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Re: Antidepressants
November 28, 2002


Hello Lloyd,

I have been on the protocol for awhile now, and I am feeling much better.  My viral load is half of what it was in 99, and I couldn't even afford to be on the total protocol.  My doctor has recommended the new Peg- interferon treatment, but after reading the message board and then doing my own reading about it, I don't want to do that now.

I have a great concern right now about antidepressants.  I have been on an antidepressant of one kind or another since 92. I received some information from you about the fact that antidepressants can cause double the viral counts. I am guessing because in part they double the cortical levels in the bloodstream?  I have found some interesting material that you probably have already found, and am forwarding some of it to you now.

In Feb. of this year I began to try to come off of Effexor and have experienced the worst period of time in my life. I knew that hep c can cause depression anyway, but I was ignorant about what antidepressants can do to the nervous system, to the affect and one's daily life.  I had always thought my symptoms were because of the depression itself.  I have felt apathetic for years, and except in spurts not very ambitious and motivated, even thought I am fairly bright.  Coming off the antidepressants I am finding my zest for life very slowly returning, and I realize that your supplements have greatly helped this process.  I am getting healing not only from the effects of Hep C but also antidepressants.

The material I have read suggests that patients on antidepressants, and those trying to come off of them need alot of glutathione, ALA, Omega 3, lecithin and Vitamin E along with B-12, and folic acid...among other nutrients. I am not a scholar but the material I have read suggests that antideppressants DO cause a rise in the level of cortisol, inducing massive stress throughout the body. The also appear to cause many more problems than they ease. There is so much material about this now on the net.
I would never suggest anyone try to come off SSRI's by themselves as I did. I was ignorant. I am still having electric type shocks, and tinnitus, as well as fuzzy thinking, and some memory problems, but its better I think. I truly believe I virtually fried parts of my nervous system because of Prozac and Effexor, in PART because my liver function was impaired and these drugs stayed too long at a high level in my system, and because of how they affected the liver itself. I was told by three doctors it was safe to use these drugs with Hep C, and it would help me....I also have been through two Interferon treatments while on the SSRI's and I feel I did neurological damage to myself on those as well.

I realize that many Hep C patients are on SSRI's. They are tough to get off of, and I know that many people need them or something to ease the pain and stress. I also know that telling Hep C patients or anyone else that they need to come off of these things is wrong, and probably illegal. I do wish though that all patients were informed about what SSRI's do to you in the long run. Unless you really and truly have to have them I would tell folks to RUN from them, and stick to holistic ways to stay fit mentally and emotionally.  From what I have read sometimes people think they are having manifestations of depression while on SSRI's and its the drug that is causing them. Trying to cut down them can sometimes cause panic attacks, and other things that sometimes the patient never had to begin with.  All nervous system disturbances.

Please tell folks to research the effects of SSRI's on their livers and nervous systems, not to mention the adrenals.  It is up in the air as to whether some of this damage is permanent.  I think it is.  The doctors won't tell you the effects-if they even know- and its impossible to understand the package inserts for most people.  I have read that Effexor was only studied in trials for 8 weeks before it was approved.

At this site there is a page to instruct folks how to come off of these things.  There are also taper off kits put out and it can all be done under your Dr's supervision.  Not all Dr's really believe that there are side effects from reducing dosages of SSRI's but many more are coming around because of so many patient anecdotes.  I guess we the people have done our own testing of drugs once again.  That is getting to be an old story.  Guess it saves the drug companies money.

Thanks for what you are doing,
E. G.


Hi Elisabeth:

What you wrote is wonderful.

I have discussed my findings in regard to Prozac related drugs and hep c viral load with a few doctors and none of them knew anything about it but they did express interest. Interest that they might be the one to publish such a study to get some publicity.

Regardless, I sure hope some one publishes it.  I have tried but I am not a doctor so the medical journals will not give me the time of day even though I have positive proof that Prozac related drugs double and triple the viral load.

Thank you so much for your letter and have a GREAT Thanksgiving.

In good health


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