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Anti-depressants and training

Moderator: Tonton

Anti-depressants and training

14 Apr 2013 00:50

Is anyone is willing to share their experience with anti-depressants and their effect on fatigue? I recently started on Prozac/fluoxetine and now can't seem to get my heart rate above my threshold no matter how hard I push. Has anyone else experience any similar symptoms? There seems to be virtually no research in this area.
nplus1
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14 Apr 2013 15:44

I don't have experience, but the 'common wisdom' is that it can be very difficult to find the optimum medication and dosage.

As a 'general rule', general practioners (GPs) have less knowledge and experience with these drugs than do clinical psychiatrists. And in some situations, psychiatrists are better able to diagnose and treat an underlying physical condition that is causing the symptoms for which the pyschoactive drug was prescribed.

Jay Kosta
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14 Apr 2013 22:34

Thanks. The psychiatrist said "never heard of it, but that doesn't mean it can't happen".

There are two studies I found: one says no affect and the other says up to a 30% decline.
nplus1
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14 Apr 2013 22:55

Perhaps discuss with the doctor whether trying a different dosage would be prudent and adviseable.

Did the study that you found discuss anything about dosage changes?

Good Luck,
Jay Kosta
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15 Apr 2013 01:50

This might sound off-the-wall, but also make sure they test your thyroid function. Hypothyroid condition can mimic symptoms of depression, and could cause the difficulty you mention.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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15 Apr 2013 02:10

Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.
nplus1
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15 Apr 2013 15:07

Yeah - sorry I couldn't offer more - I've got no experience with antidepressants, other than friends taking them. I do have experience with hypothyroid.

The only other thing I can say is your doc experience sounds more typical than it should, eh? But talking to the specialists can be useful.

I also would not hesitate to recommend another forum - city-data.com. Their forums have a VERY wide range of general life topics, and I've found more people there (with some relevant experience) when I have questions of this sort.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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16 Apr 2013 05:26

You are going to have to really dig around on different forums to find some feedback from other users of your drug class.

Try to rule out general fatigue by doing shorter workouts for a week or so.

Best of luck
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16 Apr 2013 07:00

I've been on scores of anti-depressants for decades and they generally lower my heart rate by about 10-12bpm at threshold. Although another, Effexor XR, raised my threshold in the other direction, to around 193bpm, and I'm almost 40. Not too sure about MaxHR, although I'd imagine the change would be commensurate.

For what it's worth, I can't say the altered HR changed my fitness at all. I go just as fast now at 165bpm as I did at 175bpm. The more I train, the lower it goes and I get faster still. HR is just a number. Doesn't mean much.

The most insidious thing about anti-depressants, however, are that they're classically addictive, that is, your body suffers bad withdrawls if you try to get off the stuff. Some are worse than others. Effexor and Lexapro are pretty effective drugs but left me with 2+ months of withdrawl symptoms.

Even heroin is kinder.
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16 Apr 2013 20:20

nplus1 wrote:Is anyone is willing to share their experience with anti-depressants and their effect on fatigue? I recently started on Prozac/fluoxetine and now can't seem to get my heart rate above my threshold no matter how hard I push. Has anyone else experience any similar symptoms? There seems to be virtually no research in this area.


Good question for this forum. I'd say nearly everyone here with over 4,000 posts is on them. You should get some good replies
User avatar Boeing
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18 Apr 2013 13:30

lexapro etc treat the symptoms. You want to address the cause mate.

I see a lot of depression in people that don't eat enough carbs and use stimulants like caffeine.
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20 Apr 2013 10:47

Carb-rich diets, attendent obesity and depressionare on the rise, mate.

Why don't you just tell everyone to toughen up?
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23 Apr 2013 16:23

Thanks Stingray (and others). Will be discussing w dr. soon.

I was overtrained once which had a similar effect, but I'm still ramping up volumes and intensity and watching my diet very closely (eating enough, and enough of the right things). I will never make that mistake again...

It's like someone took a quarter of my fitness away. Very frustrating.
nplus1
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24 Apr 2013 04:40

nplus1 wrote:Thanks Stingray (and others). Will be discussing w dr. soon.

