's Avatar
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    Meredith
    My questions are the same as VM's regarding what kind of relief you are expecting, wanting, needing from an antidepressant, whether it be Elavil (a tri-cylcic) or Lexapro (I believe it is an SSRI...or is it an SNRI? whichever, they are pretty similar... and in a much different class than the tri-cyclics such as Elavil, Tofranil, etc.).
    And like Goldy posted, if you are needing help for depression/anxiety, then the more modern antidepressants such as the SSRIs and SNRIs are the usual go to meds these days and have been for many years now. Some of these have been reported to help with pain as well as dep/anx (namely the widely advertised on TV commercials Cymbalta)...tho I think the jury is still out on that, at least here on this board, as it seems that for the most part the SSRIs and SNRIs have historically helped much more for dep/anx than they do for their more recently touted pain relief.

    As for low dose Elavil, there are MANY posts here reporting symptom relief for IC...whether it be for pain, burning, frequency, urgency, nocturia (and getting a good night's sleep!). I personally have gotten only frequency and nocturia and sleep relief....but great relief for those symptoms. Luckily I have had pyridium and a pain med to help me with burning and pain. But for the other symptoms Elavil has worked great! Others report different, but still good, results with Elavil, particularly for pain relief. And Elavil is often rxd for other nerve and chronic pain issues that have nothing to do with the bladder! BUT it at the low doses it is rxd for IC symptoms or other health pain issues it does not seem to be effective for most patients for dep/anx. Of course that it helps me sleep thru the night without nocturia helps me a lot, but not directly for my anx issues that have other underlying causes. And I do not feel comfortable with taking the high doses of Elavil that are reportedly needed for treating anx/dep....as the side effects of Elavil can be heavy and it is widely reported that side effects of Elavil are directly related to how high the dose.

    And then there are many who use a combo of an SSRI or SNRI along with Elavil...to treat both dep/anx symptoms plus their IC symptoms (like me...I take prozac and elavil). Prozac has never caused me sleepy or groggy effects, and the 10 mg Elavil I adjusted to very quickly. So the combo of the two work fine for me without ill effect.

    Did you feel that Lexapro was helping for dep/anx/any of your symptoms? I ask because if you felt any good results from it but are wanting to discontinue b/c of any untolerable side effects then Celexa might be an antidep to consider. Lexapro is the second generation of Celexa, from what my dr told me, pretty much the same with just a few changes but some may tolerate Celexa better from what dr told me. Also Celexa has a generic and so is much more affordable...I don't believe there is a generic version of Lexapro as of yet.
    Sorry for the ramble, hope any of this helps???
    Favorite quote: "Moderation kills." ~ Dr Caldwell Esselstyn

    I've been remission since Aug 2009! My apologies but I will no longer respond to private messages regarding my IC and VV symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, remission, lifestyle changes including my diet or stress management techniques, etc. I am simply too busy. If you have questions please refer to my remission thread as well as the other 6000 something posts I have made on this board....they pretty much cover it all from beginning to end.

    My remission story: Healing from the Inside Out
    http://www.ic-network.com/forum/showthread.php?75536-My-remission-healing-from-the-inside-out
    What helped me get to and stay in remission? stress reduction, diet, time, meditation, stress reduction, stress reduction, stress reduction!--I no longer take medications for IC, PFD,VV, anxiety, or depression. Making career and lifestyle changes to reduce stress and learning techniques to manage anxiety set the stage for my bladder to heal.
    My history: No history of bladder issues***Onset of IC and VV sxs Nov 2003***Diagnosed Nov 2004 based on symptoms and hydro/biopsy results***Cysto-Hydro did not give therapeutic relief, I had complications and long recovery ***Hunner's Ulcers found and removed during hydro***Symptoms: the usual~pain, burning, spasms, frequency, urgency, nocturia, lower back and upper thigh pain, very bloated "IC Belly"

  9. #9
    ICN Member snowgirl's Avatar
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    exactly as the girls said it elavil for ic urgency, nocturia does help lots of IC patients. It helps you sleep. Weight gain is why I have been on and off of it many years now.
    Lexapro not at all for IC symptoms- that is for your depression and anxiety in general life issues. Lexapro expensive. some insurance co- you need prior authorization and level of copay is higher.
    lexapro good drug with lot less side efffects then other antideprssants. I say lexapro and cymbalta two new mostly prescribed more then any of them right now.
    I am very sensitive to meds. Lexapro did well at first 10mg too much fatigue and increased my anxiety. 5mg much better but still increased my anxiety. I weaned off it it - but only anti depressant I was ever able to tolerate more then 4 day- I stayed 9 mos but had to because my anxiety was bad to begin with and lexapro for me and everyone is different made it worse
    I know handful of people on lexapro for depression- people without IC/ People with depression and anxiety in their lives due to today's world and all of it's issues. Vicky

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