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Help ease my fear about Brintellix?


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I have no idea if I'm doing this right so bear with me:

I have GAD and OCD (such a lovely combo) and I just got prescribed Brintellix to help me get out of the recent anxiety/panic hole I've dug myself into. I've been on every SSRI under the sun (I was diagnosed with this shit storm of anxiety, panic attacks and OCD when I was 11 and am now currently 31) and have had great success through the years with Luvox. Then I made the "mistake" or thinking I could live without it and stopped taking it (with my psychiatrist monitoring me) and now I can't even go to the mailbox without panicking. Also, Luvox now hates me and doesn't help. I've done the whole CBT thing and found it very helpful but I'm still very isolated to my apartment so meds are needed now. 

I stupidly read everything I could about Brintellix and the thing that popped up most was nausea and vomiting. I have a SEVERE vomiting phobia so now I'm afraid to keep taking Brintellix. I've taken 5mg for 4 days now and not felt any nausea (besides the usual anxiety nausea) and I actually haven't even thrown up since I was 12 (drunken throwing up doesn't count)  so I kind of have a stomach of steel. My question is: would I have already experienced vomiting if it was going to happen? Or am I at risk of just all of a sudden developing that side effect? My doc says I'm going to veeerry slowly up the amount to avoid as many side effects as possible. Like I'll up the dosage by 2.5mg every 2 weeks. I also take it at night with an anti nausea med. Also, has it helped anyone's anxiety? I'd love to hear something positive.

Thanks for the help!

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I too suffer with GAD (also panic and I obsess, compulsions, less so). I can empathize with being housebound too. I haven't personally tried Brintellix (although I would very much like to after not much luck with many others) so I can't definitely say you won't vomit (I have that fear also) but I've found with other medications in the past that nausea usually means being off my food and more like a car sickness type of nausea rather than gastric bug kind of nausea. Having some ginger in the house (ginger beer or crystallized) to chew on or some ginger tea helps and usually it passes. Try not to worry too much, if you've never had nausea before it might not even happen to you with this one.

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Thanks for answering! :) I bought some ginger tea today to help keep a calm stomach, and I'll keep taking an anti nausea pill along with the med. Its ridiculous that I'm so afraid of throwing up but never do, but I guess OCD never really makes any real sense. Neither does GAD. I'll update if I develop nausea. Good luck with your GAD :)

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Welcome to CrazyBoards!

Most of the time nausea occurs when starting or stopping a med. Your doctor has you on a very conservative/slow titration so it is unlikely that you will experience nausea if it hasn't started already. Once you've been on the Brintellix/Trintellix a while if you abruptly stop taking it you may get nausea/dizziness as part of the withdrawal symptoms. That always sucks. There's no way to predict if you will get withdrawal symptoms though, and the best way to avoid them is a careful titration down. The upside is that withdrawal side effects can almost always be quickly eased by just returning to a higher dose of the medication in question. Then you can try weaning off again but knowing you'll have to go slower.

I took Trintellix for about 3 months last year. I experienced no significant effects, positive or negative, on either my depression or anxiety. 

Basically, I suspect you're unlikely to get nauseous from the Trintellix since you've been okay so far. It sounds like you're doing good things to help mitigate any side effects, so keep doing them if you think it helps. Hope the Trintellix works better for you than it did for me!

P.S. Brintellix was re-named to Trintellix in 2016 to prevent confusion with a similar named antiplatelet drug.

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9 hours ago, Louisa said:

Good luck with your GAD

Thank you :) Sounds like you're doing everything right to avoid any so hopefully it will stay that way for you. And yes, the irrational fear of throwing up doesn't make sense and yet there it is. It's amazing how long I can sit there feeling unwell for if I do happen to get sick and not throw up out of sheer willpower not to (unfortunately that usually means feeling sick for longer!).

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Hi! I kinda dropped off the face of the earth there for a bit but I thought I would update about how being on Trintellix is so far (it's still called Brintellix here in Norway where I'm currently living so the whole Trintellix/Brintellix thing confused me for a sec ?). I've been on Trintellix for over a week and haven't thrown up. It's been a really rough start but that is purely my fault because I misunderstood my doc and stopped my old med (Luvox) cold turkey (was only on 100mg for a month) so I was experiencing withdrawals. LOTS of anxiety, nausea, brain zaps and all that shit. Now im coming out of that. Im still TERRIFIED that Trintellix will make me throw up, and that probably won't stop any time soon. I take it at night after 2 pieces of toast and an anti nausea pill. I also take 25mg Oxazepam (I think that's Xanax in the US/Canada?) for the time being because I keep freaking out after I take it, thinking "OMG ITS GOING TO MAKE ME SICK!!!". So I'll keep doing that for another week, then go down to 15mg and then hopefully be able to curb the anxiety myself. In regards to if Trintellix works, too soon to tell but I do actually feel less hopeless and depressed. Even when I've been feeling physically terrible I haven't been a psychological mess. I've had my breakdowns and I'm exhausted but I do feel a slight improvement in my ability to think positive. 

