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genetic testing for antidepressants

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Old 20th October 2017, 4:30 PM   #1
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genetic testing for antidepressants

I have been very resistant to taking anti-depressants. I tried them 20 years ago & they made me catatonic. I tried again about 3 years ago & ended up puking my brains out. The "cure" was worse then being depressed.

The doctors are again trying to convince me that I have been depressed for so long it has altered my brain chemistry & I will never get well unless I let the meds help me get out of my own way.

They say there is a genetic test that can be done with a mouth swab that helps them figure out which anti-depressants are best for each individual.

Does anybody know anything about this? Can you point me to something legitimate to read (not WebMD or Wikipedia)?

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Old 20th October 2017, 7:04 PM   #2
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I'd never heard of this before, and I've worked in the laboratory for 25years!!
I just did a quick google search and saw loads of articles. Interesting stuff.
I hope you can find someone to do one for you and help you out with the depression.
I've lived with depression off and on since I was a child. I've only been medicated for it twice and the last time I had a seizure on the meds, so have vowed to stay away from them if I can.
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Old 20th October 2017, 8:42 PM   #3
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I've never heard of this, but I am on an anti-depressant. (For anxiety, not depression)

Do you know if they started you on the lowest dose? How long did you give it before you stopped? The first several days can be difficult, but then an absolute euphoria sets in before things level out and you just feel like a normal person.
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Old 21st October 2017, 5:52 AM   #4
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I was always on the lowest doses. I have always had bad drug interactions with all sorts of meds.
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Old 21st October 2017, 6:36 AM   #5
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I was put on anti-depressants by my GP after my divorce (as it turns out, I wasn't really depressed but I had trouble adapting to so many changes in my life, which is to do with being on the autism spectrum) and noticed that I had no side effects (good or bad) whatsoever. I stopped them cold turkey off my own back with no side effects at all.

I had a chat about it with my GP because I thought it strange that I could be so immune to them; like you I was extremely reticent in taking them in the first place so it took a lot of convincing from my GP for me to agree to give it a try in the first place. He acknowledged that about 50% of the strength of anti-depressants is in the placebo effect, but we also talked about the genomic tests that have been used in the USA.

I've become very interested in the subject and got to read a lot of articles about that as one of my close friends has been suffering from depression from childhood so I wanted to see if these could help.

I'll readily admit that I'm not keen on taking medication in any case so I may be slightly biased but the article that I have found the most useful is one by Dr Robert Klitzman called 'The Need for Vigilance in the Marketing of Genomic Tests in Psychiatry' (published in the Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: October 2015 - Volume 203) - easily found online though you my have to purchase it.
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Old 21st October 2017, 3:28 PM   #6
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The test is called a cytochrome P450. It a test to determine how the body metabolizes the antidepressant.

You can do a google search on cytochrome P450 and find many articles regarding the test. And the effectiveness of such testing. Some doctors find the test helpful, others not so much.

Good luck my friend
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Old 22nd October 2017, 4:11 AM   #7
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I never found one that worked on my depression. However, I tend to have situational depression - that it is there is (or was) a reason for my depression. Perhaps I just do not handle lifes downs well. A shrink once explained that the drugs work best for people who are depressed for NO reason, rather than for a reason (or over reacting to a reason).

Anxiety was easier to control for me with drugs.

Hey if you can afford that test - do it - try all ways to beat this.
“Now I see that I will never find the light unless like a candle, I am my own fuel”
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Old 22nd October 2017, 8:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dichotomy View Post
A shrink once explained that the drugs work best for people who are depressed for NO reason, rather than for a reason (or over reacting to a reason).
I have always known the reasons which is why I have never been crazy about the idea of the drugs.

This latest downward spiral started with the deaths of my parents. I just don't see how a pill is going to make me stop grieving. But this has now been going on so long & I'm not bouncing back that I'm more open to meds. I really hope this is a short term boost not a lifestyle.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 1:03 PM   #9
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I had extremely bad post natal depression and antidepressants were a life saver (possibly literally). That being said there are a wide variety and they impact everyone differently. What have you tried?

For me personally, at that time, I found a low dose (5mg) of the ssri escitalopram extremely effective. Takes a few days to adjust to it, consider taking a week off work to do this.

I took it for 18 months on two separate occasions, took me a couple of weeks at the end to taper it off and stop.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full for language & ideas, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense. - Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
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Old 22nd October 2017, 1:28 PM   #10
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I have never found antidepressants to do much. They only made me feel tired and sleepy and made me fall asleep easier if taken before bedtime. But then, there was always a reason for my depression, it was always situational and just tended to lift on its own when the situation resolved itself. I have never had a feeling of "I am so depressed even though my life is great".

I am not sure if antidepressants can help with situational depression. It makes no sense to me. The situation is still there, antidepressants don't change the fact that I got dumped or my mother is seriously ill etc.
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Old 24th October 2017, 5:34 PM   #11
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Wanna rip my hair out.

Psychologist is insisting I need these meds. She's been pushing meds for a while. She can't prescribe.

I made the appointment with my primary & when I made it, the office said they do this all the time, no problem.

With tips & suggestions from you all, I did some more research. The internet said the test is very expensive, make sure it's covered by health insurance. Called carrier to ask. They said they require pre-approval. I called the primary doctor's office & told them that. They said that was unusual but would call me back. When they called back they said the doctor doesn't believe in this test, doesn't think it's a good idea & wants to see me before he'll consider doing the test. Ok, fine.

Go to the doctor tonight. Get a lecture on why the test is worthless & I shouldn't take anti-depressants in the 1st place. I'm like hello -- you previously put me on Lexapro 2+ years ago which caused me to barf every day & did nothing to stabilize my mood. Doctor also said I was supposed to bring the test kit in with me. First time I'm hearing that. My psychologist claims it comes from the doctor. Doctor also refusing to talk to psychologist.

Now I'm stuck in the middle.

May have to get a new primary over this.

It all sucks when my coping skills are non-existent right now.
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Old 26th October 2017, 1:13 AM   #12
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Maybe medication isn't the answer here, it's self love and counseling. Being kind to yourself, having support with friends and other family members around you. You've been through a lot of pain (so sorry for your losses). Doing meditation and yoga, brisk exercise daily. Just a suggestion since you aren't fond of meds and have had severe reactions to it.
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:07 PM   #13
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You are reacting to life events it seems rather than an underlying chemical imbalance, I think there is a big difference (although I am not qualified, I was prescribed anti depressants for similar reasons). i deeply regret ever taking medication. I needed to grieve and feel sadness not mask it with medication for several years then crash. Depression is normal after the death of someone close. A lot of those drugs change your brain forever, whereas the grieving process doesnt necessarily have to be for the rest of your life.
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Old 11th November 2017, 7:59 AM   #14
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I got the swab done & am waiting for the insurance company to approve the test.

The only reason I am again considering the meds is the fact that I have been depressed for soooooo long. At this point some medical professionals who I highly respect have convinced me that the length of my severe depression (as opposed to the mild depression I have coped with all my life) has negatively altered my brain chemistry over time & now needs external help being re-regulated. If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over & over but hoping for a different result, it's time I tried something new.

I have done the talk therapy, exercise, meditation, better eating thing but seem to be getting worse. Right now is particularly bad so something has to change.
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Old 12th November 2017, 11:14 AM   #15
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Hope these articles help you in your decision. I promise I didn't go near WebMD or wiki!

Drug-Gene Testing (Pharmacogenomics) - Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Pharmacogenetics in Psychiatry: Misconceptions, Challenges, and Successes
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
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