I was overtrained once which had a similar effect, but I'm still ramping up volumes and intensity and watching my diet very closely (eating enough, and enough of the right things). I will never make that mistake again...

It's like someone took a quarter of my fitness away. Very frustrating.


You're very welcome and hope you find a solution that works for you.

I'm actually with Durian in the essential sense: throwing ADs at a problem is, or at least can be, a naive way of dealing with very complex problems that aren't necessarily biological or neurological, and usually contain a strong environmental element. ADs probably are over-prescribed by pressured, time-poor GPs. They can also make a difference helping someone 'get over the hump' as it were.

Finding the right AD can be a long and difficult process. Finding the wrong one, thankfully, is pretty easy: it will knock you around seven different ways and be worse the the precursing depression. In my experience, those drugs don't get better and aren't worth persisting with.

Again, best of luck.
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24 Apr 2013 13:28

Stingray34 wrote:The most insidious thing about anti-depressants, however, are that they're classically addictive, that is, your body suffers bad withdrawls if you try to get off the stuff. Some are worse than others. Effexor and Lexapro are pretty effective drugs but left me with 2+ months of withdrawl symptoms.


SSRI Withdrawl Syndrome is a pretty serious issue wrt Effexor. Not sure, but it might be with Lexapro as well.

Do not mix up addiction with dependency. I have zero doubt that there are addiction issues with anti-depressants. But the much more prominent issue is you become physiologically dependent on it.

A big 'problem' is that not all depression is the same. Some folks who take anti-depressants really never needed to have, others really should take it for a shorter/time limited period. And some folks really do need it long term ... possibly life long.

Right now where we are with our understanding of depression is about where we were with our understanding of back pain about 50-100 years ago, but still with 100x more stigma.

Stingray, interesting comments about changes in HR, but still able to get faster and the effort still feels similar. Perhaps it is more that the medication you are taking is helping you address other issues that allow you to train differently and perhaps adapt to training more.

Obviously you want to work with your physician.

Some questions for reflection (you don't need to answer to me) -
1. Why do you want to "get off" a medication?
2. Are you working with a psychologist or other professional on cognitive behavioural techniques?
3. Have you addressed the differential diagnoses that could result in the same symptoms (hiero noted hypothyroidism)?
4. Are you ensuring optimal conditions before gradually decreasing your medication regimen (and under the care of a professional)?

All the best!
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25 Apr 2013 03:42

Good points, thanks Ripper.
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20 Dec 2013 12:13

To deal with depression, engage in regular exercises and share your problems with family and friends. Eat balanced and nutritive diet meal plan, increase water intake and avoid stimulants.
Elliote
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25 Dec 2013 16:42

Thanks Elliote, but unfortunately this type of advice, though most certainly well-intentioned, comes from those who have never experienced depression, either directly or indirectly via a loved-one. These things help, assuming one can overcome the inertia exerted by depression in the first place.

"You should do yoga while watching the sun rise. It's impossible to feel negative and sad while appreciating the wonder of the universe". Read the two posts below for an amusing but spot-on comentary:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/2013/05/depression-part-two.html
nplus1
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Was definitely the Prozac

25 Dec 2013 16:44

To close off this thread, I eventually went off the Prozac and my max heart rate went back up to its normal range. There was a direct correlation to the medication. Took about a month and a half to get back to normal.
nplus1
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09 Feb 2015 03:07

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but this info really resonates with me. I would love to hear more anecdotes about Prozac and/or Wellbutrin.

I was a Cat 1 in my teens and 20s. Career, family, major depression, recovery, etc intervened, and I am now just getting fairly fit again.

After getting a couple of months of daily solid riding, I hooked up an old Polar monitor, and was shocked at my heart rate. Even 10 years ago, I could maintain 175 to 185 for 5 minutes or more. The same "zone" today is 145 to 155.

I was baffled by it until I read this thread. Now I understand, and am OK with it. Better to be alive, with average numbers, than dead with the old numbers.

The new info does motivate me to make additional shifts to Wellbutrin from Prozac. I take both, and increasing the former is likely to allow me to decrease the Prozac. I'd like that.
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