Jessamine: I soooooooo identify with not letting myself throw up!! It's insane how long I can go feeling like I'm going to throw up but keep pushing it down. I haven't actually thrown up since I was 11 (too much alcohol barfing doesn't count). I was completely freaking out on a plane once, I was moved up to business class so I could lay on the floor and my bf at the time convinced I'd feel better if I threw up. I tried, HE tried (put his fingers down my throat) but I just couldn't do it ? It was insane. But 20 years of constant nausea because of anxiety and a huge phobia of vomiting will teach your body to avoid it to the death haha.

Anyways, I'll update as I go. Keep your fingers crossed for me! ?

 

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Hi!  I have good news for you.  I am on Trintellix (in the US).  I have been on it since February and it has NEVER made me throw up.  On top of that, it, along with .5 mg of Klonopin which I've been taking for over a decade, has helped with my extreme anxiety.  Last January the .5 Klonopin alone was not doing the trick, so I attribute this improvement to the Trintellix.

I am currently on 10 mg of Trintellix.  I was going to take 15mg, but that would require me to cut pills and I simply didn't feel like dealing with that.  The 10mg seems to be working (knock on wood...).  It did take a few weeks (maybe a couple months) until this drug was really working to its fullest potential.

Now - as you realize, you are simply NOT a thrower-upper.  Neither am I.  I hate it as well (and although I don't think I have a phobia about it, my teenage son definitely does so I totally understand your fear).  It seems to me that some people tend to throw up; others just don't for whatever reason.  When I started the Trintellix I started at 2.5mg.  Even that tiny dose made my stomach feel a bit yucky but NO WHERE NEAR where it would feel if I were going to vomit.  Nothing even close.  And it never has.  I say this because if you are already taking 5mg and not feeling any nausea, I don't think you are going to.  I just do not think this is a side effect that you are going to have.  I now take my 10mg dose at bed, even on an empty stomach.  If it takes me a while to fall asleep then occasionally I feel THE TINIEST BIT weird, but it is so minor that it could even be my imagination or due to something else. 

Bottom line:  1) Trintellix has worked for my anxiety.  2) I have never, ever even come anywhere close to vomiting from it.  3) i don't think you are going to even experience nausea from this drug if you haven't already.  4) Wouldn't it be ironic if the Trintellix even helped you stop obsessing about throwing up?  :)

Good luck!!

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Thank you SO MUCH for your reply! I really needed to hear something positive about Trintellix! I've been feeling nauseas but that could very well just be all in my head (I'm very often nauseas just purely because I'm thinking too much) or if could be the Luvox withdrawals. If I feel even the tiniest bit of stomach upset I panic and then feel nauseas because I'm anxious, then I convince myself that the nausea is real and I'm going to throw up. I never do though ? I was almost going to give up and quit Trintellix yesterday because just the thought of it making me sick was giving me panic attacks. You are 100% right though, I'm not a thrower upper. I just keep trying to tell myself that and reminding myself that vomiting is max 60 seconds of horribleness and then it's all over. I think the Luvox withdrawals are just giving so much anxiety that I'm having trouble thinking logically. I've struggled with panic anxiety and vomiting phobia since I was 11 and usually it's just an annoying background noise that doesn't effect my day, but I tried going off medication for the first time in 20 years recently and it just threw me into a tail spin. So now I'm trying to adjust to such an enormous amount of anxiety and gaining control of myself again. I'm going to go up 2.5mg in a week and I'm terrified that it will make me sick but I'm going to at least try! It really helps that you had a good response to Trintellix. Now I can say to myself "Just hang on for a few more weeks and maybe then finally this shit storm will clear!" Thank you so much again for your reply, you have no idea how much it's helped ?

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Glad it helped!  Just hang in there.  The chances of you throwing up are super, super low. 

