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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to stop SSRI itching/rashes

    I've been on nearly every ssri besides paxil, and they all have positive effects on my mood and focus, however, they cause severe itching and sometimes hives at night which makes it impossible to sleep. Benedryl sometimes works in high doses, but then makes me feel groggy and tired. What's the best OTC drug to prevent this side effect?

  2. #2
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    Update: I have been taking a lower dose of zoloft than before, and taking it with food seems to help. Any other suggestions?

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    I am afraid I have no suggestions in terms of drugs, perhaps someone else would be ble to help, but while you are still experiencing symptoms I recomend avocado oil. You can buy in the supermarket as an oil for salads, and it soaks into skin to relieve discomfort really easilly. I find it really effective for several skin problems I have experienced.

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    Really? What should I do then?

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    The effectiveness of SSRIs can be boosted with substances that stimulate 5-ht1a receptors, what helps to keep the dose low. "Official drugs" are aripiprazole and buspirone (partial agonists), an inofficial option is sodium butyrate, which boosts expression of 5-ht1a receptors.

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    Don't know why you'd continue to take something that you are experiecing a allergic reaction too. It could lead to something serious. Doesn't this concern the doctors? Nothing but getting off the medication is going to help this. You should look into other drug classes. SSRI's and Tricyclics are pretty well known for causing skin issues. Maybe look into a NDRI like wellbutrin. Depends on what your diagnosis is though. What is it?
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    Well I'd rather be non-depressed and itchy (alive) than suicidal and non-itchy. Having said that, yes it is brutal being allergic to a med you depend on. Anyway, I've been on the zoloft at 50mg for 3 weeks now, and I haven't had any of the itchy rashes from the past. When I was on 100mg last summer I did and when I was on 10mg lexapro in the fall I also did. After lex I tried prozac and the rashes were the worst. Could the rashes have been unrelated? Maybe from mixing adderall with SSRI? Hard to tell. Ive tried wellbutrin two different occasions, it made my depression worse and gave me brain fog. The rashes on lexapro seemed to start after about a month in and got progressively worse. 10mg of lex also made me feel tired, high, drugged, sluggish, etc, which I attributed to the drug, but its quite possible that it was an unrelated illness or a serious allergic reaction that I just blamed on classic 'ssri fatigue'. Anyway, I have no sides like that now on zoloft, just some agitation and startup anxiety.

    For now I think I'm going to give zoloft 50mg a chance since it has increased my mood already from a 0/10 to 4/10 on most days, which feels pretty good. I am 70 days clean of smokeless tobacco, which is clearly a confounding variable and I still have cravings, but I'm trying the best I can to stay tobacco free and remove it from the equation. Also on ~40mg of amphetamine daily and 1mg klonopin for anxiety. The combo is far from perfect (still feel very anxious/agitated esp at night), but I at least appear to be a functioning member of society at work and social situations. Considering increasing my klonopin from .5 x 2 to 1mg twice or thrice. May need to increase the amp dosage as well because I'm still quite unproductive/unfocused about half the day. If anyone has any suggestions I will gladly consider them, I am aware that taking three fairly psychoactive, addictive medications isn't the healthiest life choice, but I feel better on them than I have in the past few years (amphetamine has been a constant for 4 years, have tried amp+ssri and amp+benzo, never all 3).

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    If the zoloft seems to be agreeing with you I'd stay on it. You have room (up to 200mg) if necessary for depression. If your going to increase do it only by 25mg and try that for 2-3 weeks before increasing again. If your agitation gets too strong do not increase your dose and talk to your Dr.

    I'am concerned about the amphetamine use. Could this be making your anxiety and agitation worse. What do you think?

    If you must need a pick me up and looking to sub the ampthetamine I'd look into provigil or nuvigil.

    Benzo's are never good long-term solutions. I would hope that the zoloft would reduce your anxiety and you wouldn't need the klonopin.

    Some things to consider.

    Amphetatmine worsening anxiety and agitation and causing sleep problems.
    Would you need klonopin if you didn't use amphetamine?
    How do you feel when you don't use ampthetamine as of right now?

