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Hi There, I'm not much of a poster. But, I've noticed when you are trying to look up people's personal experience with meds, usually the reports are from people who have had really bad experiences, and so you don't normally get the full range of experiences. I'm assuming, the people who are fine, on certain meds, don't really post anything, because they've had no problems with it. Also, I wanted to post about Fetzima, because there is basically not a lot of information on it, so I felt like I wanted to share with the community to help others out who are deciding what to do. And, these forums were always helpful for me on my med research, so I wanted to contribute. 

I was on Fetzima for probably 3 years. My main medicine was Lamotrigine/Lamictal 150mg, which controlled my depression crashes. And, I needed a depression booster because of my dysthymia. I was on 40mg the whole time of Fetzima. I learned over the years, the SSRI's did nothing for me. I tried everything in the book. Finally, this, actually, good psych doctor recommended an SNRI, Fetzima. 

I remember in the beginning, my only side effect was cold sweats. Like wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat. It was not that fun. But, my depression improved and I was finally stable and felt good for the first time in my entire life. And, I told myself, I'll take the cold sweats, if it means I feel like a normal functioning adult human being. But, after a while, maybe 2-3 weeks, the cold sweats subsided.

After that, Fetzima worked! It was great, the first depression med that I ever felt good on, didn't feel weird, was happy, held a job, friends, etc. Amazing! 

Then, I worked really, really hard with my therapist. I did everything I could possibly do to get better. I never wanted to be on meds. I wanted to treat myself and get better, and the end. I have severe trauma as a kid, and in result, suffered from severe depression, suicidal ideation, couldn't move or function, anxiety, social anxiety, and pretty much everything that goes along with that. Although, on the outside, you would never suspect it; I have a master's degree, I'm outgoing, friendly, etc. (Just trying to give you guys a picture of the situation).

So, yes, I, personally, would recommend it. And, had no problems with it. Although, because it's a newer med, and no one has ever heard of it, there is no a lot of research on the long term effects. Obviously, medicine is different for everyone, but Fetzima worked for me. 

I finally felt good enough and stable enough to try to get off my meds, 3 years later.

I recently tapered off of Fetzima, 20mg for 1 month, and then off. It was not that fun, but, it wasn't horrible, and it is not the horror stories that I've read from others online. I had one day of a pretty bad depression crash (maybe two), although, I knew it, and I knew what was happening, and I just reached out to everyone to help me through it. And, I know that a side effect of withdrawal is depression! Because your body is used to the meds, and then it doesn't have it anymore, so it takes a while for your brain to even out.

The other very seriously difficult part for me- was the brain fog- brain cognition defects. I've never had anything like this before in my life, always good in school, always able to concentrate. I never even pay attention to that one on the list of issues that could arise. But, I was in a class that week, and it was rough! I couldn't concentrate, couldn't focus, fidgety, I felt like my brain was at 80%. It was a big struggle. I was scared my brain was going to be like this forever, and kept having to remind myself that it's the withdrawal. I, also, decided I'd rather deal with the withdrawal, then be on this forever, so I put up with it. And, probably after a week or two it went away.

And, that's it! My emotions are okay! No depression! I'm very proud of myself, and I feel like the trauma therapy really worked! (So, I'd recommend that too). A lot of people "poo poo" talk therapists, and honestly, going through a lot of them since I was a teenager, a lot of them are pretty bad. But, once you find a good one, which can take a bunch of tries. It pretty much changed everything for me. Took a solid 4 years, I'd say of serious talk therapy from 2014-2018. But, I am a happy/content human being now! And, it was worth everything! And, I have someone I can check in with now, but don't need to go regularly, which feels amazing too!

The meds teach you (or, taught me) what it was like to be stable and content. Which, I had never felt before in my life. And, then once you get off of them, your brain has been trained to know what being stable and content is, (and you've added the skills and tools you need to, through talk therapy to help yourself through), so, it'll go back to where it needs to go.

Obviously, some people will need to be on meds forever, and that's okay too. I'm just sharing my personal experience. 

I'm now feeling strong enough to taper off my Lamotrigine 150mg. Which will be 125mg for 3 weeks, then 100mg for 3 weeks, then 75mg, 50mg, 25mg each for 3 weeks, and then 0! We're just doing it very, very slow. And, I hope it goes well! So, I'll share that experience too, in a couple months. 

Anyways, that's my review of Fetzima! And, it worked for me, while it needed to. 

 

Edited by s.levy
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