To get you through the adjustment period, would your doc ever be willing to prescribe a benzo?  Just for a short while?  A very small dose would probably do the trick.  Not sure how willing they are to prescribe benzos in Norway, but you'd probably only need a very small dose and for a short period of time.  Mine has prescribed Klonopin (Clonazepam).  It helped immensely when I first started on it (.5mg).

Best of luck and keep us updated on how you're doing!

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I will definitely keep you posted! I've started feeling a little less anxious, wether that's due to not going through withdrawals anymore or Trintellix starting to kick in is too early to say. But thank god im not in a constant state of panic anymore! I do take a benzo before I take Trintellix, the generic name is Oxazepam. I was taking 25mg of that but today went down to 15mg. I hate how tired benzos make me but I taken them when necessary. I would have preferred a stronger and longer lasting benzo but Norway is pretty strict about prescribing them (and just about anything else that isn't nasal spray ?). I'm going to up my Trintellix dosage from 5mg to 7.5mg on Saturday and I'm REALLY nervous cuz I've read that people got really nauseas when they went higher than 5mg. But I'll just take it with a higher dose of the benzo for a week until I trust that I won't completely freak out every time I take it. I know I shouldn't have googled reviews on Trintellix in the first place since people rarely post anything positive, but my OCD made me do it ? Anyways, I'm crossing my fingers that going up to 7.5mg goes well! I'll let you know ?

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I know how you feel.  I've googled meds in the past (and illnesses) and it's always a mistake   I think people like us (anxious types) should learn to trust our docs :)  You are exactly right:  people who are breezing through this stuff RARELY take the effort to post about it!

I really think you'll be okay increasing your dosage.  You're going slowly and the fact that you feel relatively normal now is a really good sign. 

Keep us posted, and good luck.  If I don't reply it's only because I haven't been checking these board as often as I'd like to (see what happens when you feel better?!)

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I'm glad you've kept taking it and are so far doing well on it. I do the same with the googling of side effects. I'm phobic of both vomit and stomach upset (at the other end! Whole lifetime of a messed up stomach will make anyone terrified of digestive upset!). I will google and read reviews of a med until there are no reviews left to read and every page says I've visited it before! Then wonder why I'm so scared to take something! Problem is, when you take something and it goes well, you stop posting about it on the internet so the only stories out there are the horror one's!

Please keep following up :) I'm on the lookout for something new to try (for both the anxiety and the depression) and it's nice to read positive stories.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one that obsessively reads about my meds! I think it's smart to read up on what you're putting in your body but I obviously take it too far. I'm trying to just trust my doctor now. 

Im not sure if Trintellix is working or if me taking a benzo every night is what's helping but I think it's actually the Trintellix since the benzo I take only works for around 4 hours. I didn't go on Trintellix for depression per say since I don't technically have a depressive disorder, but I had become extremely depressed due to my situation and had very intrusive suicidal thoughts (which really scared me since I've never been suicidal), but the depression has now lifted. I'm giving props to Trintellix for that because my anxiety is still just as strong but I'm not sad about it. I'm getting more motivated. My anxiety isn't better but it feels different...I don't know how to describe it but it just feels maybe a little less violently in my face 24/7. I still get panic attacks and I'm still a mess but I feel like something might be shifting? I'm upping my dose from 5mg to 7.5mg tonight, so I'll see how that goes and update in a few days. I really want to keep posting about this cuz I want to give people a more in depth opinion of Trintellix besides "it's horrible!" or the extremely rare "it's great!". Nervousnellie, you telling me your experience really helped me so I want to pay it forward! 

Wish me luck on upping my dose ??

Talk to you soon ?

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Good luck! Hopefully at higher doses it will kick in and help the anxiety more. I was on Citalopram in the past for my anxiety. It didn't make it go away but it dulled the panic attacks a lot and helped calm the exhausting anxious thoughts that never shut up inside my head. Valium controls those best for me but I don't want a problem with it so I take a half dose like once a month max when I really really need a break from my own head.

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Hey all!

So I upped my meds from 5mg to 7.5mg 6 days ago and things have been rocky. My anxiety skyrocketed and I was nauseous all the time (probably because of the anxiety) and it was just terrible. I asked my doc about giving me Klonopin but Norway doesn't really use that med unless it's given to an in-patient because it's so addictive. Norway has a huge opioid problem (in relation to how small the country is) so they are super anal about stuff like this. Anyways, I got a prescription for an old antipsychotic called Truxal to help with the anxiety and panic. It helps but makes me super dizzy. I'm only using it until the side effect of heightened anxiety dies off. I felt heightened anxiety when I started on 5mg and by the end of week 2 it had died down. What sucks is that I'm going to have to go up to 10mg soon and I'm scared I'll get even more anxiety. I'll just have to try though. I'm still feeling positive about Trintellix though despite all this crap because it did give me a couple of good days before I upped the dosage. I'll probably have a few crappy weeks going forward as I up the dose again but hopefully it will be worth it ?? 