    I think we can do better here.
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  9. #9
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    Common wisdom on these forums is that like you said, benzos are not a long term solution, however, I know people on them 5 years+ who are doing well (as far as i can tell from observation / asking) . Just in case benzos are actually bad for cognitive function or health, I'd rather not have to take them long term. Anyway, today I took no amphetamine at all of any sort, but I had an iced coffee and I still experienced the anxiety, agitation, tobacco craving, etc. I just took .5mg klonopin to relieve the anxiety and help me settle down and get to sleep. So far I still feel agitated and wired, but its safe to say that the coffee caused this anxiety not the dexedrine (i usually take both, today only took coffee). Tomorrow I will eliminate the guesswork by abstaining from both coffee and amphetamines and of course still taking my daily zoloft 50mg. In my observation though, the zoloft has been anxiety neutral or possibly somewhat anxiety causing so far. But it's done a ton for my severe depression and its the only SSRI I can tolerate as far as I know. My attention deficit was a huge issue today and always is when I don't take my amphetamine. I can't sit still or I can't stay awake, I show hyperactive symptoms and inattentive symptoms (sometimes both, usually inattentive). The zoloft seems to be neutral/positive for focus so far but indirectly; it allows me to keep trying to say read an article instead of giving up in 2 seconds when im depressed, but my concentration still sucks. Reason I usually add caffeine (amp or not) is due to general fatigue/lethargy, but hopefully that won't be the case tomorrow.

    Also you mentioned provigil, I have tried it and it made me depressed, fatigued, and even less focused. Possibly due to them giving me generic which had corn starch in it which I'm allergic to, but either way I was thinking it would be my savior medication, but it was the opposite. Haven't tried nuvigil.

    In terms of how I felt skipping the dexedrine today, I'd say my mood was slightly above prior days, focus significantly down, highly impatient and jittery (also somewhat caused by caffeine too as mentioned above). To be clear, taking the amp definitely causes more anxiety than not taking it, but my current guess is that caffeine is whats causing the unbearable agitation and majority of the anxiety, could be wrong though. Anyway, I'd love to do better and I thank you for helping me to do so Flaw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    If the zoloft seems to be agreeing with you I'd stay on it. You have room (up to 200mg) if necessary for depression. If your going to increase do it only by 25mg and try that for 2-3 weeks before increasing again. If your agitation gets too strong do not increase your dose and talk to your Dr.

    I'am concerned about the amphetamine use. Could this be making your anxiety and agitation worse. What do you think?

    If you must need a pick me up and looking to sub the ampthetamine I'd look into provigil or nuvigil.

    Benzo's are never good long-term solutions. I would hope that the zoloft would reduce your anxiety and you wouldn't need the klonopin.

    Some things to consider.

    Amphetatmine worsening anxiety and agitation and causing sleep problems.
    Would you need klonopin if you didn't use amphetamine?
    How do you feel when you don't use ampthetamine as of right now?

    I think we can do better here.

  10. #10
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    How quickly do you normally feel depression relief from SSRI's?

    That is a strange effect from modafinil. I've only used the brand name provigil and it undoubtably increases my mood very fast, increases energy, social skills and concentration. I can have like a face to face 3 hour conversation at a party with someone at just 100mg. I normally stop talking just because my back is hurting from standing so long lol. Along with this though is it increases my anxiety and muscle tension a lot. I usually can't stand to take it more than 1-2 days in a row. I have it prescribed for narcolepsy though.

    Caffeine gives me terrible anxiety too.

    It's good to keep a journal and write down what you take and how you feel each day. If you know for sure caffeine makes you worse avoid it. I'd have some patience and focus on the zoloft treatment. If your depression improves maybe some of those other issues will improve too. (lack of concentration and fatigue)

    As a possible add-on treatment for your depression and reducing some of the zolofts side effects look up pramipexole
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  11. #11
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    Alright thanks man I appreciate it. I'll journal for a while then update this thread with my results. Maybe I was simply taking too much provigil (200mg), I have heard sometimes more is less with this substance, as low as 50mg works for some. I'll experiment with lower doses eventually but for now I'll work on getting my depression and ADD in check. I went to the doc and he decided to double my zoloft from 50mg to 100mg since it's worked for a few weeks. So far 2 doses of 100mg and no rashes. Hard to feel any other subjective difference there. I'm getting a similar feeling now which has caused me to quit zoloft and other SSRI's in the past, which is some slight brain fog. Difficult to describe, but basically I just feel less clarity and slightly slower processing, only in academic settings though (reading articles online, etc). This is with or without adderall. I have heard this goes away after a month or so so I'll stay with it for now. I know my mood is 100% better thanks to zoloft, so I'll take the brainfog for a while if need be. I'll look into pramipexole as well.

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