Talk to you soon ?

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Believe it or not, you still sound very positive to me, despite the way you're feeling.  So that really is good news - the Brintellix may be helping more than you think (I know you don't have depression, but at least for me anxiety can really mess with my mood even though I don't consider myself "depressed" per se).  It's also good that you're reminding yourself that you had increased anxiety when you started on the 5 mg. AND that it went away.

Interesting that Norway is so careful with Klonopin.  My pdoc is very wary of Xanax (I think because of its short half-life and the fact that he feels people build a tolerance to it more easily, but who knows).  I do get a bit nervous thinking about how long I've been on Klonopin (over a decade, but for most of the time at .5mg so not a huge dose).  I'd love to slowly taper off of it some day....

One more thing:  Can you hang out at 7.5mg for a while before going up to the 10mg?  It seems like there's no reason to rush this, especially if it gives you more anxiety initially.  FWIW:  I had horrible, TERRIBLE start-up anxiety with Paxil years and years ago, but it ended up being absolutely wonderful for my anxiety after those first rough couple weeks.

Thanks for the update and keep us posted!  Hang in there - you're doing/thinking all the right things!!

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Hey!

So the Truxal made me pass out when I was getting out of bed. Needless to say, I stopped taking it! It was lowering my blood pressure too much. I just went up to 10mg of Trintellix to kind of get it over with. I still feel terrible but not any more terrible than 7.5mg. I've started taking a benzo in the middle of the day to help ease the panic attacks. I'm just so damn neaseated all the time and it's so hard to handle. I know it's most likely just my anxiety making me sick but it's exhausting. I told my doc that if he thinks Trintellix is still my best option that I'll stick with it but if he thinks Wellbutrin (which he's meantioned before) would be worth a try instead then I'm down with that too. He's getting a second opinion from a psychiatrist, so I'm just waiting to hear back. My psychologist just recently quit her job too so my GP is my only doc at the moment which sucks. I'm gonna try to just sit with the nausea and anxiety though and be patient!

In regards to Norway and klonopin, Norway is just weird with their rules. They don't even make sense. I'm actually Canadian and my dad, who is a doctor and still lives in Vancouver, says that klonopin isn't even the worst benzo to take so it doesn't make sense to red flag it so much. But as liberal of a country as it is, it's also still very conservative when it comes to drugs and alcohol. They have just as weird rules when it comes to alcohol! Wanna buy a bottle of wine after 6pm on a weekday? Impossible. 

Anyways, I'm gonna try to stick with it and not give up! I'll update soon :-) 

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Sorry about the Truxal :(.  Sounds like you've got a plan, though, and that's always a good thing.  Sounds like there are still alternatives you can try IF for whatever reason this doesn't work (and I think it will).  They're always coming up with new drugs for anxiety.  I also just read that very soon genetic testing (simple blood test) will be available to see which antidepressant will work best for a person's depression.  My guess is that the same test could be used for anxiety as well (it all has to do with how your body metabolizes drugs).

I can't remember without reading all the previous posts - are you taking the Trintellix at bedtime?  That seems to help me as far as nausea goes. 

Very interesting about Norway's drug/alcohol policies!  Don't we ALL have some rather random laws on the books?  (except maybe Canada..  :)  ).  I'm glad to hear what your dad said about Klonopin.  When I hear that a country (or doc) won't prescribe it, it makes me nervous about being on it for so long. 

Take care and hang in there!  You're at the very worst of it now; it's only better from here.

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Hey all!

So big update: I'm quitting Trintellix. I spoke to my GP today and we agreed something should have improved by this point, but all I feel is anxiety/panic and nausea. There are few meds I haven't tried in the last 20 years but I'm going to give Wellbutrin another go. I was on it 6 years ago but quit because of the increased anxiety side effect. I was really stubborn back then though and had had no cognitive behavioral therapy and just generally had a shitty attitude towards my anxiety so I'm hoping I'll cope better now. Ive read mixed reviews on Wellbutrin (I only read a few this time!). Everyone says it gives them more energy and makes them stop worrying about things and I feel like if I can have that benefit then I can stop the panic attacks myself, like I was able to do before this breakdown. Worrying is what always leads to trouble. So I'm thinking I'll still keep you guys updated on my journey with Wellbutrin!

Nervousnellie: my dad said as long as your doc is aware that you're taking klonopin long term and he thinks it fine then there is nothing to worry about ? He didn't seem to think it was a big deal and he LOVES giving his opinion on doctor type things ? Some people get a high from benzos and that's generally what they get addicted to, not just the sedating feeling itself. 

Talk to you soon and wish me luck on Wellbutrin ????

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Well, the great news is you still sound extremely positive.  Remind yourself of that!!  I am sorry the Trintellix didn't work out, but if the Wellbutrin tempered your panic before, I bet it will work again.  My pdoc is TOTALLY for CBT.  He has even told me it works as well as, if not better than, meds!  I have thought about starting it but as you know, once you're feeling fine on the meds you feel like you don't need anything else which isn't smart or good for us, but I've fallen into the trap too.

This is a common tactic, but sometimes when I find myself worrying about the panic coming back I say 'STOP' and imagine a big stop sign in front of me.  Then I redirect my thoughts.  The damn panic really is a "fear of the fear" (for me at least), and my panic is ALL about worrying about the panic coming back!  So if I make myself STOP (sometimes I have to do this a few times), then start thinking about ANYTHING else (like what I need at the grocery store; what my day looks like tomorrow; ANYTHING), it really seems to help.  But - that's only when I'm not already in panic mode.  Once you're in that mode it's difficult to get out of without meds, in my experience.

And thank you SO MUCH for the info from your dad about Klonopin.  Yes, my pdoc is convinced it's fine for me (sometimes even encourages me to take a little more if I need it but I usually don't).  Your comments were reassuring.

Keep us posted on how you're doing! 

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Hey!

So big decisions have been made in the last few days. I'm still on Brintellix because I wasn't comfortable with changing anything without a psychiatrist (my GP has been handling my meds) because I started getting really intense suicidal thoughts. My psychologist has been MIA and decided to just quit suddenly and leave me hanging. My GP couldn't get a hold of a psychiatrist at the psychiatric hospital I was referred to a few months ago. So basically I've been left to deal with the anxiety myself, which I obviously haven't done a good job with. My mom finally just snapped after seeing me have a total meltdown and called my psychiatric hospital and demanded they help me (don't mess with momma bear!). So now I'm going to get a new psychiatric evaluation and see a psychiatrist. I'm on such a tightrope right now that I need a professional to deal with my meds, not just my GP. I haven't left my apartment in weeks and I'm just in hell so something serious needs to be done. Lets hope I get an appointment soon!

In regards to CBT, I've done it and it was completely life changing. More effective than any med! I'm in my situation right now because after I completed a CBT program, I felt so much better that I went off my medication for the first time in 20 years. I think that was obviously a terrible decision and I'm obviously just someone who probably needs to be on meds for the rest of my life, which is fine. My CBT skills are what is keeping me afloat right now, it's just hard to use those tools when the anxiety has snowballed into this huge shit storm. Every time I try to deescelate the anxiety, my anxiety is like "NO IM STAYING RIGHT HERE AND IM STRONGER THAN YOU NOW!". I should have seen a psychiatrist months ago, but my psychologist refused to refer me and basically told me to suck it up. I'm glad she's out of my life! I'm sure she's a good person, we just don't click. 

Im probably gonna take a break from posting for a while cuz im exhausted  and overwhelmed but THANK YOU SO MUCH Nervousnellie for all the help and reassurance. It's helped soooo much. Hopefully things look up soon and next time I post I'll have something positive to report.

much love!

 

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Funny you're talking about seeing a pdoc because in my last post I was actually going to suggest that very thing.  I just know it's not always easy in European countries.

Regarding your psychologist, it sounds like she simply doesn't understand true anxiety.

Yes, take a break from posting for sure - it seems like that would be a smart thing to do.  And don't give up hope; these meds can kick in a bit late.  You could still feel the anxiety melting away, but if not you'll have the pdoc's help.  And I personally wouldn't hesitate, for right now, taking whatever the gp said you could take as far as benzo dose (Xanax I think it was?).  Don't hesitate with that.  If they think it's ok then I'm sure it's fine and you need it.

Very best of luck.  You'll be fine, just have to get through the seemingly impossible stretch of anxiety.  I've been there and thought I'd NEVER, EVER be the same again, and here I am - doing well (knock on wood - guess I have some anxiety left cuz I'm still superstitious about it :) ).

Take care!!!

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